Kudzu. Any American southerners are very familiar with this beautiful yet vicious vine. It's known as "the plant that ate the South".
Yesterday afternoon my grandfather came over to sit on the porch and talk about things, he's old and has been in this town his entire life. He
usually ends up telling me about the way things used to be and I love hearing him talk, even though sometimes he forgets I wasn't alive when any of
this stuff happened.
Well yesterday he said something that piqued my interest. We were talking about the corn crops here and how incredibly large they are for this time of
year. That saying "knee high by July" and you have a good crop? Yeah, the corn is over head high and it's June. He started telling me a story about
how he was climbing a telephone
pole (used to work for the phone company) that was covered in Kudzu and something about thinking if he fell he would fall into a pit of snakes. I
don't always understand him, he doesn't have many teeth left.
"That damn bug, it's destroying the farmers". I tuned back in to what he was saying "What bug?" I asked. He proceeded to tell me that "they"
released a bug in the South to eat the Kudzu, but come to find out the bug likes Soy Beans better and is eating all the crops. He also said they
can't find a way to kill it.
Of course my next question was "Who are 'They'?"
"Well the Government of course"
We chatted a while longer, then I started to look into things.
Megacopta cribrari, as this member of the stinkbug family is known in scientific circles, was first identified near Atlanta in late October 2009.
Since then, it has spread to most of Georgia and North Carolina, all of South Carolina, and several counties in Alabama.And it shows no signs of
stopping. Kudzu and soybeans are both legumes. The bug — also known as the bean plataspid — breeds and feeds in the kudzu patches until soybean
planting time, then crosses over to continue the moveable feast, says Tracie Jenkins, a plant geneticist at the University of Georgia.
It's not exactly NEW information, this article was written in October of 2011, but I couldn't find anything on it in the search function.I've tried
to find out information about "where" this bug came from, and ran across a bunch of "we don't knows" and this
Like our other favorite stink bug, the kudzu bug was introduced from Asia. It is very distinctive looking. It is about the size of a pea (1/6”-
¼”), olive green with brown speckles and flat across the back end. They are “true bugs” and have piercing-sucking mouthparts.
Maybe the worst news: They first turned up in Atlanta in 2009, and DNA testing in both states indicates that all these millions of kudzu bugs came
from a single female, said entomologist Merle Shepard.
I can tell you personally I've seen these but didn't know what they were. I assumed they were some sort of ladybug but they don't look like
ladybugs. They have caused me to freak out a couple of times when landing on my son because they also look like ticks. They are EVERYWHERE, and to be
honest, I havn't seen a "true" ladybug in a long time.
Thoughts? Anyone else know any information about this?