First it was the stink bugs, now the kudzu bugs join them in invading homes for the winter.
Kudzu bugs (Megacopta cribraria) are native to India and China. In the U.S., they were first detected in northeastern Georgia in October 2009, according to clemson.edu. Since that time, they have spread throughout Georgia, South Carolina and other Southern states.
"We haven't seen the bugs any further north than Georgia in large populations," said Wayne Gardner. Gardner is a professor of Entomology with the University of Georgia. "States further north don't have large crops of soybeans or kudzu. Without these plants, the kudzu bugs cannot thrive."
Adult kudzu bugs measure about 1/4 of an inch long. They are light brown with an olive hue and are almost square in appearance. Their eggs are light tan and barrel-shaped. The kudzu bugs lay their eggs on plants leaves in two rows. In the southeastern U.S., the adult kudzu bugs can produce two generations of offspring in a year.
Despite the bug's appearance, it is not a beetle. It is more closely related to the stink bugs.
Similar to the stink bugs, the kudzu seek sheltered areas in the fall for overwintering. They will seek cracks, crevices and voids around homes. Research has shown that the bugs prefer light-colored homes, especially white.
The kudzu bugs secrete a foul odor that can stain wall coverings, fabrics and even skin. Some sensitive individuals who have handled the bugs have developed blisters from the excretion.
To help prevent an invasion of your home, you should cut back any kudzu patches and wisteria close to the house. The bugs love these plants. They are good fliers so it is possible you could end up with the kudzu bugs on you home.
Be sure to seal all cracks and crevices you find. Make sure screens on all the windows, the soffit vents and the peak vents are secure and in good condition.
Should the bugs find their way into your house, avoid crushing them as they can cause stains. The best way to remove them is to vacuum them up. An industrial vacuum works best, as odors can linger in a traditional vacuum. Add 1-2 tablespoons of dish liquid per gallon of water then add a few gallons to the vacuum canister. The dish liquid and water will kill any kudzu bugs you vacuum up. If you have to use a traditional vacuum, be sure to throw away the bag as soon as you are done.
Another option is to spray the bugs with insecticide. Most insecticides available for purchase by consumers are effective at killing the bugs. Be sure to read the label and purchase the right one suggest for indoor or outdoor use (depending where you will spray).
If you choose to spray the bugs before they enter your home, the best time to spray them during the fall months is during daylight hours when the temperature begins to cool before evening.
Once the bugs are dead, be sure to remove any large concentrations. The dead bugs will begin to stink over time and may attract other pests.
If your infestation is extremely large, you may need to hire a professional exterminator.
Smoke created hazy, orange views in Los Angeles on Saturday as the Sand Fire continued to rage less than 40 miles away from the city's downtown.
Darby will continue to deliver locally heavy rain, gusty winds and rough surf to Hawaii into early Monday. But the tropical storm will provide long-term benefits.
Dangerous heat will surge northward and send temperatures soaring across the northwestern United States during the final week of July.
Much of the eastern United States will continue to swelter with above-average temperatures into the end of the month.
Downpours will spread from the lower Mississippi Valley to eastern and central Texas early this week, delivering needed rain but raising the concern for flash flooding.
With the heat of summer comes many unwelcomed pests, including mosquitoes, ants, fruit flies, wasps and stink bugs, into outdoor spaces and homes.
Tucson, AZ (1952)
60-mph winds ripped roofs off an apartment complex and an airplane hangar, sweeping dust and sand through the city and leaving 200 persons homeless.
North Carolina (1975)
Lightning killed 13 cows during a thunderstorm at Kenansville. Heavy rains elsewhere in the state forced the Tar River out of its banks at Greenville, causing 14 families to evacuate their homes.
New York (1975)
Severe thunderstorms in western and central NY: lightning struck a city park in Rochester injuring 12 children, all were playing on a metal jungle gym. One patrolman described the scene as if "someone threw a stick of dynamite in the middle of the crowd and it blew."