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Kudzu bug stinks, for many reasons
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In Hall County, the kudzu bug has definitely made a name for itself. In just a year, we have all become accustomed to seeing in around, and it feels like it has been here all along.

The bug is a globular stinkbug, Megacopta cribraria, and it seems to have been brought in on plant material from Asia.

Being from Asia, it loves to eat on kudzu, hence the name, but it also likes to eat other legumes like beans from the garden and soybeans.

It also enjoys making a meal out of wisteria, a member of the pea family, which is not too bad of a thing considering most wisteria out there is the invasive Chinese wisteria.

Another major issue with the insect, besides it being a major pest on home gardens and soybeans, is its habit of overwintering in protected areas, like our homes. Later in the fall, this bug will try to find its way to the eastern and southern sides of homes, especially those painted in a light color.

Keeping the kudzu bug from entering your home is important. You should ensure that screening is placed over possible routes of insect entry into the house; that screens on windows are well-seated and without holes; and that soffit, ridge and gable vents are properly screened.

In locations where screening cannot be used, such as around pipe penetrations, steel wool can be stuffed into these openings to prevent the entry. Lastly, doors should establish a tight seal when closed, and doorsweeps should be installed.

If the bug does make its way inside your home, they should be vacuumed up and killed in hot, soapy water. The last thing you want to do is to crush these guys. After all, we are dealing with a stink bug.

You can also spray any labeled outdoor insecticide to kill them if they are on the side of the house.

Control in the vegetable garden is fairly easy as they are not too hard to kill with Sevin, permethrin or any other insecticide labeled for a home vegetable garden.

So prepare now as we definitely anticipate the arrival of this little creature on the sides of our homes later this fall. If you have questions, call the Extension office at 770-535-8293.

Michael Wheeler is county extension coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County. You can contact him at 770-535-8293, www.hallcounty.org/extension. His column appears weekly and on gainesville times.com/life.

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