Kudzu Bug

Infestations of kudzu bug on kudzu or soybean have been reported from most soybean producing areas of Tennessee, and this invasive insect has spread rapidly through the state. Adult kudzu bugs are about the same size as adult lady beetles. They are approximately 1/4-inch long, almost square in shape with a brown to olive-green hue. The immature stages are more rounded, smaller and “hairy”. Eggs of kudzu bugs are light-colored, barrel-shaped, and placed on leaves or other plant parts in two rows. Kudzu bugs are generally found on the stems where they feed on plant juices (phloem). They do not feed on seeds. It takes many kudzu bugs to cause economic damage to soybean, but infestation levels may reach hundreds of bugs per plant.

In an average sized field, take 25 sweeps with a sweep net and count the number of immature kudzu bugs that are found at 4 locations. Increase the number of sampling sites in large fields (> 50 acres). Kudzu bug infestations often begin once plants start blooming. Infestations in soybean, at least initially, are often concentrated on field edges. Randomly select sampling locations and make treatment based on field average counts.

Treat between emergence and R1 when 5 or more kudzu bugs are found per plant. From R1 to R7, treat when an average of 1 or more immature kudzu bugs are present per sweep (25 per 25 sweeps).


Management Options

Insecticide (Trade Names) for KUDZU BUGLb Active Ingredient per AcreAmount Formulation per AcrePerformance Rating
acephate 90 (Orthene 90S)0.75 - 0.990.83 - 1.10 lb7
bifenthrin (Brigade 2E, Discipline 2E, Fanfare 2E)0.078 - 0.105 - 6.4 oz9+
γ-cyhalothrin (Declare 1.25)0.0125 - 0.0151.28 - 1.54 oz8
λ-cyhalothrin (Karate 2.08, Warrior II)0.0311.92 oz9
Z-cypermethrin (Mustang Max 0.8E)0.0254 oz9
  • Treatment based only on the presence of adults is generally discouraged because reinfestations may occur quickly, and it takes sustained infestations to cause yield loss.
  • One well-timed insecticide application will generally provide satisfactory control.
  • A white-colored fungus, Beauveria bassiana, often attacks kudzu bugs and suppresses or almost completely controls infestations.
  • For more information see http://www.utcrops.com/soybean/soybean_insects/SoybeanKudzuBug.htm.