Kudzu bugs found in three MD counties

This spring and summer we have been combing over Maryland's back roads and scenic byways in search of stands of kudzu vines (Pueraria montana), which are the preferred host of the invasive kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria ). We have been focusing our search in southern counties and counties that border Virginia. After scouting for kudzu bug in Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, St. Mary's, and Calvert Counties, adult kudzu bugs have been found on roadside kudzu patches in Anne Arundel, Calvert, and Prince George's Counties. These are the first reported sightings of this introduced insect species for the state of Maryland, and marks the new northernmost sighting of the insect along the path of its invasion from the south. In 2012, the closest reports of kudzu bug were from Goochland County, Virginia, but the insect has since been spotted in four new Virginia counties, including Culpeper and Frederick.

 

kudzu bug on kudzu vine Photo by: Alan Leslie, University of Maryland

kudzu bug on kudzu vine

Photo by: Alan Leslie, University of Maryland

Adult bugs were found actively flying around the patch of vines, and two egg masses were found on the undersides of leaves. The egg masses were collected and returned to the lab, where they were positively identified as eggs from the kudzu bug. No nymphs have been found. 

kudzu bug eggs on kudzu Photo by: Alan Leslie, University of Maryland

kudzu bug eggs on kudzu

Photo by: Alan Leslie, University of Maryland