They might be small in stature, but kudzu bugs are quickly becoming a big -- and smelly -- problem across the South. In fact, entomologist Wayne Gardner at the University of Georgia at Athens, says their arrival and the recent discovery of a parasitic enemy that specifically targets the insects is like something out of a Michael Crichton novel.
"They are not supposed to have appeared in North or South America, and they turn up on our front porch, or back porch, however you want to look at it," he says.
The tiny bugs, which look like an olive-green version of a ladybug, first showed up at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2009. They likely came over on a plane from Asia, where they are prevalent.
Since arriving, they have migrated into North and South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. Their primary dietary source is kudzu, which might be welcome news, but scientists fear they might also like soybean plants, which are similar to kudzu.
What we need to do is to put them into nematode traps and find the nematodes that will attack them. Like I outlined in this post.
I haven't seen too many kudzu bugs around in my garden, they are probably waiting for the clover to take off and then they will be back. I had fairly high numbers of them last year, and all they did was hang out on the crimson clover. They haven't bothered my peas or peanuts.
Of course, I have huge numbers of orb-web spiders in my garden this year, and that may be working to keep them at bay.
Sweet, now we have more Asiatic insects to go with our Asiatic plants.
Maybe the US and China can just trade landmasses. We give them all of their familiar plants and insects, while we get the beginnings of an industrialized nation so people can get rich quick while raping new land. /sarcasm
Reading a little on wikipedia, it seems they take a fancy to legumes in general and not just soybeans and kudzu. I guess it's time to use less annual nitrogen fixing legumes and more shrubs/trees. I assume the reason soybeans were mentioned is because people make lots of money from them.
USDA Hardiness Zone 9a
Subtropical/temperate, Average annual rainfall of 61.94", hot and humid!
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