Kudzu bugs aren’t just any old type of stink bug – they’re an invasive species that has laid waste to crops in the Southeast for almost a decade. Though they’re small, they make their presence known with a truly foul smell that can make your home a very unpleasant place to be. Learn more about these nuisance pests and how to spot them.
What Are Kudzu Bugs?
Kudzu bugs are a type of agricultural pest native to India and China. They were first detected in Georgia in 2009 and have since spread throughout the southern United States. Adults grow to be about 1/4 of an inch in length, and are a mottled light brown and olive green in color. Their body is square in shape and they have beak-like sucking mouthparts that they use for feeding on kudzu and other plants and crops.
Are They a Type of Beetle?
No, kudzu bugs are not a type of beetle. Kudzu bugs are beetle-like in appearance but are considered to be a “true bug” and are more closely related to stink bugs than beetles. There are a few ways to distinguish kudzu bugs from other species of stink bugs. Kudzu bugs have more of a rounded body shape than the triangular or semi-elliptical shape of typical stink bugs. Their exoskeletons are also segmented, with a “seam” running the width of its back, separating it into two parts.
Do Kudzu Bugs Stink?
Yes, kudzu bugs stink. As a defense mechanism, they release a very foul smell when touched, poked, or squashed. This foul-smelling pheromone is produced in the form of a liquid, which can occasionally cause a burning sensation and a red welt to appear on bare skin. If kudzu bugs have invaded a home in large numbers, the smell can become quite potent and overtake the home.
Are Kudzu Bugs a Nuisance Pest or a Destructive One?
Kudzu bugs are considered to be nuisance pests inside homes because they invade in large numbers and their foul smell can cause quite an annoyance for homeowners. However, they are first and foremost agricultural pests; when they feed on plants in large numbers they can be quite destructive to crops such as soybeans and other legumes. They are generally considered harmless to both humans and houseplants. The one upside is that the presence of kudzu bugs has been shown to reduce the growth rate of kudzu vines, which are another invasive species to the Southeast.
Why Do Kudzu Bugs Come Inside?
Kudzu bugs are a type of overwintering pest. When the weather cools in the fall, kudzu bugs seek the warmth and protected shelter of homes and other buildings. They flock to the outside walls of homes which have been warmed by the sun and will slip inside through cracks, crevices, and wall voids in search of their overwintering shelter. It has been discovered that light-colored or white home exteriors attract kudzu bugs more than dark exteriors. This is because the bugs cannot see very well, and the light reflecting off of those surfaces attracts them. Over the winter months, kudzu bugs enter diapause, a hibernation-like state where they do not feed or breed. You may not even know they’re in your home until they “wake up” in early spring in order to move out of your home and back outside.
How Does Allgood Pest Solutions Provide Kudzu Bug Control?
The best way to control foul-smelling kudzu bugs and keep other common household pests from invading your home is with professional pest control services from Allgood Pest Solutions. Our experts will find all the areas in your home where kudzu bugs are hiding and eliminate them safely and quickly. At Allgood, we control kudzu bugs and other pests year-round with our home pest control programs. If you’re dealing with a kudzu bug infestation in Georgia or Tennessee, don’t wait another minute – contact us today!