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KUDZU BUGS, an invasive soybean pest from Asia, were discovered mid-July in Vicksburg, Miss. Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologists are monitoring the state’s soybean fields and say the insect can be controlled. (Photo by USDA-ARS /Richard Evans)
A new invasive pest was recently added to the list of insects Mississippi soybean growers must watch for — the kudzu bug. In mid-July, the small Asian beetle was discovered in Warren and Montgomery counties.
MSU Extension row crop entomologist Angus Catchot said entomologists and growers in neighboring states have experience fighting the insect.
“Entomologists in the Southeast have been working with this pest for several years, and they say we can control the pest fairly easily with the currently registered insecticides already used in soybeans,” Catchot said. “It’s not in Mississippi’s soybeans yet. It may take one to three years, but we expect to see it in soybeans in the near future. I think we’ll be able to manage this pest when it hits.”
Catchot said kudzu bugs are probably in other areas of the state.
“We’re going to start doing extensive surveys soon. Mississippi producers have consultants who look at nearly every acre of soybeans, so I do not think it will catch us by surprise,” he said. “Once we learn more, I’m confident the Extension Service will provide education to growers on when to treat and what to treat with.”