Kudzu Bug Monitoring Update

Additional authors: Marcus McCartney

The kudzu bug is an insect pest that is not currently known to exist in Ohio; however, since its introduction to the United States in 2009, the distribution has been rapidly expanding. It is now found in Kentucky, and the I-75 corridor connects Ohio to the Southeastern US where it is very prevalent.  The kudzu bug is a serious invasive pest of soybean causing a reduction to yield with heavy infestation. Both immature and adult kudzu bugs feed on soybean plants with piercing-sucking mouth parts (Figures 1 & 2). Adult kudzu bugs are globular and greenish-brown. In addition to soybean, the kudzu bug also feeds on the kudzu plant, an invasive weed.

Despite the fact that the kudzu bug is not currently a pest in Ohio, it is important to monitor for its potential appearance; therefore, we have targeted locations in Ohio where kudzu grows. The monitoring device is a white PVC pipe wrapped in a sticky card and placed near either a building, in a soybean field or next to kudzu (Figure 3). The color white is believed to attract the kudzu bug. Overall, eight counties in Ohio will be actively monitoring for the kudzu bug this season including, Adams, Athens, Butler, Madison, Meigs, Montgomery, Ross and Washing (Figure 3). Monitoring traps will be deployed by the end of April / beginning of May and monitored until the end of June. Regular updates will be provided in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter and the information collected will allow us to provide timely updates to growers should this pest reach Ohio.

While the cold weather pushed back the trap setting dates, Washington County indicated zero kudzu bugs on the trap for week ending May 4th (Figure 3). Numbers will be reported as the average number of kudzu bugs found on each trap followed by the total number of traps being monitored in each county.

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Figure 1. From left to right: left: adult image of kudzu bug (Emilie Bess, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org); right: adult kudzu bugs on underside of leaf with dime for size comparison (Jeremy Greene, Clemson University, Bugwood.org).

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Figure 2. From left to right: left: kudzu bug nymphs on plant stem (John Ruberson, Kansas State University, Bugwood.org); right: kudzu bug eggs (Joe Eger, Dow AgroSciences, Bugwood.org).

Figure 3. From left to right: Left: kudzu bug trap set up. Right: average number of kudzu bug / total number of traps located in each county participating in the kudzu bug monitoring (highlighted in red).

About the C.O.R.N. Newsletter

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.