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Asian Stink bugs hit Georgian regions

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 11
A brown marmorated stink bug - Asian stink bug, which damages crops and plants, has become widespread in Georgia, and created serious problems to farmers, especially in West Georgia.

Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili made a statement regarding the issue, saying an active fight against the Asian stink bugs continues.

He called on the citizens to get involved in the prevention process in order to timely and effectively eliminate the pest.

"The state uses all resources that exist in the country to combat the pest. Asian Stink Bug is not a solution to one particular agency, every citizen should be involved in the process," said the Minister while meeting the scientists and specialists, working on the issue.

Last week more than 80,000 hectares of agricultural land was treated with pesticides in west Georgia, and the works actively continue at present too. However, the pest may not have been destroyed yet.

The locals in West Georgia claim the bugs have destroyed all their hazelnut harvest and now have switch to the other vegetables too. They also stressed the bugs have struck their homes and call on the government to take more serious steps to eliminate the insects.

In addition, the pest has been noticed in East Georgia as well. It was also reported by media that the bugs have appeared in Tbilisi too.

The experts examined the bugs and assessed that the pest in East Georgia is the Asian Stink Bug.

The Food Safety Service also confirmed that the insects found in the capital are Asian Stink bugs. They mentioned the means of fighting against the pest at home.

Zurab Lipartia, Deputy Chief of Food Safety Service, said that all parks in the capital will be examined and necessary measures will be taken to combat the pest. He said the bugs should be fought by mechanical means at homes.

“People can use vacuum cleaners or soapy water. The use of poisonous chemicals is not allowed in residential homes,” he added.

Giorgi Khanishvili, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, says that Asian Stink Bugs are not harmful for humans and they do not spread any diseases. According to him, if it is confirmed that the brown marmorated bugs are in Tbilisi, they will soon be destroyed.

“Asian Stink Bug damages agriculture crops, not a human being. It does not take any diseases and is absolutely harmless to humans,” he explained.

Asian Stink Bugs were first reported in Georgia in 2015. In 2016 the bugs destroyed significant amount of hazelnut harvest in West Georgia, however, this year the largest amount of the pest has struck Georgian regions.