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Kudzu Bugs Appearing in the Carolinas

Kudzu bugs have already emerged in the Carolinas, but they’ve shown up later this year than last according to Dr. Jeremy Greene, entomologist with Clemson University based at the Edisto Research & Education Center:

“Our spring started a lot sooner last year. We had a really warm March last year and it was colder this year. But they are out in force now and will continue to be reckoned with the rest of the year.”

Right now says Greene, the pests are just hanging out waiting for their preferred hosts:

“We have reports now of kudzu bugs on wheat, particularly on the edges of the fields, and that will persist until the preferred hosts, like kudzu plant, soybeans and wisteria start to green up a bit more. We will likely see some reports that they are on fig trees soon, it’s a tree that this insect prefers in April, while they wait.”

And once early-planted soybeans emerge, kudzu bugs will move from wherever they’re staying to those soybeans as they emerge explains Greene:

“Our early planted soybeans, as soon as those come out of the ground, as warm as it is now, they will be all over those plants in the early vegetative state, just like last year. The soybean crop will be susceptible.”

But, the good news is that there’s control for these insects, says Greene:

“There are some really cheap insecticides out there, there is one A I in particular by Fenzer that is very active on this insect, even at a lower than max rate. We can control this insect but its just another expense for the growers.”

Edisto Research & Extension Center’s Dr. Jeremy Greene. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.