Dubious Honor for the Farm:

Chatham County’s “first-sighting” of the Kudzu Bug

Committee member, Jane Kollmann sent the Chatham County Extension Service a picture of the latest insect to appear inside the Farm:

Kudzu Bugs love legume plants

Unfortunately, the response from Chatham County wasn’t what Jane wanted to hear: a positive ID for the dreaded Kudzu (or sometimes called a Stinkbug), infester and unwanted inhabitant for the legume family.  Pole Beans, peas and bush beans are this bug’s favorite choice of meal.  It sucks the life-juices of the plants by attaching to the vines and stalks then piercing the skin and drinking to abandon…death of the plant occurs soon after.  It has wreaked havoc for the soy and peanut industries in the Southeastern states.

These bugs are flyers and can be cleared off the plant by a stiff wind or by a good quick shake from you but they will come back eventually. First seen in Georgia in 2009, ours may be the first reported to the Extension Service in our county.  They recommend that any insecticide will kill them, but being rapid multipliers, these bugs may take several applications to completely eradicate from your plot.

One Farmer has used repeated sprayings of a diluted soapy water recipe which has had a noticeable positive effect.  Here are two links for further information:

http://www.walterreeves.com/insects-and-animals/kudzu-bug-control-in-garden-beans-and-peas/ http://m.onlineathens.com/uga/2012-05-02/tiny-wasp-may-hold-key-controlling-kudzu-bug http://chronicle.augusta.com/life/home/gardening/2012-05-10/kudzu-bugs-have-very-dark-side

Stay attentive and keep on these guys if they are in your plot.  They view our Farm as “the pot at the end of the rainbow” so we are all going to have to stay vigilant…farming is great but sometimes it ain’t easy. (5/13/12)