|Kudzu bugs (Megacoptera criberia) on raspberry plants at the Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, NC. Photo: PRS.|
|Raspberry plants at the Piedmont Research Station, Salisbury, NC. Photo: PRS.|
Kudzu bugs are also nuisance pests. Like multicolored Asian ladybeetles and brown marmorated stink bugs, they congregate in structures to overwinter. Also like these other two home invading invasives, kudzu bugs release stinky defensive chemicals when disturbed. Migration to overwintering sites is likely happening right now, and this may be at least part of the reason we are currently seeing them on caneberries. Primocanes may be attractive because they are relatively young when compared other surrounding vegetation.
|Kudzu bug aggregation on a home. Photo: Danial Suiter, University of Georgia, via Bugwood Network.|
It's unclear if kudzu bugs will feed on blackberries and raspberries. Kudzu bugs have piercing mouthparts, so damage is often not visible right away. Following kudzu bug feeding in soybeans, lesions appear on stems (their preferred feeding site). Despite the fact that adult kudzu bugs can be present in soybeans in very high numbers, they do not appear to cause economic damage in that crop unless they are reproducing and nymphs are present. Nymphs look markedly different than adult kudzu bugs. They are smaller and fuzzy (see below). The treatment threshold in soybeans is 15 nymphs per 15 sweeps. Soybean plants are extremely good at compensating for damage throughout their growing season, which likely contributes to this relatively high threshold.
|Kudzu bug feeding lesions on soybean stem. Photo: Dominic Reisig, NC State Entomology|
|Late season kudzu bug damage on soybeans at the Sandhills Research Station. Photo: Jeremy Martin, Superintendent.|
|Kudzu bug nymphs on soybean. Reproductively active kudzy populations (where nymphs are present) can cause damage in soybeans.|