Athens, GA – There is a new bug in Georgia and and its affecting Soybean crops. Mache Kane has more about this pest which is actually called the kudzu bug.
In 2009, the kudzu bug was first found. Now, its called the kudzu bug because it eats kudzu, but the real problem is – the pest eats soybeans. Since 2009 the pest has continued to spread all over the southeast.. from Virginia all the way down to Florida.
Entomology Professor, Dr. Cruz, talks about why the bug is an issue by saying, “Now its an issue because it’s overwintering in some of our Kudzu, and Soybeans are closely related to kudzu and so there is a possiblity that damage to the soybean crop is a side effect of this kudzu bug.”
The kudzu bug is killing soybean crops, it literally sucks the life out of the plant. The bug looks a lot like a stink bug, only smaller. The pest comes out in warmer tempretures. The adults move from there overwintering sites onto kudzu and soybean crops. You are probably wondering how to get rid of this pest. Well, whatever you do – do not squash them
Dr. Cruz says, “One of the really noticeable characteristics is that they have a really strong odor, kinda like the stink bug, and so if you were to just smash it, you would release a lot of those chemicals so if you do have a situation where these are in large abundance, you don’t want to smash them. You want to vacuum them out and then take care of them outside you home.”
If you happen to spot these crop killing pests the next step is to report the location. The easies way to report is through an app called Southeast Early Detection Network. All you have to do is take a picture of the kudzu bug then the app uses GPS to track your location.
More information can be found on kudzubug.org where you can see pictures of distrabution maps and tips on how to keep these pests away from your crops and home.
By: Mache Kane