Kudzu bugs: Don’t freak out and spray too soon

In Delta Farm Press

Like the boll weevil in the late 19th century, the kudzu bug has found a home in the U.S., quickly spreading across much of the South, and with few natural enemies, entomologists say it’s likely to be around a long time.

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Soybean growers might as well get acquainted with the kudzu bug

In Southeast Farm Press

By Xing Ping Hu, Alabama Extension Entomologist

What is a kudzu bug?

The kudzu bug is a small yellowish green lady-beetle-like insect. However, they are not a beetle, but a true stink bug with sucking mouths that sip the juice from plants.

They like to aggregate in clusters and release a very strong, foul odor that you can smell several feet away.

Kudzu bugs are also called lablab bugs, bean bugs, globular stink bugs, and bean plataspids.

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North Carolina kudzu bug treatment thresholds evolving

By Dominic Reisig, North Carolina Extension Entomologist, In Southeast Farm Press

Kudzu bug activity has heightened with the warm weather in the past two weeks.

Adults are flying from over-wintering sites and searching for their reproductive hosts, wisteria, kudzu and soybeans.

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Controlling kudzu bugs can boost soybean yields

By Southeast Farm Press

Georgia soybean producers made a record crop this past year with 37 bushels per acre, but yields might be improved even more by controlling insect pests like the relatively new kudzu bug.

This pest was first observed in the United States in the fall of 2009, in northeast Georgia,” says Phillip Roberts, University of Georgia Extension entomologist.

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Soybean-damaging kudzu bug inching closer to Arkansas

From Delta Farm Press

The kudzu bug, an insect that has caused up to 20 percent yield losses in some untreated soybean fields in North Carolina, is inching its way nearer to Arkansas.

Native to India and China the pest was first found in the United States in 2009. It’s a tiny insect — just one-sixth to one-quarter of an inch long and is olive green with brown speckles. They waddle when they walk, but are excellent fliers.

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New pest in South has a new website

If you’re a resident of Georgia, or anywhere in the surrounding area, you’ve probably heard or read news in the last couple of years about a new invasive pest that is “bugging” both farmers and homeowners alike. It’s Megacopta cribraria, or the kudzu bug. Continue reading

Kudzu bug found in Mississippi

Established kudzu bug populations have been confirmed in southern Mississippi. This finding represents a significant jump in the range of this pest across the whole state of Mississippi from previously confirmed sites in Alabama. The Warren County, Mississippi location is also one county south of point where the state boundaries of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana converge.

Read the Delta Farm press story on the finding.

Kudzu bugs create headaches for soybean growers, homeowners

Homeowners and soybean growers in North Carolina are in for a surprise this year, as kudzu bugs continue their march across the Southeast. This invasive pest congregates en masse on home siding and legumes, like soybeans.

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Kudzu bug targeting soybeans

For the 2012 insect outlook, southern soybean growers can expect a new kid on the block — the kudzu bug — as well as the usual suspects.

Several Southeast and Mid-South university entomologists discuss potential insect problems, and what growers can do about them.

The kudzu bug is a new insect pest that has invaded the Southeast and is probing the Mid-South.

“In the fall of 2009, the kudzu bug was first found in the U.S. in nine northeast Georgia counties,” says Phillip Roberts, Extension entomologist, Tifton, Ga. “Today, it’s in 120 counties of Georgia, all of South Carolina, 50 North Carolina counties, one Virginia county, and five Alabama counties.

“We observed a 19 percent average yield loss in Georgia trials in 2010, and even greater losses in 2011. We harvested five trials and our yield loss ranged from 22 percent to 47 percent.

“Growers definitely need to scout for the kudzu bug and treat if necessary. We’re still developing workable thresholds; we suggest treatment when you find three to five bugs per plant.”

While Georgia researches ways to control the new pest, the state still contends with its regular insect problems. The state’s primary pests are pod feeders, mainly stink bugs.

“We also have a complex of foliage feeders, with the velvetbean caterpillar and soybean looper being the primary ones,” Roberts says. “We’ve also had some tough situations with lesser corn stalk borer, which is a sporadic pest for us.”

In 2010, the kudzu bug was found in 16 out of 46 South Carolina counties. Its population exploded and completely covered the state in 2011.

Jeremy Greene, Clemson University entomologist, Blackville, S.C., says, “Depending on factors such as planting date, maturity group, and others we are just beginning to learn about, yield losses from this insect range from zero  to 50 percent loss if not controlled.

“We’re still researching cultural methods to control this pest. The kudzu bug responds well to insecticides, but it’s not listed on any insecticide label. We can still legally, but carefully, make recommendations to producers for using insecticides already labeled in soybeans, but we will have to work with the chemical companies to get this pest added to their labels and recommended in ways that will provide good control.

“We have generated some data, but need to initiate more trials, showing which products are efficacious on this insect. We have only had 2011 to do any appreciable field research on this species. We are currently planning for significant research next year.”

Go to Delta Farm Press for the rest of the story.

Homeowners should look out for kudzu bugs this winter

As the weather grows colder, many insects will enter people’s homes in search of warmth and shelter. A new pest that could enter homes this winter is the kudzu bug, said Doug Johnson, extension entomologist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

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