EXTENSION CONNECTION: Kudzu bugs attack kudzu — and plenty of Florida plants

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 06:00 PM.

This year, its settling.

At first, a pest that attacks kudzu sounds pretty good, but this bug also attacks wisteria, figs and other legumes like beans and peas. It also is a serious pest to soybeans grown in our area.

They are similar to stink bugs and discharge an odor when disturbed. Skin and eye irritation can occur from this odor emission.

Getting rid of the bugs

If kudzu bugs enter your home, you can vacuum and dispose of them.

If they are in your garden, you can set a trap using a bucket of soapy water and a piece of white poster board. Just cut the poster board in half; cut a line up the middle of the two pieces and insert them into each other; and place the plus sign-shaped board over the bucket. As the insects hit the board, they will fall into the bucket and drown.

You can use insecticides, but timing and placement are important. Right now, kudzu bugs are just becoming active, making now a good time to spray kudzu host plants with an insecticide. Insecticides with active ingredients ending in “-thrin”, such as pyrethrin and cyfluthrin, are effective against them. Just read instructions and follow precautions. 

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