You know how nature sometimes brings nemesis to situations that are meant to cause evil, but the situations somehow still find a way to wreak havoc on you.
This is the case with kudzu bugs.
Kudzu bugs are pests that attack kudzu plants as well as useful plants in the soil.
Does this mean that kudzu plants aren’t useful? No. They are useful, just that they have attained the feature of invasiveness and are now treated as weeds, except the species a farmer consciously decides to plant by himself.
The Kudzu plant is a seasonal perennial that serves as plant covers. It goes by the botanical name Pueraria Montana.
It also blooms to produce beautifully colored flowers that help increase the appeal of your landscape.
In parts of the United States of America, the Kudzu plant is selectively bred and used as organic mulches.
Kudzu plants are vines that can climb and creep with the ability to reach about thirty meters in one year.
It is native to the Eastern cities of Asia and grows very well in temperate regions. The flowers have fragrances and vary from purple to red and yellow.
Kudzu plants are fast growers and can spread rapidly by asexual reproduction processes. Its quick growth is the reason why it is treated as invasive, growing in areas where it is usually not needed.
Now to the kudzu bugs.
Kudzu bugs are pests popular in Asia where they are known for the destruction of kudzu plants.
Kudzu bugs are also called bean bugs. They are shaped like shields and can do considerable amounts of damage to your plants.
Kudzu pests are harmless to humans and plants that are grown indoors. Their point of attack is usually the open-grown garden kudzus.
They are often attracted to the house by bright lights and white colors that look really shiny to their simple eyes.
These pests have as a survival trait, the act of releasing a foul smell- pheromone.
This smell keeps predators away from them as well as assembles nearby kudzu bugs. If the pheromones get on bare skin, they could cause burning sensations in humans.
These pests produce eggs that are fertilized by the males and hatch into nymphs fed fat with the sap of plants.
Kudzu bugs on gardens are not a good sight to behold. They eat up the leaves and suck the cell sap of kudzu plants as well as every other useful plant in the garden.
This means that massive infestations on a garden would leave every plant, shrub, and weed eaten up.
Their parasitic mode of feeding is the reason why they are considered a risk.
Kudzu bugs that penetrate houses, do not bite or leave scratch marks on humans. They rather release pheromones on human skin that causes itching and rashes.
Rashes are very discomforting conditions on the skin and I wouldn’t want to have one. I don’t know if you like a rash, but I’m certain that no one wants a condition that puts their comfortable living at risk.
Hence, you need to take steps to control these bugs from thriving around your gardens and home.
The best way to control the kudzu bug pests is by preventing initial infestation.
Once they are greatly prevented from having access to the garden and plants, the rate of infestation comes off really low.
With low infestation levels, it is quite easy to control the pests.
In this article, I am taking it upon myself to show you the best ways to control the kudzu bug pests in your garden.
How To Control Kudzu Bugs on Plants.
Kudzu pests will cause massive losses if they are not properly controlled and gotten rid of in the garden.
If you’d want to get rid of kudzu pests from your kudzu plants, your home, and your garden, the following can help;
- Hand Removal
- Early Spray with Pesticides
- Late Spray with Pesticides
- Application of Horticultural oils
- Keeping them out
Kudzu bug pests have defensive mechanisms, yea, but they cannot really stay safe from these control techniques for too long.
This implies that even though at the initial commencement of these procedures, there is no sign of improvement on the plants, you need to keep applying the methods.
These pests can be stubborn to remove. You need to prove more doggedness and in no time, every kudzu bug would have been ousted from your garden.
1. Hand Removal
This method involves the manual act of using hands to remove pests from plants and leaves that have been infested.
These pests- kudzu bugs, aren’t microscopic and so can be seen with natural eyes.
Hand removal is the act of picking each of these pests from the leaves and destroying them.
If Kudzu Bugs have found their way into your homes, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get these pests off the surfaces where they have attached themselves.
They are usually not so difficult to spot since they are attracted to white surfaces and bright lights.
After vacuuming, dispose of them while still in the bag to prevent them from flying off.
You could also dip the Vacuum bag in hot water to kill the bugs.
In disposing of the bugs, do not try to smash them. They’d leave permanent stain marks on the surface you smashed them on.
By smashing, you also release the foul-smelling pheromone.
So, adopt a disposal method that does not spill the contents of this bug.
2. Early Spray with Pesticides
Early spray connotes the application of pesticides during the developing stages of the kudzu pests.
Early-stage, as in, when they are still really young and growing. When they are still nymphs with little or no means of resistance to pesticides.
This method is very reliable and helps keep your plant free from the kudzu bug through the rest of the year.
Spraying Kudzu pests early means spraying the pests using pesticides from the start of winter.
There are still some of the nymphs that manage to escape this spray and mature into adults. This is why the next step is necessary.
3. Late Spray with Pesticides
The late spray is usually done in Autumn, to target matured kudzu bugs.
The pests that escape early spray are targeted when they are matured by specific pesticides that destroy them.
Pesticides like cypermethrin can get into the cells of kudzu bugs and cause ruptures that leak off the cell components.
Pesticides also inhibit the respiratory functions of grown kudzu bugs which interfere with their life processes.
The pesticides that you use should be permethrin-based. This is because permethrin-based pesticides are very essential for handling pests in gardens.
Care should be taken during spray to prevent the pesticides from leaking into water bodies as they tend to be harmful to aquatic organisms.
4. Application of Horticultural Oils
You’re probably tired of hearing about how effective neem oil is in keeping pests at bay, both in houseplants and garden-grown plants.
Well, this is because the neem oil is as effective as you heard. It is everything you have heard about it and even more.
Neem oil contains chemical components that inhibit kudzu bug growth and propagation on leaves of plants.
Neem oil can be sprayed with an overhead sprayer on every leaf in the garden without caution as to pollution or side effects on plants.
This is because Neem oil is classically safe for plants and does not lead to pollution in the water bodies of aquatic animals.
5. Keeping Them Out
Pests are drawn to unhealthy growing plants.
Therefore to keep the pests out, you need to maintain a good growing condition for the plant.
Ensure the plants are having the right amount of water and sunlight. Use fertile potting soil and do not let the pH level be something below or above the required growing conditions of the plant.
Practice the art of pruning off bushy plants as well as parts of the plants that have pests.
By doing this, you are actually helping the plants stay healthy enough to defend themselves from an initial infestation of the kudzu bug pests.
Make it a routine to regularly check your plants for the presence of risk factors like stress.
Chances are that, when you regularly inspect your plants, you would be able to easily detect early kudzu bug pest’s Infestation and treat it quickly.
Rather than when it is too late.
How Do I Get Rid Of Stink Bugs
Stink bugs look like kudzu bugs in their shield shapes.
They are commonly found in the United States of America.
Stink Bugs get their name from their defense mechanism which involves the release of a stink that keeps predators away from it.
Stink Bugs eat up vegetation and cause death to plants, hence these pests must be controlled.
You can control stink bugs by:
- Engaging in good garden hygiene takes off every breeding ground of pests like stink bugs
- Closing up any hole or entry-way through the walls, that stink bugs can get access through.
- Stink Bugs are also attracted to lights, so at night, put off all the lights close to the plants.
- Use natural herbicides free from chemical components. Herbicides like vinegar and neem oil.
- Introduce natural predators of stink bugs to the plants.
Does Vinegar Keep Stink Bugs Away
Yes, it does.
Vinegar contains acetic acid that is harmful to stink bug pests.
Acetic acid burns through the outer structure of the bug pests and kills them.
To control using vinegar, dilute the solution properly before spraying the plant for pests.
Watch the plants to ensure that it is not reacting badly to the vinegar spray.
If you leave kudzu bug pests in your garden without control, you’d probably wake up one day to realize that you no longer have a garden, but a bush full of destroyed shrubs and flowers.
Kudzu bugs are pests and should be controlled, on time.