Tracking the kudzu bug in Maryland

Jul 17, 2013
Tracking the Kudzu Bug in Maryland

A group of researchers at the University of Maryland is spending the summer tracking the latest invasive pest to threaten crops and aggravate homeowners along the East Coast – the kudzu bug.

The olive-brown bug, measuring less than ¼ inch in size, is a species native to Asia that typically feeds on kudzu vines and then migrates to soybeans and other types of available beans. It was first discovered in the United States in Georgia in 2009 where it caused significant losses for soybean farmers and has been gradually traveling north ever since.

Dr. William Lamp, a UMD entomology professor, is leading a team of researchers studying the bug's presence in this state. Earlier this summer, the team detected the kudzu bug in five southern Maryland counties including Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's and St. Mary's.

"We haven't been finding huge populations but that might be due to the fact that it's just new here," says Alan Leslie, a graduate student working in Dr. Lamp's group. "The potential is there for (the kudzu bug) to be an economic pest but now that we know for sure it's here, we'll have to do further studies and figure out how big of an impact it will have."

The pests in Maryland have all been collected on kudzu, not on soybeans, but the Maryland Department of Agriculture is encouraging soybean growers to watch for the pest and to learn about appropriate pesticides that can help control it.The pests in Maryland have all been collected on kudzu, not on soybeans, but the Maryland Department of Agriculture is encouraging growers to watch for the pest and to learn about appropriate pesticides that can help control it.

Much like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, the can also be a nuisance to homeowners. When crushed, it can stain surfaces, cause and emit an unpleasant odor. The insects are most likely to try to invade homes in the early spring and fall.

UMD researchers will be monitoring sites all over the state throughout the duration of the summer to determine whether the could be as problematic for Maryland as it has been in other parts of the country.

"We still don't know the extent of the insect inside of Maryland," says Leslie. "There is concern that it has the potential to hang around and for the populations to increase but we just don't know yet. We need to take a closer look."

Explore further: Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

More information: Information for growers is available at www.kudzubug.org/grower.html
Tips on how to keep kudzu bugs out of your house can be found at: www.kudzubug.org/homeowner.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tiny wasp may hold key to controlling kudzu bug

Apr 30, 2012

University of Georgia researcher John Ruberson is looking for natural enemies of the kudzu bug in an effort to fight the pest's spread across the Southern states. A tiny Asian wasp may be the best option.

Biology and management of the green stink bug

Sep 26, 2012

The green stink bug is one of the most damaging native stink bug species in the United States. Stink bugs feeding on cotton, soybeans, tomatoes, peaches, and other crops can result in cosmetic damage as well ...

Researchers develop stink bug monitoring tool

May 04, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- As crop growers and homeowners brace for another year of infestations by the brown marmorated stink bug, Penn State researchers have released a Web-based tool that they hope will help enhance ...

Combating USDA's top-ranked invasive insect

Jan 07, 2013

First detected in the United States a decade ago, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is now in at least 39 states, is wreaking havoc in homes and gardens, and is a major economic threat to orchard fruits, garden vegetables ...

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Apr 18, 2014

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Apr 18, 2014

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

alfie_null
not rated yet Jul 17, 2013
Maryland Department of Agriculture is encouraging soybean growers to watch for the pest and to learn about appropriate pesticides that can help control it.

A better understanding of how it fits in to its native ecology would be helpful. Maybe some more effective solution than yet more pesticides can be found.

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.