The Southern States are covered with Kudzu. I’ve heard that kudzu was planted to control erosion along highways and railroads. What started as a good idea had unintended consequences. So we can assume a politician must have had this idea, just kidding.
According to Jarrod’s Pest Control in Columbus, Georgia – The Kudzu Bug is closely related to the Stink bug. They were first detected in northeastern Georgia in October 2009 and have since spread though-out Georgia and South Carolina and into other Southern States. They are small, about 1/4 inch long with a very small head. Overwintering sites include leaf litter and crevices on trees or shrubs. they also hide in cracks and crevices and voids around homes and other buildings.
Clean out the kudzu bordering your property or contact that property owner and ask for help. Treat all your plants around your home.
The consensus is that the kudzu bug is attracted to light colored structures. Most any insecticide will kill them, but you need to use a product that will not harm your plants and lawns. We recommend a good long lasting residual product that will last for at least 30 days. Malathion is first class for plants. Another product that will do the job nicely would be Talstar One, a fine bifenthrin product that takes care of many lawn pests.
Jim Hanula, an entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Athens, has found the bugs are able to reduce the size of a kudzu patch by half within two years.
“They are not going to completely eliminate kudzu,” he said, but scientists want to study the long-term effect of the bugs on the vine’s resilience. Kudzu relies on its root system when its leaves die back each winter. If bugs aggressively feed on it year after year, that could reduce the energy reserves in the plant’s roots, allowing trees to grow through the vines, Hanula said.
Unfortunately, kudzu bugs cause the same kind of stress to soybeans, diverting the plant’s energy from bean production and reducing yield. According to the state Cooperative Extension Service, about 180,000 acres of soybeans, with a value of more than $168 million, are planted in Georgia a year. And soybean prices have been higher than usual lately.
UGA entomology professor Phillip Roberts said scientists in Tifton have conducted 24 field trials over the past three years, concluding that the kudzu bug causes a 20 percent loss in soybean yield if farmers don’t spray infested areas. He said research from the most recent growing season suggests that soybeans planted earlier will be less susceptible to kudzu bugs.