Kudzu Bug Levels High in 2013?

Article by Jack Bacheler, NCSU Extension Entomologist

Initial sprouting of kudzu 5/3/2013. One 20-ft. sweep = 268 kudzu bugs. Image J. Bacheler

Initial sprouting of kudzu 5/3/2013. One 20-ft. sweep = 268 kudzu bugs. Image J. Bacheler

Kudzu bug egg masss. 5/3/2013. Image J. Bacheler.

Kudzu bug egg masss. 5/3/2013. Image J. Bacheler.

David Orr (NCSU Entomology biocontrol specialist) and I sampled 25, 1-meter kudzu terminals in a kudzu patch on the Dorthea Dix property next to the NCSU Centennial Campus yesterday. For kudzu vines just now coming up well, it was startling to find an average of more than 4 egg masses per single 3-foot vine and more than 350 kudzu bugs per 20 sweeps! High levels of overwintering kudzu bugs during the winter months at several locations also indicate that we may be due for a significant jump in homeowner and soybean producer headaches in 2013. The purpose of this and other sampling conducted by Kathy Kidd of the NCDA&SC and Dominic Reisig is to determine the variety and abundance of native parasitiods (thought to be very limited) on kudzu bug egg masses in NC (and throughout the Southeast) in preparation for the possible release of an imported egg parasitoid from Asia in 2014.

For homeowner questions about kudzu bugs, please refer to this for additional information. For soybean-related updates about kudzu bug management updates and recommendations, please stay tuned to the NC Field Crops blog for regular kudzu bug updates.

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Kudzu Bug Levels High in 2013? — 1 Comment

  1. Why fight Kudzu… It’s a fantastic plant, invasive or not, it’s practically naturalized in the South…

    It has so many uses… The leaves, shoots, flowers, and roots are edible. Kudzu starch fetches top dollar in Japan and China, Why? Because its superior to all other commercialized starches. This vine also has the possibility of ethanol production, and like with any plant, can be increased by breeding programs. It has possibilities of helping curb alcoholism, and has been used as a Chinese healing herb for centuries…

    It is a legume, so it fixes nitrogen. It’s roots hold in a mountainside like concrete.

    It is drought resistant, highly vigorous, and makes fantastic fodder for farm animals as well…
    You couldn’t ask for a better vine. The real threat now is Megacopta cribraria, otherwise known as Kudzu Bug, for daring to destroy this sacred vine (along with significant soybean losses). There are so many more aggressive invasives that have so few uses, target them, not this great vine.

    Now with this news there will be even more drastic losses of this great vine, the carnage must stop! We need information on parasitoids now!

    Don’t be a fool, be cool… Let the green take over!

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