Natural enemy suppresses kudzu bug population

By Julie Jernigan, University of Georgia

A tiny wasp — known as “Paratelenomus saccharalis” — is cutting down kudzu bug populations and Georgia soybean farmers’ need to treat for the pest, according to Michael Toews, a University of Georgia entomologist based on the UGA Tifton campus.

The wasp, an egg parasitoid and natural enemy of the kudzu bug, is saving soybean farmers time and money. Continue reading

Kudzu bug may be a game changer for soybean growers, but biocontrol discoveries are promising

When the kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria) was first discovered in the southeastern U.S. in 2009, its establishment received mixed reviews. Some welcomed it with cautious optimism because of its predation of kudzu; however, homeowners who tried futilely to banish the pest from their houses and yards wanted it to make a quick exit. When soybean growers discovered that the pest was decimating their crop, the kudzu bug soon became an unwelcome guest, and scientists rushed to find economical control options. In the past two years, scientists have discovered some biological control agents for kudzu bug that may help reduce the need for pesticides to control the pest.

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