Kudzu Bug Photo Credit: Jeremy Greene, Clemson University
Back in 2013, there was a burst of interest in a new exotic soybean pest that was approaching Pennsylvania. This pest species is known as bean platasipid (Megacopta cribraria), but is commonly referred to as kudzu bug for its tendency to feed upon kudzu, an exotic invasive weed common in the southern US and up into the Mid-Atlantic state. In the southeastern U.S. kudzu bug has become a serious pest of soybeans. This stink bug species is much smaller than typical stink bug and has an obviously different shape (see image). It was discovered in Georgia in 2009 and has since spread throughout the southeast and is heading north.
This species had been found in Maryland in previous years feeding on kudzu, but just last week, entomologists announced that they found kudzu bug adults and egg masses on soybeans in Beltsville, Maryland. This is the first record of kudzu bug on soybeans in Maryland, raising the potential for it to appear in Pennsylvania soon. So our message today is just to remind you of this pest species, and to keep an eye out for it. If you find it, please let us know. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Penn State Extension are very interested to know if it is here.