Kudzu Bugs Posing Problems

Photo: Mississippi State University.
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Starkville, Mississippi After just one year in Mississippi, invasive kudzu bugs are becoming a management headache in soybeans and a pest in houses. And the pea-sized bugs made their way into Louisiana this year, probably as hitchhikers.

Farmers and entomologists in both states had been watching for an invasion since July 2012, when kudzu bugs were spotted in Vicksburg -- about 270 miles west of the nearest Alabama county where they'd been seen.

In June, the LSU AgCenter confirmed its arrival in a soybean field in Madison Parish. By the end of July, it had been found in 17 Mississippi counties, and in soybean fields in seven of those counties.

Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist Angus Catchot says the highest numbers found were in southwest Mississippi near Warren County.