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Georgia spends 15m Gel in fight against Asian Stink Bug

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 18
15 million Gel has been spent from the budget in a fight against the Asian Stink Bugs which destroyed nearly the whole harvest of hazelnuts and vegetables in West Georgia.

The information was released by Nikoloz Meskhi, Head of Plant Protection Department of The National Food Agency on Tuesday.

He explained that the mentioned sum was spent on purchasing pesticides and backpack aggregate blowers. Meskhi added that 3000 persons were employed in order to carry out Asian Stink Bug elimination works.

The Head of Plant Protection Department added that the bugs have moved to the warmer places, adding the elimination works would be resumed in spring.

“In spring, when the temperature exceeds 15 degrees, the bugs will start to come out of their shelters and we will be ready to reduce them to the minimum,” Nikoloz Meskhi said.

He underlined that involvement of all citizens, especially farmers, is necessary in order to achieve desirable results.

“In total 110,000 hectares have been poisoned with pesticides in four regions of West Georgia,” he noted.

As for the bugs, discovered in Vake Park, Central Tbilisi, Meskhi said that special traps have been placed in all parks of the capital.

Director of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health Amiran Gamkrelidze said that stink bugs are not harmful for humans and they do not spread any diseases.

“I would like to emphasize that this bugs do not affect human health. They do not bite humans or animals and do not spread any infection. The bugs also have unpleasant smell which is their protective mechanism against the other insects,” said Gamkrelidze.

Brown marmorated stink bugs (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.