In an effort to fight the kudzu bug – an insect that feeds on kudzu, soybeans and other legumes – University of Georgia researcher John Ruberson is looking for natural predators of the insect. A tiny Asian wasp may be the best choice.
The kudzu bug, first spotted in Georgia in the fall of 2009, has become a nuisance to homeowners and a threat to international trade as an agricultural contaminant.
According to a press release by Sharon Dowdy, this summer—in collaboration with colleagues Walker Jones of the USDA-Agricultural Research Service in Stoneville, Miss., and Jeremy Greene of Clemson University—Ruberson plans to test the effectiveness of an egg parasitoid as a kudzu bug control method.
“A parasitoid is an organism that spends the immature portion of its life attached to or within a single host organism causing the host to die,” Dowdy wrote.