Dealing with Kudzu Bugs in the Winter

Megacopta_cribraria - Kudzu Bugs Winter

Like many other insects, when the weather starts getting colder, the kudzu bug searches for an escape from the outdoors. This can prove extremely difficult for gardeners. No worries though. Here at Gracious Gardening, we came up with a bunch of tips that will help you keep this pest away from your greenhouse and garden.

As far as your greenhouse goes, start out by sealing any and every crack found around windows and doors. You can do this with either caulk or screen. Once that’s done, check that there are no gaps under doors and near soffits. If necessary, install door sweeps on all outside doors. By doing all this, you are preventing the kudzu bug from finding an opening into your greenhouse.

If you find the kudzu bug inside your greenhouse or in your garden, do not kill it. Instead, we suggest that you use a vacuum to remove them. This type of insect won’t damage your property or hurt you, but they do emit an unpleasant odor and may stain surfaces when crushed. Besides using a vacuum, you can spray pesticides directly on the bugs to get rid of them. The most effective sprays are those that contain a synthetic pyrethroid as the active ingredient. Overall, organic pesticides do not work very well, although pyrethrins may react slightly better than the rest. Make sure that you read and follow all label directions before using any pesticide. However, since kudzu bugs congregate in large numbers, sprays do little to control the population.

During the winter months, kudzu bugs are most active in the afternoon. This is because temperatures warm up later in the day. If you find that your garden is infested with this kind of insect, we recommend gardening in the morning.  This allows you to do what needs to be done before kudzu bugs come out in full force. They also are generally fascinated by light colors and reflective surfaces, and therefore flock to items of this nature in the garden. If you fill your garden with dark plants, this will help alleviate the issue. Currently, there are no traps on the market that are known for attracting and killing these bugs. For those who become overwhelmed by the kudzu bugs, we advise that you contact your local pest management company.

Photo credit: Wikipedia Commons