Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Kudzu Bug

They showed up suddenly, millions of them, on wisteria vines. They are not eating the leaves, they line up along the mature stems by the hundreds.

My neighbor identified them for me as 'Kudzu Bugs' and Walter Reeves' Georgia Gardener site confirmed them as the globular stinkbug (aka kudzu bug), Megacopta cribraria.

I wasn't going to worry about them eating wisteria -- I have plenty to share, hacking at it almost weekly to keep it contained -- until I learned that

  1. they are worse than ladybugs about wanting to winter in your house walls and
  2. they also attack figs.
Mr. Reeves said we could use any insecticide labeled for outdoor use, so my choice is Malathion.

After we sprayed the wisteria, I checked the fig bushes. I found only one. We'll have to keep a sharp watch.

It was a good time to spray; we're in between visits from butterflies and wisteria has finished blooming so there are no beneficial insects visiting it.

These are nasty bugs with a foul stink bug odor. Most of the sources I read said they do not bite. They do bite. I had a bite on my jaw just below my ear. It itched for two days.

I made no pictures. There are excellent photos on the Georgia Gardener site.

I hope we're done with them.


  1. Oh, wow. I've never heard of kudzu bug. I went to the link, and they look like they would be difficult to get rid of. Too bad they don't keep to just eating kudzu. Thanks for the information. I hope I remember this if I ever see these in my garden.

  2. Wow! I did not know they would bite - I thought they really were more like lady bugs.

  3. Not another bug from Asia! So far, I haven't seen that one......maybe we are too far north (I hope). heard about another Asian pest, the White Fringed Beetle. that is a bane to the succulent garden of an Australian friend. I see they have been found in both our regions.

    Japanese Beetles that were so bad a few years ago seem to have disappeared here. Hallelujah! They ate almost everything I grew.

    I hope malathion does the trick for you. Sevin is my 'go to' insecticide.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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