oblong, 4 to 6 mm long,


Olive-green colored, and produce a mildly offensive odor when disturbed.

As stated above, kudzu bugs are inactive during the winter months, and seek overwintering sites in the fall. These sites include any crack or crevice where a group of bugs can aggregate. Gaps under the bark of trees, gaps under the siding of homes, and high places (such as the fascia boards and gutters on the edges of homes) are only a few examples of overwintering sites. Kudzu bugs are also attracted to light-colored surfaces, especially the color white: the white siding of a house, a white car, a white shirt, etc. Even though kudzu bugs only reproduce on plants known as legumes, it is not uncommon to find them on most types of vegetation when large numbers are present, including oak and pine trees, tomato plants, azaleas, etc.---plants that are clearly not hosts.

The kudzu bug is getting a reputation as a nuisance to homeowners and those wishing to enjoy the outdoors at two times each year: early spring (March) and the fall (mid-October through late November). Kudzu bugs are less active during the cool mornings of the fall, but when the sun comes out and the temperatures warm, their flying and nuisance activity increases dramatically. Those planning outdoor activities should take this observation into account and try to plan their activities for the morning rather than the afternoon.

Kudzu bugs feed on kudzu and on many other plants such as wisteria, soybeans, and most any bean plant. Some types of wisteria are invasive plants from the same region of the world as kudzu. In the fall, large numbers of kudzu bug will move from plants to sheltered areas to overwinter.

Kudzu bugs possess a few other traits that make them a particular nuisance. When a person is exposed to the kudzu bug, an allergic reaction may occur, resulting in staining of the skin and skin irritation (as pictured below). Additionally, the bugs may invade the house if it is not properly sealed. It is important to remember here that kudzu bugs belong to the same super family as stink bugs and have been known to emit an unpleasant odor that can be hard to get out of your nose, your furniture, your carpet, etc. Crushing the bugs thus becomes a problem, as they emit an unpleasant odor and may stain the surface they are crushed upon.

Kudzu Bug Prevention Tips

  • In the fall, large numbers of kudzu bugs will move from kudzu and other plants to find sheltered locations for overwintering. Cutting back kudzu patches or even other plants such as wisteria that can be removed before the fall should help reduce kudzu bugs around the home.
  • Bottom-line for control: bug proof the outside and have your vacuum ready just in case.

Suggested measures for ensuring that the house is properly sealed against kudzu bugs should be taken in late summer and are as follows:

1. Place screening over possible routes of insect entry into the house

2. Check to make sure screens on windows are well-seated and without holes

3. Check to make sure soffit, ridge, and gable vents are properly screened

4. Stuff steel wool into openings where screening cannot be used, such as around pipe penetrations

5. Make sure doors establish a tight seal when closed

6. Install door sweeps

In the event that kudzu bugs are able to enter the home, it is important to bear in mind that they should not be crushed; a crushed kudzu bug may leave stains on indoor surfaces as well as odors that may prove difficult to eliminate. Rather, they should be vacuumed, and once bagged, placed in hot, soapy water. It is best to avoid using a vacuum that will push them through the motor since they can produce foul smells, the resulting ‘bug goo’ can leave stains, and some people may have an allergic reaction if they come in contact with the ground bug parts. A stocking or pantyhose placed in the vacuum tube and secured to the end of the tube with a rubber band can help by catching the insects before they reach the motor of the vacuum.

Source:,  Daniel R. Suiter, University of Georgia

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