Frequently Asked Questions About Kudzu Bugs

According to the Nature Conservancy, a plant that is native to Japan, the kudzu, was introduced in the United States in 1876 and for years afterwards, farmers were encouraged to plant this vine to prevent soil erosion. Unfortunately, this vine is invasive, spreads quickly and attracts a pesky insect that is becoming a serious problem throughout parts of the United States, the kudzu bug.

Even if you've never heard of the kudzu bug, there is a chance this nasty invader could make its way into your home. If you've found a strange and smelly insect in your home and suspect it's a kudzu bug, here are some frequently asked questions about this invasive species:

What Are Kudzu Bugs?

Known for their foul odor, kudzu bugs, or Megacopta cribaria, are originally from Asia and according to Live Science, were first discovered living in the state of Georgia in 2009. However, from there the bugs quickly spread to other parts of the United States, and they continue to become a larger nuisance as time goes on.

Kudzu bugs are small, feature a square body and are either green-brown or brown in color. They have wings and their most distinctive characteristics are their large front teeth, which look like fangs are used to suck the juice from the kudzu vine, and their smell. When the kudzu bug feels threatened, it emits a strong odor.

What makes the kudzu bug such a nuisance is that in addition to feeding on the kudzu vines, they also enjoy several other types of crops and plants, including sunflowers and soybeans. If you have a small patch of soybeans, or enjoy growing sunflowers in your backyard, you may notice the presence of kudzu bugs.

How Do You Know if You Have a Kudzu Bug Infestation?

Like other types of insects, including boxelder bugs and Japanese beetles, the kudzu insect typically remains outside feasting on a variety of vegetation during the warmer summer months. However, once the temperatures begin to drop, like the boxelder and Japanese beetle, the kudzu will make its way into your home.

It will not be difficult for you to tell if your home is infested with kudzu bugs because, this pest will enter your home in large numbers. Once again, kudzu bugs also emit a very unpleasant odor when threatened, so this is another tell-tale sign you're dealing with kudzu bugs, and not a beetle or other type of insect.

How Can You Get Rid of Kudzu Bugs?  

Unfortunately, if kudzu bugs make their way into your home they can be tricky to eliminate. This is because not only will they emit a foul odor when threatened, stomped or squished, the dead bugs will also leave behinds brown stains that are difficult to eliminate.

The best line of defense against kudzu bugs is to not allow them entrance into your home. Begin by checking your doors, windows and window screens for any damage. Seal any cracks and crevices and repair any tears or holes in your window screen. Also, make sure that any vents around your home, such as the soffit and ridge vents in your attic and the dryer vent, are covered with a mesh screen.

If the kudzu bugs do manage to make their way into your home, the most effective way to eliminate them without leaving behind unsightly stains is to contact a professional. A professional exterminator will have the tools and equipment necessary to eliminate the kudzu without triggering them to emit their foul odor.

The kudzu insect is becoming a growing problem in several parts of the United States. If you suspect you have a kudzu infestation, either outside or inside of your home, don't hesitate to contact companies like Chem-Wise Ecological Pest Management.