PLEASE NOTE that this blog post was first created in 2011. If you are a homeowner looking for information on the kudzu bug, please read this post (click here).
Kudzu bug (a.k.a. bean plataspid, Megacopta cribraria Fabricus, Fig. 1) was first confirmed in 19 North Carolina counties this week (Fig. 2) thanks to a gargantuan sampling effort by Dr. Jack Bacheler and Dan Mott. Most of the recent finds have been from kudzu, but it is found on a variety of legumes, with soybean as its main agronomic host.
Kudzu bug moved into soybean fields in South Carolina this week, some of which were flowering. We should expect to see this insect on soybeans in our state very soon. So far, kudzu bug has been relatively easy to kill with insecticides (except with neonicotinoids), but will often reinvade. A preliminary economic threshold, based on Georgia data, is one bug per sweep with large nymphs present, or three bugs per plant with large nymphs present. This is the threshold that we will be using in our state until more information is gathered. Like stink bugs, this insect seems to invade the field edges first, so be sure to scout entire fields.
Fig. 1. Kudzu bug adults (in the two pictures on the left) and nymphs (picture on the right). Images from J. Greene.
Fig. 2. Confirmed kudzu bug distribution. Image from Wayne Gardner.
Information for homeowners can be found here. We are tracking this pest and would appreciate if you would contact me ( Dominic_reisig “at” ncsu.edu, (252) 793-4428 x133) if you find this pest in a non-confirmed county (as this post is from 2011, you can find the most recent information on the distribution click here). If you could also provide GPS coordinates, as well as the plant on which it was found, it would enhance our ability to respond to this new threat. Please use caution not to spread this pest from field to field if you find this pest.