Kudzu bugs

square tickLately there seems to be a never ending supply of flying pests for homeowners to contend with.  The newest arrival, most commonly called a Kudzu Bug, is about a ¼ of an inch long, roughly square shaped when viewed from above and is either dark brown or olive in appearance.  This bug is commonly mistaken as a “lady bug” or even a “Japanese beetle” due to the areas which you may find them congregating.

The Kudzu Bug accumulates around homes in the summer when they are active.  They typically are attracted to westward facing walls or windows which reflect sunlight in the afternoons.  A word to the wise, do NOT swat or squish this pest as it possesses a strong odor, like a stink bug, and will stain surfaces if smashed.  Their primary source of food is kudzu, hence their name, and as we all know, there is PLENTY of that to go around. However in addition to feeding on kudzu, this bug also feeds on soybeans and other crops as well as ornamental plants.

In the fall this pest will look for a place to overwinter and will take advantage of any holes in screens, gaps in caulking around windows or doors and any other crack they can use to gain access.

Unfortunately, exterior pest treatments will do little to stop Kudzu bugs from congregating around your home, although they may offer some relief in keeping them out of the home if properly applied around potential entry points.  To help minimize the chance of an interior infestation of Kudzu Bugs, maintain exterior screening and keep weather stripping and caulking in good repair. This will not only reduce chances of pest infestations, but also help lower power bills during the winter. Also, as this pest can find harborage in leaf piles and other yard debris, frequent raking and removal of leaves will assist in minimizing interior infestations.