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Kudzu bugs are on the rise in Virginia

By Frankie Jupiter, fjupiter@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 09 2013 05:24:04 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 09:39:51 AM EDT

Kudzu bugs are new to our area. WDBJ7'S Frankie Jupiter joins us live, he's back from Franklin County where the bugs have been spotted.

Franklin County -

The Kudzu bugs are foreign but they're certainly making themselves at home, spreading rapidly in crops throughout the southeast.

“What's going to happen is it's going to rob this plant of needed moisture that it's going to need to survive, which is going to lead to crop stress,” said Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent, Sean Duff.

A Franklin County soy bean field has been invaded with the bugs. If the number of Kudzu bugs continues to grow it could cause trouble. Continual stress on the plants causes damage or kills the plant.

“What they'll actually do is attach at the bottom of the leaf, where it attaches to the stem. They're actually going to sink their mouth part into the stem into the phloem of the plant, basically removing moisture from the plant,” said Duff.

“In 2009 the bugs were spotted in Georgia and in 2010 they spread across the state and into South Carolina. In 2011 and 2012 they made if as far south as Florida and as far north as Virginia. Presently they're reports of the bugs from Franklin County to Frederick County in northern Virginia.

“Looking at the facts, yes I expect it to get worst but luckily, we do have a way to deal with it,” said Duff.

Pesticides can be used to temporally get rid of the bugs, but it's not advised to do so frequently.

“I've had yet to see a field yet, now that can change very quickly. I have not seen the numbers that warrant coming out and using insecticides as a control yet,” said Duff.