Kudzu bug invades Alabama, other states - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Kudzu bug invades Alabama, other states

The Kudzu bug eats sap from the Kudzu plant, but not enough to kill the plant. The Kudzu bug eats sap from the Kudzu plant, but not enough to kill the plant.
AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama has a new pesky insect to deal with. The so-called 'Kudzu bug' was found near the University of Georgia 4 years ago. An Auburn University professor and Extension Service Specialist first spotted it in northeast Alabama a year later.

Dr. Xing Ping Hu and her graduate assistant talked about the latest little bug invading the country. Both say the bug resembles a Ladybug but is not as colorful and certainly not as lady-like. The bug originated from Asia.

"It has a bad odor and it can cause allergic reactions if it bites your skin," said Dr. Hu.

Dr. Hu and Julian Golec admit there is a lot they don't know about the Kudzu bug. "There are many aspects we don't know about it," said Golec. What they do know is that the bug sucks out the sap of the Kudzu plant, a non-native, aggressive plant that has overtaken most of the Southern U.S. Unfortunately, the bug does not eat enough of the sap to kill the plant.

[On the web: KudzuBug.Org]

So how do you get rid of them?

"The best way is to use a shopvac using water and detergent and suck them up that way if they get into your home. Farmers have pesticides but other than that there's not a lot that can be done," said Golec.

The encouraging news is the bug's natural enemy is the wasp.

For now at least it appears the Kudzu bug is here to stay. So far the little bug has invaded 13 states and counting.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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