Recently, we’ve been noticing that there has been a huge outbreak or swarming of relatives to the common stink bug. These bugs don’t look similar to the common Brown Marmorated Stink Bug that many homeowners find, but just like their relatives, they do give off an odor and they also have tendencies of swarming in mass numbers. Concentrated in the southeast region, Kudzu Bugs or commonly known as Brown Lady Bugs, have begun to look for a place to find shelter for the winter which means it is time to protect your homes!
Kudzu Bugs in America
Just like their relatives, the Brown Mamorated Stink Bugs, these Kudzu bugs are native to Japan and were most likely brought over to America with imported goods or crops. They were first found in large numbers in the state of Georgia in 2009 and since then, they have been seen in more than 60 northern and central Georgia counties as well as in some other states in the southeast region like South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. Before they were found in Georgia, Kudzu bugs were not known to be found in the entire Western Hemisphere at all.
Kudzu bugs are going to look very similar to the common pest called Lady Asian Beetle (also common known as the Lady Bug) hence their common name, Brown Lady Bug. Adult Kudzu bugs grow no more than 6 mm long and look very stout or robust. They are olive green in color and many will be speckled with dark brown spots or patterns. Many people will refer to them as a distant relative to the Brown Marmorated stink bug because like them, Kudzu bugs will release an odor when they are attacked or disturbed in any way.
Kudzu Vines as a Host
Initially, when Kudzu bugs were first discovered in Georgia, they were on surfaces of structures in mass numbers and flying to and from Kudzu vines that were nearby. In Asia, where they originated from, one of the preferred food sources or hosts of these brown lady bugs are the kudzu vines. Kudzu vines were first introduced over a hundred years ago to slow down soil erosion on the ground. The vine that is considered invasive and is known as the “vine that ate the south” is now being eaten by invasive Kudzu bugs. Researchers are now saying that as long as there are Kudzu vines, there will be Kudzu bugs and these bugs are also not limited to the south. Where the Kudzu vines are, the Kudzu bugs will also be.
Kudzu bugs, like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, will not damage your house in any way. However, Kudzu bugs are one of the largest nuisance bugs because of their habits of overwintering. Like many crawling insect pests or pests in general, they will seek places to protect them from low and very cold temperatures. Most likely, this will be your house. Many people will begin to notice that they these insect pests, including Kudzu bugs will cling onto surfaces that are heated up by the sun and will soon try to make their move to enter buildings and structures to find warmer temperatures. Even if you are unable to find them inside, they may already be well hidden and you may not even know that they are inside. However, the following spring, as the climate and temperatures increase, they will once again, begin to move. However, rather than moving inside, they will begin to try and leave your home and return to their normal cycle of life. You’ll most likely find them around your windows or door frames in mass numbers. For Kudzu bugs, they not only sought out warm surfaces, but it’s noticed that they are especially drawn to light colored or painted buildings. All the while, Kudzu bugs were especially a huge nuisance, because they give off an unpleasant odor. This is a complete inconvenience because it even rids you of using the traditional option of “crushing with shoes or newspapers.”
Even outside, it’s not surprising to walk around and have Kudzu bugs cling to your clothes, get mixed up in your hair, cling to cars, and etc. They fly and they crawl which makes them all the more difficult to prevent them from getting inside your homes. So! Be prepared. Their worst enemy will be the cold and so make sure you are taking the right steps to keep them from going inside your house and keeping them outside.