A single adult Kudzu bug was collected on June 16, 2014 from a Kudzu patch located at near KY mile marker #1 on the north-bound right-of-way of I-24 (Christian County). No nymphs or eggs were collected. This represents the first confirmed occurrence of this invasive pest in the western Kentucky grain crops production area.
The bug was collected with a 15-inch sweep net in the first 20-sweep subsample of the first 100-sweep sample taken at this location. Subsequently, four more 100-sweep samples were taken with no further Kudzu bugs found. Clearly this is not a large infestation. Additionally, this location is relatively isolated from soybean fields, and is bordered by pasture.
It is unlikely that this find represents the beginning of an economically important infestation for 2014. Nevertheless, it does tell us that this location, which is about 200 to 300 yards north of the acceleration ramp coming out of a rest stop, is likely to be infested repeatedly from vehicles traveling at slow speeds as they merge into I-24 traffic. I will not be at all surprised if the population increases through the summer. These are still early days for this bug in our area.
We are very fortunate that the Christian County agriculture agent has located a producer that has soybeans planted very near the deceleration ramp leading into the rest area. I also sampled that field and did not detect any Kudzu bugs. I am much appreciative to the producer for allowing me access to this field. I will continue to sample over the summer as time permits.
Get invasive stink bug information first by following @DrDougStinkBugs on Twitter
By Doug Johnson, Extension Entomologist