Kudzu bug (a.k.a. bean plataspid, Megacopta cribraria Fabricus) has recently been confirmed on kudzu in Union County and has potentially been found on wisteria in Transylvania County, North Carolina. I am awaiting the samples from Transylvania to confirm this identification. It is likely in other parts of the state, but because we have not done a concentrated search, its distribution in North Carolina is largely unknown.
Kudzu bug is a legume feeder and will feed on soybean in large numbers. We are concerned that this new invasive insect will become a major yield reducer in the future. Confirmed hosts are mainly legumes, but include cotton, wheat, and potato. Although many plants are confirmed hosts, kudzu bug may not feed extensively on them or may not reproduce on them. Soybean is the main agronomic host for this insect.
We are tracking this pest and would appreciate your contacting Dominic Reisig by electronic mail or telephone (252)793-4428 x133 if you find this pest in a non-confirmed county. If you can also provide GPS coordinates, as well as the plant on which it was found, it would enhance our ability to respond to this new threat. Please use caution not to spread this pest from field to field if you find it.From: Dominic Reisig, NCSU Extension Entomologist