Auburn research finds kudzu bugs affected by persistent cold

By James Langcuster, Auburn University Communications

If Old Man Winter deserves credit this year for reducing kudzu bugs, it is not so much due to his bite as to his persistence.

For the past few years, Dr. Xing Ping Hu, an Alabama Extension entomologist and Auburn University professor of entomology, and a team of researchers have been monitoring overwintering kudzu bug populations.

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Why do insects survive cold weather?

UGA entomologist Elmer Gray explains how biology helps insects survive prolonged freezing temperatures. This post was taken from the UGA Landscape Alert.

With this winter’s unusually cold temperatures, the question of how these conditions affect insects is sure to arise. It is of little surprise that our native insects can usually withstand significant cold spells, particularly those insects that occur in the heart of winter. Insect fossils indicate that some forms of insects have been in existence for over 300 million years. As a result of their long history and widespread occurrence, insects are highly adaptable and routinely exist and thrive, despite extreme weather conditions. Vast regions of the northern-most latitudes are well known for their extraordinary mosquito and black fly populations despite having extremely cold winter conditions.

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