Recently, new findings have surfaced regarding a particular pest which feasts on bean plants. These findings have provided fresh information on how to better manage the proliferation of these relatively new pests.

These particular pests, called kudzu bugs, invade several types of bean plants. Soybean producers are especially impacted. These pests were first spotted in 2009 in two Georgia counties. Unfortunately, Kudzu bugs are highly mobile and, thus, continued to proliferate, invading 10 other Southeast states, including Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi.

To get a handle on these bugs, researchers are heavily investigating the bug’s feeding, mating, and migratory habits. Hopefully, the information collected will shed light on effective strategies to implement to better control the spread of these bean-invading pests.

In July 2013, findings suggested that kudzu bugs may have some competition. A native parasitoid – a parasitic fly – may have the ability to bring down the number of these pests. Research indicated that these parasitic flies feed inside kudzu bug adults, particularly the female bugs. Findings show that the population of these parasitic flies is fairly large, offering an opportunity to effectively reduce the population of kudzu bugs.

Knowledge of this parasite means that there is now a potentially effective way to introduce natural enemies into the fields, allowing nature (versus chemical treatments) to better manage infestations and obliterate kudzu bug populations.

Pest management involves strategy and other, oftentimes costly, practices such as crop rotations, cover crops, field borders and irrigation water management. If you are a farmer seeking to implement a better pest management program, contact AgAmerica Lending to discuss ag loan options. or 844-516-8176.