Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How do you identify kudzu bugs?

2. What time of year are the bugs out?

3. How do you detect kudzu bugs in a soybean field?

4. What can farmers do for kudzu bugs on soybeans? 

5. How do homeowners prevent invasion of kudzu bugs into their homes?

6. How do I report finding kudzu bugs? 

 


1. How do you identify kudzu bugs?

Adults

Kudzu bug adults are small (3.5 to 6 mm long) and are domed with a square shape in outline. Their bodies are roughly as wide as they are long which lends to their globular appearance like lady beetles. Their wings will be hidden similar to beetles. The coloration is a yellowish brown with several small darker brown spots and red eyes. Nearly always present, adults give off an offensive odor similar to stink bugs.

Nymphs

Nymphs (immature stages) of the kudzu bugs resemble adults but are smaller and fuzzy in appearance. They also can range in color from green to brownish green. The nymphs do not have wings and therefore are not as mobile as the adult forms. Often the nymphs will blend in with the stem of the plant making them harder to spot than the adults. 


2. What time of year are the bugs out?

Overwintering adults may first be seen in May. The bugs will then persist through October and into November. Below is our hypothesized sequence and timing of the kudzu bugs in Maryland. 

 


3. How do you detect kudzu bugs in a soybean field?

To find kudzu bugs sweep your soybeans with an insect net. They are typically found in larger numbers at the edge of fields. The threshold for spraying is currently set at one immature per sweep. If you do not have a net, you can look at the stems of your plants especially the leaf nodes. If you have a large population you should be able to smell them (they smell similar to a stink bug).

1.jpg

4. What can farmers do for kudzu bugs on soybeans? 

Removal of kudzu patches and other overwintering sites near soybean fields can reduce the kudzu bugs moving from these areas. If you have enough kudzu bugs to exceed the economic threshold (see how to scout fields) and the soybeans seem stressed you should consider treating with an insecticide. Applying insecticide should be limited as it may increase outbreaks of other pest species or decrease natural predators. All insecticides rated for soybean use are effective on kudzu bugs. For a more detailed list of insecticides and their effectiveness please follow the link below.

Insecticide List


5. How do homeowners prevent invasion of kudzu bugs into their homes?

Kudzu bug are primarily a pest to homeowners in early spring and fall. The bugs are attracted to light colors especially white. You may find them on the side of your house or on your car. The first defense against kudzu bugs is to remove any kudzu vines on the property with an herbicide. To help keep the bugs out make sure your home is properly sealed. Suggestions include:

-Check window screens for holes

-Check that possible entry areas (such as gable vents, pipe entries) are properly screened or sealed

-Check window and door seals for gaping

If bugs enter the home do not crush them as they may leave stains and odors! Instead use a vacuum that will not suck them through a motor (otherwise you end up with a ruined vacuum cleaner). If you do not have a bug safe vacuum, take a stocking and place it inside of the vacuum hose and secure the open end to the outside of the hose with a rubber band. Once you have the bugs trapped freeze the sealed stocking/vacuum container till bugs are dead. 


6. How do I report finding kudzu bugs?

Found a kudzu bug?

Found a kudzu vine patch?

Have a cluster of kudzu bugs on your house?

If you have information on any of the above, please contact us! You can report through our website, the southeastern Megacopta working group website, or through the Southeastern Early Detection Network smart phone app. When you report to us, make sure to have a photograph as well as location information.