Monday, April 2, 2012

A Kudzu Bug Take-Over!

I must admit that this has been the most beautiful weekend (extending into Spring Break...) that we have had in a long time.  I am hoping it doesn't get any hotter any time soon, but we have enjoyed the weather so far. :0)  We have been trying to get some stuff done in the yard while the weather is nice and the main accomplishment was getting the "trash" (an old creepy dog kennel, a rusty old grill, and a roll of rusty old fencing) out of the back yard.  This junk was covered and buried in living, growing kudzu when we moved in and Joe worked all winter on killing the kudzu and getting it cut back.  The creepy dog kennel just had to go!  So my sweet hubby worked for a good part of the day taking the thing apart and dragging it out of the yard.  It no longer looks so creepy in the back corner and I don't have to worry about the dogs getting hurt.  Yay!

In the meantime, I was battling the onslaught of kudzu bugs!  The bad boys are in for a fight with me.  I am not allowing these little guys in the house to hunker down and come back later!  I had never seen this type of bug until we moved into the house back in October.  I started research and here is what I found out about them.

File:Megacopta cribraria.jpg
Wikipedia Picture

Can you see them ALL OVER the front window?? (click on the pic to make it bigger and look for the little black dots)

"Megacopta cribraria, also called the Bean Plataspid, Kudzu Bug, Globular Stink Bug or Lablab Bug, is a shield bug native to India and China where it is an agricultural pest of Lablab beans and other legumes.[1] The bug, while harmless to houseplants and people, often enters houses. It is attracted to white surfaces such as the walls of houses or white vehicles where large numbers of the insects congregate." ~

"In October 2009, large aggregations of an insect (Megacopta cribraria (F.); Heteroptera: Plataspidae), commonly referred to as the kudzu bug, bean plataspid, lablab bug, or globular stink bug, were discovered on the exterior of houses in nine northeast Georgia counties.  By September 2010 the insect was confirmed in more than 60 north and central Georgia counties as well as limited distributions in North and South Carolina." ~ UGA website

"UGA entomologist Wayne Gardner said pesticides will work on the kudzu bug, but there are so many of them in metro-Atlanta that replacements quickly fly in to replace their dead brethren.   The cold weather will slow them down," said Gardner. "We'll get a reprieve when we get a killing frost." Eliminating kudzu around your home could help, but the bugs can fly long distances, so there are homes with infestations that aren't all that close to a kudzu patch. On the plus side, the bugs have reduced the amount of kudzu in Georgia by one third."

And the best part....

"University of Georgia entomologist, John Ruberson, said releasing a tiny wasp may be the best way to control the spread of the Kudzu bug in United State's southeastern region. Dr. Ruberson said researchers plan to file a permit application with the United States Department of Agriculture to release a tiny wasp called Paratelenomus saccharalis. The wasp is the Kudzu bug's natural predator in Japan, but is not present in the United States.  "

Great!  Just Great!  First someone brings Kudzu over to America thinking it would make a great houseplant and instead it takes over the south in 3 seconds flat!  So then here comes the Kudzu bug to kill the Kudzu and they multiply so fast that they are swarming people's homes and my poor dogs don't even want to go on the porch because of them. And now the smart thing to do is bring over some tiny wasp (that we can't even see!) that isn't present in the US now, to kill the kudzu bugs!?  How long will this cycle go on!?????!!!!????  

And really?  I am already having nightmares of these tiny wasps flying in my ears.... OH mercy! 

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