The logistical and legislative problems caused by invasive pest species are discussed in this interview with Hakan Kjellberg, technical director of Anticimex. Pests neither have passports nor do they read labels!
Based in Stockholm, Sweden Hakan Kjellberg is the technical director of international pest control servicing company, Anticimex – a global leader in preventative pest control.
Taking the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) as the example, this insect is now an established pest in orchards in Northern Italy where it causes problems attacking trees and rendering the fruit unsalable. However, Hakan reports that just a few weeks ago a colony was found and identified within containers in a logistics warehouse in Sweden. The risk is, just as it is with other invasive species – will this pest become established and cause a problem in Sweden?
Hakan stresses that across Europe a common approach, throughout the EU, should be adopted for these types of invasive species. As for control of this pest in this specific indoor Swedish location, Hakan points out that there are no pesticides registered for this use – only for outdoor agricultural usage. He explains how Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is the approach and in this situation physical removal is the key, for example by vacuuming. Just one of the many ‘tools in the pest controllers’ IPM tool box.’
With climate change there are likely to be more and more invasive species arriving, which run the risk of becoming endemic. Hakan stresses what a significant role professional pest controllers can play in providing an early warning system of invasive arrivals.