The Kudzu Bug Invasion

Published on: 15:45PM Nov 16, 2012

This past season, the South had an unwelcome visitor. Coming in the form of insect pests, the intruder decided to stay all season long. It’s easy to say that kudzu bugs received little hospitality from their newfound landlords – soybean growers.

As the name would suggest, kudzu is this insect pest’s meal of choice. But the kudzu bug demonstrated an extended appetite in 2012. The new meal to spice up their diet? You guessed it: soybeans. Hailing all the way from Asia, the kudzu bug was first spotted in Georgia in the fall of 2009, according to researchers from Clemson University Extension. The pests took little time to invade more of the South, spreading through South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee, leaving behind a trail of damaged soybeans.

Kudzu bug adults

According to researchers at North Carolina State University, the kudzu bug moves from kudzu patches and other legume hosts in the spring to soybeans in July and August. It feeds by sucking nutrients from leaves and stems, causing stress in the plant. Large, uncontrolled populations of these nutrient-robbing pests have the potential to significantly reduce yields. Average yield loss for untreated soybeans due to kudzu bugs has been observed at 20 percent in South Carolina and Georgia, but could be as high as 50 percent, as reported by researchers at Clemson University.

How do we stop this unwanted visitor from destroying our soybean yield? Growers are encouraged to begin scouting for the pest in the spring and continue scouting for future generations throughout the season. (Scouters beware: the kudzu bug emits a foul odor when disturbed, similar to its stinkbug cousins.) Without a doubt, proactive management of this prolific invasive pest will minimize damage and preserve yield.

To ensure effective kudzu management for next season, researchers throughout the Southeast are working hard to help growers by determining proper scouting methods, precise economic thresholds and the best control measures for the insect. This work has clearly indicated that among registered options there is a short list of insecticides that provide the most effective control. Among the short list is a Syngenta offer. Endigo® ZC insecticide quickly helps combat kudzu bugs and provides extended residual control of these and other soybean insect pests. To maximize your opportunity for a profitable harvest next season, be sure to take advantage of industry-leading pest control from Syngenta.

For more information about Endigo ZC and other products in the Syngenta portfolio, please visit the And be sure to follow Syngenta on Twitter or Facebook.

©2012 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow all bag tag and label instructions before buying or using Syngenta products. The instructions contain important conditions of sale, including limitations of warranty and remedy. Some crop protection products and seed treatments may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your state or local extension service before buying or using these products. Endigo ZC is a Restricted Use Pesticide. Endigo ZC is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops and weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift onto blooming plants while bees are foraging adjacent to the treatment area. Endigo® and the Syngenta logo are registered trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company.