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Georgia’s Agriculture Ministry Warns Lengthy Fight Needed to Eradicate Asian Stink Bugs

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, November 21
(TBILISI) -- Deputy Agriculture Minister Giorgi Khanishvili issued a statement on behalf of the Ministry saying the full eradication of Asian Stink Bugs’ infestation could take years.

Khanishvili added in his statement that the ruling Georgian Dream government has been doing its best to tackle the problem, but more time to find a lasting solution to the issue is needed.

“We are looking at bringing in a natural enemy of the bug. However, the process . . . requires several detailed studies and analyses,” said Khanishvili as he continued to stress the fight against the insect could take years and will require mass participation by the population.

Asian Stink Bugs have destroyed the harvests of agricultural products, including hazelnuts, in several parts of western Georgia.

The government has spent GEL15 million (USD 5.55 million)over the last year in its fight against the infestation, with over 110,000 hectares of farmable lands prayed with pesticides.

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 communicable diseases.

Halyomorphahalys, known simply as Asian stink bugs, are native to China, Japan, the Korea Peninsula, and Taiwan.

The insects were first detected in Georgia in 2015 and the first official reports of the stink bugs’ appearance in Tbilisi were reported in October.

The bug was accidentally introduced into the United States in September 1998 and is now widespread in Europe.