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Time to Scout for Next Wave of Kudzu Bug

Excessive rain has been the dominate theme this year, causing havoc in many areas of agriculture. Dominic Reisig, Asst. Professor and Extension field crop entomologist for NC State says the rain may have actually helped when it comes to battling kudzu bug on soybeans:

“The rain has gotten in the way of, not the fact that its reduced the abundances of the insect, but it has shifted our planting date of the soybean later. This insect has a really distinct preference for earlier planted beans, so we hope with the later planting dates we will dodge the bullet on this.”

So, does this mean that double-crop beans are relatively safe from the pest? Reisig says…maybe:

“I think we will see more of the kudzu bug in the full season beans. I don’t think our double crop beans are safe, we have some beans planted in June in southern NC and they are at treatable levels. Interestingly, beans behind wheat don’t seem to be as attractive to the insect.”

Reisig says its unknown if that phenomenon is because of the time of year that beans are planted behind wheat, or the wheat itself:

“There is a distinct preference of the insect for taller plants. You will even notice this within the field. You will find beans in the really tall plants and right next to it, in the shorter plants you wont find them. So it could be just the fact that the beans behind wheat grow a little slower, or it could be the stubble itself interfering with the ability of the insect to find the bean, it could be both.”

Reisig explains that it’s generally thought that the area is in a migration period for kudzu bug:

“We think we are entering our peak migration period right now, so its hard to know when that would be across the state of NC, but probably in the southern part we are at peak migration and a few weeks that will happen in the northern part of NC. The migration period is very long, 6-8 weeks, so we still have a while before the adults stop moving around.”

As far as sampling a field for kudzu bug, Reisig has these recommendations:

“Fields that are on the borderline of threshold situations, those are the ones to be worried about. For all fields we recommend using a sweep net. That is especially important in the borderline fields because you will pick up the nymphs in your sweep net before you will find them visually looking. We recommend the sweep net for sampling and that samplers move toward the interior of the field, as the insect has a really big edge preference.”

One nymph per sweep during the middle of the day is considered to be economic threshold for spraying. And while its been demonstrated that kudzu bug has a preference for the borders of a field, Reisig does not recommend a border spray application. 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.