Again, Happy New Year to all my Loyal “dog-blog” fans. This is Hunter; Loyal Termite and Pest Control’s exclusive K-9 Termite Detective, welcoming you back to my weekly blog, What’s Buggin’ You?
Not too long ago, I was in my Daddy Nick’s office and saw him reading an article about a little bug that has been spreading like wildfire throughout the southern United States. He told me the little insect on his computer screen was the Kudzu Bug. He said, “As a responsible pest control company, Loyal has to be prepared for any new insect arrivals that may have a negative effect on the residents or business owners we serve.” “We have to understand the latest technical information provided by researchers and Government agencies that are developing practical strategies to combat any detrimental infestations; before their arrival into our region.” As usual, my curiosity had me asking him many questions about the Kudzu Bug and any other recent insect arrivals that are currently, or potential threats to our American economy. From those lengthy conversations with Daddy Nick, I am writing this blog series; Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that Threaten American Agriculture and Local Economies. This is (Part 1 – The Kudzu Bug).
The Kudzu Bug (KB) is a relatively new exotic pest that is now creating havoc in our southern states and is rapidly on the move. Yes, Virginia, they are starting to show up in the southernmost parts of our state! The KB was originally found in Georgia during the autumn of 2009, more than likely the result of hitchhiking aboard Asian freight entering our southern ports. It is directly related to the Brown Marmorated Stinkbug. Although they are different in size and look, they both emit a horrible smell if crushed and they are both ferocious eaters and destroyers of plant life. The KB’s population has grown immensely since 2009 and it has been confirmed that as of July 2012 the KB is in eight southeastern states, including Florida. The KB feeds on legume plants such as kudzu (hence it’s name), wisteria, soybeans, and with some limited reports on Lima beans and peas. It takes six to eight weeks for KB’s to go from egg to adult. They migrate to soybean fields over several weeks during the summer months. Typically they will be seen first on field edges near wooded areas. Infestations, when noticed, may cause a farmer great alarm, because of a large number of adult Kudzu Bugs flying around.
In June 2010 and 2011 there were two generations which attacked soybean fields in Georgia. Studies in unprotected plots in Georgia and South Carolina had yield losses averaging 18% with a range up to 47% in 19 locations studied. Researchers are currently scrambling to better understand the Kudzu Bug and how to prevent these plant destroyers from continuing to cost America billions of dollars in lost revenue.
Stay tuned for my future blogs in this series that focus on other newly discovered species posing a threat to America’s agricultural economy.
If you have any questions on this or any other pest control matters, please contact us by calling our office, through our website, or contact us on social media.
Until next time, this is Hunter, Loyal’s K-9 Termite Detective asking you and your friends and family, What’s Buggin’ You? I’ll bark at you again next week. Ruff!!, Ruff!!
Foreign Invaders: Recent Insect Arrivals that Threaten American Agriculture and Local Economies (Part 1- The Kudzu Bug) in Virginia
Serving the Henrico and Richmond VA area since 1960