Kudzu bug in­vades East­ern Shore

Record Observer - - News -

AN­NAPO­LIS — The kudzu bug, an in­va­sive species from Asia, has been found in Anne Arun­del, Calvert, Car­roll, Charles, Dorch­ester, Mont­gomery, Prince Ge­orge’s, Saint Mary’s and Tal­bot coun­ties. The Mary­land Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture is alert­ing soy­bean grow­ers — es­pe­cially or­ganic soy­bean grow­ers — to watch for this pest. Kudzu bugs can re­duce yields, but can be con­trolled with ap­pro­pri­ate pes­ti­cides.

“Kudzu bugs are in­va­sive species that can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on crop yields,” said Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Joe Barten­felder. “It is very im­por­tant that farm­ers are aware of this in­sect and plan ac­cord­ingly. Luck­ily, the kudzu bug is eas­ily con­trolled with proper pest man­age­ment plan­ning.”

The kudzu bug typ­i­cally feeds on kudzu vines and then may mi­grate to soy­beans and other types of avail­able beans. Ex­ces­sive kudzu bug feed­ing can re­duce soy­bean yields by re­duc­ing pods per plant, re­duc­ing beans per pod, and/or re­duc­ing seed size. In Mary­land, the pests have mostly been col­lected on kudzu, how­ever, some have been found on soy­beans in Dorch­ester County and could spread to other coun­ties.

The bug can also be a nui­sance for home­own­ers, sim­i­lar to the brown mar­morated stinkbug. When crushed, the kudzu bug can stain sur­faces in the home, cause skin ir­ri­ta­tion and smell bad. The worst time for kudzu bugs and home­own­ers are early spring and fall. Tips for home­own­ers on how to keep the bug out can be found at www. kudzubug.org/home­owner. Home­own­ers who think they have an in­fes­ta­tion should con­tact a li­censed pest con­trol com­pany.

To re­port a sight­ing or col­lected sam­ple of kudzu bugs, con­tact the depart­ment’s Plant Pro­tec­tion and Weed Man­age­ment sec­tion at 410-841-5920.

In­for­ma­tion about this pest is also avail­able at https://ex­ten­sion.umd. edu/hgic/in­va­sives/kudzu-bug

The kudzu bug, an in­va­sive species po­ten­tially af­fect­ing soy­bean crops.

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