On Dec 13, 2009, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:
November 4, 2009
Statewide Emergency Pest Alert
Please Read and Please Act
In mid- to late-October County Extension Agents with the Georgia Cooperative Extension Service (University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) and individuals from several independent pest management firms filed multiple reports (including physical samples) with the University of Georgia’s Homeowner Insect & Weed Diagnostics Laboratory (Ms. Lisa Ames) and an Extension Specialist (Dr. Dan Suiter) regarding large numbers of insects that had “swarmed” onto the sides of homes and other structures (see photos below). Homeowners often complain of an offensive or bitter smell associated with the insect. Further investigation has revealed that this insect is not native to the U.S. and may be a significant threat to Georgia agriculture. Dr. Joe Eger, a research entomologist with Dow AgroSciences, in conjunction with entomologists from the USDA-ARS Systematics Entomology Laboratory (Washington, D.C.) and North Dakota State University has identified this insect as Megacopta cribraria (Hemiptera: Plataspidae), commonly known as the “bean plataspid”. It is not previously known from the U.S. It is currently found on Kudzu in Georgia. It is native to India and China, where it feeds on Kudzu. It has been reported as a pest of numerous legume crops, including soybeans. The University of Georgia, Georgia Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of Agriculture are partnering to take action where appropriate. To further determine this insect’s distribution within Georgia, we need your help, as follows:
First, should you (pest control operators) receive reports from homeowners regarding large numbers of insects on buildings or vehicles we need you to contact us with an emailed digital image of the offending insect OR the mailing of a physical sample of 20-30 insects (in alcohol in a sealed container). ALL submissions must include appropriate collection data---i.e., collection date, detailed location (street address or GPS coordinates), and the collector’s contact information (name, email or phone).
Secondly, in the coming days we need you to visit a couple Kudzu patches (even ones close to your home or next to the places you shop or otherwise frequent) and look for this insect. If you find it, please notify us as outlined in #1.
Should you find this insect, either on buildings or in a Kudzu patch, please notify us immediately. We are trying to determine its distribution in Georgia so that proper actions can be taken, if appropriate.
Megacopta cribraria (4-5 mm)
Insects aggregated in a corner.
Insects on fascia boards.
Dr. Dan Suiter, UGA Griffin Campus, Department of Entomology, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223; 770-233-6114; firstname.lastname@example.org. D. Suiter authored this Pest Alert.
Ms. Lisa Ames, UGA Griffin Campus, Department of Entomology, Homeowner Insect & Weed Diagnostics Laboratory, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223; 770-228-7220 (afternoons only); email@example.com.
To avoid duplication of reports, please make contact with just one of the individuals above.
On May 6, 2012, Sinfullysweet from Royston, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Fighting literally every day to keep these horrible bugs off my fig bush, and my green beans. Seven Dust 5% is not effective against them. Doesn't phase them. Using different pesticides to try to control them against my damaging my garden. My beans are literally covered with thousands of them.
The damage they do is stripping all moisture from the plant to where it looks like it has been scorched (burned).
On Mar 26, 2013, drgirl from Hemby Bridge, NC wrote:
Zone 7(b) North Carolina
Last fall these bugs (called kudzu bugs) swarmed our house and neighbor's houses. We had to run in & out the front door to try to avoid them, and even then we'd end up with some on our clothing. The problem is that they can stink and can cause an itchy rash on many people thanks to a chemical they secrete!
They settled in the thousands on my green bean plants and raspberry bush and killed the bean plants before the beans could mature. As the weather turned cold, they settled into every protected place they could find - under leaves, in the bark of our eucalyptus tree, and all over the branches of my artemisia (wormwood), which they attacked and sucked dry. I've tried several pesticides with minimal result. There are just SO MANY of them & I'm sure they're all over my neighbors' plants too.
Now the weather is getting warm and they're flying around again. I dread what's going to happen with my vegetable garden this year.
We rented a house last year in Greenville, SC while my husband was there for work that had these things literally EVERYWHERE. My children were afraid to go anywhere because we had to run in and out of swarms of them to get in and out of the house! The exterminators (we called 3 different ones) all said there's not much they could do about them, but that it would be bad because they were attracted to the white siding on the house. I was so glad to come back home to GA to get away from them!
Now spring is here and guess what has come with it?! UGH! Luckily our home has cream siding so they aren't all over the house like they were in SC, and our home has a built on garage so no running through them. Nothing seems to kill them (or if it does, they hatch and re-infest quickly, and the exterminators here in GA don't seem to know how to get rid of them either. I know it isn't us that some how brought them back here. We came back this winter and my neighbor said they ate up her vegetable garden last year before it even matured. So apparently they were a problem here last year as well.