What kills Kudzu bugs? Does this bug bite or burn your skin?
Here is a practical guide on how to get rid of Kudzu bugs completely.
As a gardener, kudzu bugs are among the widespread plant pests you’re likely to deal with. These are best known for their preference for legume plants such as soybeans, kudzu, beans, and wisteria.
If you’ve experienced this pest problem in the past, you’ll want to stop their activity by getting rid of them immediately.
This article helps by providing tips on eliminating the pest problem.
If you’re more interested in organic control methods, you might face disappointment because there aren’t many practical strategies for organic control.
The few available methods can be painstakingly slow.
About Kudzu Bugs
These are widely known as agricultural bugs due to the damage they cause to plants.
Such damage involves sucking juices from legume plants, especially kudzu plants hence the name. Their mouths are perfectly adapted for piercing and sucking plant juices. Sometimes, they’re mistaken for beetles.
These pests measure approximately 4 to 6 mm long at full maturity and have mottled green and brown body coloration. The challenge with kudzu bugs is that almost their entire lives are spent on your plants.
This creates a problem because the bugs will cause a lot of damage unless they’re gotten rid of.
Female kudzu bugs will lay their eggs on the underside of plant leaves. Of course, the host plant is targeted for this. As these eggs hatch into nymphs, there’s ready food for them to start feeding on.
Several molting processes occur until nymphs fully mature and perpetuate the reproductive cycle.
Are Kudzu Bugs the Same as Globular Stink Bugs?
They are the same. Kudzu bugs go by several names depending on where you live.
They all refer to the same bug whenever you hear names like kudzu beetle, Japanese kudzu, lablab bug, bean plataspid, or black kudzu bug.
All you have to do is apply the right kind of treatment to get rid of them.
Treatment Options to Choose From
To get rid of kudzu bugs, there are two main options: the organic or natural approach and the use of chemical treatments, which tend to be the most popular among the two.
These two treatment options may have varying degrees of efficacy. However, there’s also the suitability of treatment to consider.
i. Natural Approach
I must say that the organic treatment for kudzu bugs, though desirable by many, hardly has the desired effect on these pests.
What more? Organic treatments tend to be time-consuming, which can turn off many gardeners. Here, there are several natural treatments you can implement.
They include crushing these pests, which can be pretty gross for some. Plus, you’ll need to put on a glove for this.
Also, having a pale of water into which you’ll brush might help. Affected plants can also be pruned while also attracting kudzu bug predators.
Essential oils might also help.
Crushing Kudzu Bugs
Not every gardener will find this option attractive. However, this is one method you can use to get rid of kudzu bugs. Of course, you’ll need to put on gloves to do this.
Although it may kill these bugs, it’s a slow process you might consider inefficient. Whatever it is, it helps get rid of kudzu bugs.
Dumping Kudzu Bugs into Soapy Water
Another creative way to get rid of kudzu bugs is by dumping them in soapy water.
Have a soapy water mixture made and take this to the garden. You’ll need to brush these bugs into your soapy water. Soap is added to the water to help suffocate them.
Carrying out this process requires a great deal of patience as you’ll have to observe each plant and closely include the undersides of leaves.
It’s a time-consuming process that can prove helpful in saving your plants from kudzu bug attacks.
Pruning Affected Plants
When observing affected plants, you might find many bugs on them.
At this point, you’re left to decide whether to prune such plants or have them eradicated. The rationale behind eliminating the plant is to remove their food source.
With the food source gone, these plants have nothing to feed on. However, complete removal may not be feasible in cases where there are many other leguminous plants.
For such, pruning of affected limbs may serve to limit the damage.
Attracting Kudzu Predators
Not many predators are known to feed on kudzu bugs readily. This can be traced to the toxic odor kudzu bugs release. Despite this, a few predators have been identified that will still feed on kudzu bugs.
These include exotic ants, spined soldier bugs, mermithid nematodes, and spiders.
Other potential predators that could be your ally include lady beetles, assassin bugs, big-eyed bugs, and minute pirate bugs. Any of these could serve to get rid of kudzu bugs.
Use of Essential Oils
Essential oils can prove helpful in combating kudzu bug infestations.
Such oils are most ideal in mild infestation situations. Using this technique, a plant or two infested by these bugs can be treated. Kudzu essential oils for treatment include peppermint, lavender, and tea tree.
Any of these will serve the purpose. So, how do you apply, and what’s the proper treatment dosage? Only a few drops of your preferred essential oil will need to be used.
Add a cup or more water to the essential oil in the spray bottle and shake.
Now your natural pesticide is ready for application. Spray on infested areas and repeat the process for a few days. That should provide some form of relief from kudzu bugs.
ii. Chemical Treatment Approach
Though toxic, the chemical treatment approach tends to be the best way to rid your plants and surroundings of kudzu bugs. Before using any pesticide, it’s best to read the use instructions on the pesticide label carefully.
The best pesticide sprays on kudzu bugs contain synthetic pyrethroids as active ingredients. Examples include lambda-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, and permethrin.
These are the basics for getting rid of kudzu bugs from your garden. So far, we’ve considered the different approaches and the multiple treatment options under each category.