Nematode discovery in the invasive kudzu bug
FL Stubbins, P Agudelo, FPF Reay-Jones, JK Greene
Entomology (College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences)
Megacopta cribraria otherwise known as the kudzu bug is an invasive insect that has spread through much of the southeastern United States. It was first discovered in Georgia in 2009 and has since received agricultural pest status due to its damage on soybean. Since discovery, researchers from all over the southeast have been working together to identify the best ways to manage this insect. Guidance to growers currently recommends insecticide applications when bugs reach a certain number. Alternative avenues are also being explored to avoid or minimize chemical usage. Both non-native and native enemies have been identified which may be able to address the problems that this pest causes on soybean. A nematode was discovered in female adults in South Carolina during dissections as part of a reproductive status study. Caging trials showed that both males and females were infected. This observation provides a basis for future research to assess whether the nematode has a significant role in reducing kudzu bug populations.