If you live in the southeastern United States, you have probably encountered the invasive insect known as a kudzu bug. They are native to Asia, but were first found in the United States in about 2009. Over the last decade, they have spread through many southern states including Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas, Virginia, and even into Texas. Kudzu bugs can be agricultural pests, and they can also be nuisances to homeowners. We will help you learn to identify and control these bugs.
Kudzu bugs are a type of true bug. This means that they have semi-membranous wings and a piercing, sucking mouth part. They are similar to stink bugs and are sometimes called globular stink bugs. Kudzu bugs are small, averaging between .15 – .25 inches in length. They are mottled green or brown in color and may often be mistaken for a beetle. The difference is found in their sucking mouthparts, whereas beetles have mouths made for chewing.
Kudzu bugs are rarely seen during the summer. They live near and feed mostly on the juice of kudzu vines, but may also eat and damage soybean crops. When fall rolls around, kudzu bugs congregate in large numbers on the sunny sides of houses and other structures to find warmth. They are especially attracted to white surfaces like walls or vehicles. These huge gatherings of kudzu bugs can make their way into homes via cracks and gaps or open windows. Once inside, they will go dormant for the winter. Kudzu bugs do not feed or reproduce indoors, but they can be quite frustrating and traumatizing for homeowners who find them. If disturbed kudzu bugs release a strong odor. One kudzu bug might not be a concern, but a bunch of kudzu bugs could be very smelly.
Kudzu Bug Control
If you are having trouble with kudzu bugs, it is very important to seal the exterior of your home. Make sure all cracks and gaps are filled with caulk or expandable spray foam, and ensure that all windows have intact screens. To prevent them from congregating on your home or sheds, you can spray a liquid insecticide on areas where they tend to land. Harris Stink Bug Killer is excellent for kudzu bug control.
For more information, check out Kudzu Bugs and Stink Bugs: The Ultimate Guide.