How to control Kudzu Bugs (Also known as the globular stinkbugs)

If you live anywhere near Atlanta you probably want to read this.

Kudzu bugs are everywhere right now. Spend a little bit of time outside and you’re likely to be pestered by these swarming dark colored bugs. One of my daughters thought that it was a lady bug the other day, but I knew otherwise. These bugs have been growing in numbers since 2009 and 2010 when they were confirmed in 60 north and central Georgia counties. Identifying the bugs is not difficult. They are round olive-green colored with brown speckles. They also produce an odor when they are disturbed (hence the commonly used name stinkbug.) They’re actually identified as Megacopta cribraria.

Army of Brown Stink BugsWe can thank the beautiful weather as the reason we’re seeing them swarm so much right now. This is also going to mean that we’ll likely have a rough spring and summer with other insects such as mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. They are hatching from their eggs and resuming their feast on the nearby kudzu patches and other green leafy plants. If you have garden plants, such as beans, they may go after the leaves on those plants as well. The real nuisance is that they are finding homebases for their feeding operations on the sides of homes. Light colored surfaces, especially sunlit walls, make a perfect place for a stinkbug meetup. Then it just takes one curious stinkbug who discovers an entry point to your home to alert the swarm to a newer and better living environment.

If there is anything positive that can be taken away from the kudzu bug is that they do not sting or bite. If they get around your home or even in your home, they should not destroy anything. As I said, the only negatives are the quantity of them that swarm and the smell if you swat one. The jury is still out on whether the kudzu bug will do quantitative destruction to other leafy plants. They are apparently selective eaters. In fact, they don’t actually eat the leaves, but the suck on the juices of the leaf. There is some concern that they could go after soybean and peanut crops.

Now that you know what they are, How do you control them?

Standard insecticide sprays will kill them. Resist the urge to swat them and squish them. Remember what I said about the odor. Even vacuuming them will likely cause the smell to be emitted from the bugs. If they have made it indoors, you could have some stained surfaces from the fluid that produces the odor.  The best thing to do do is to sweep them into a dustpan and dispose of them into a bucket of water. The water will contain the smell.

We have exterior insecticides that can be attached to a water hose for easy use. You can use the insecticide on the leaves that the bugs are swarming around or on the sides of your house if they are congregating there.  The problem that you will likely have is that this is not going to be a one application end to the problem. Because of the ample supply of food, these bugs will likely return. If you have a lot of kudzu around your property, you may need to go to war with their food source. Eliminating or reducing the food source should decrease their presence in your yard. They’ll move on to someone else’s yard and be a nuisance to them.

Of course, we in Georgia also know how difficult it is to get rid of the kudzu.

The University of Georgia has put together some more information about this pest.

You can also get more information on Walter Reeve’s website.

So are you being affected by them? What’s your strategy for playing outside and steering clear of them? Leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “How to control Kudzu Bugs (Also known as the globular stinkbugs)”

  1. We have this lovely creature in our yard. We live in North Carolina and during the heat of the day they are on our windows and siding. Tomorrow we are going to dispose of our bean plants and snap peas. hopefully this will help.

  2. And now the fall swarming season is approaching!

    When it comes to kudzu bugs, prevention is the best approach. Don’t wait until they are all over your house before taking action. Put in some companion plants. And have your house very well sealed up so none of the critters can get in, which just causes more and more headache.

    Spray soap water on the visible ones. Good luck everyone!

  3. Please help me get them off me…. they are all over my white car but the silver and red cars not a one… what can i spray on myself please they are gross and get in my long hair…….

  4. I’m a construction worker in Jacksonville, North Carolina. We are building a hanger on base and these little pests are all over everything that’s white. Swarms of them!! They are very annoying and the higher up I work the more their are. At any given time I can find about 10 stuck to my shirt.

    Sincerely, one annoyed worker

  5. Any help is greatly appreciated. These bugs are all over my fruit trees. (Figs, peaches, apples, and nectarine) I noticed them last year on the figs but this year they multiplied by the thousands!

  6. these things are swarming all over my deck and backside of my house and sunroom. we can’t go out the backdoor to get to the pool and they are even flying around by the pool. we had them about 3 weeks ago, then they seemed to go away, now they are worse than they were. and last week they laid eggs on everything on the deck, from the doors to the downspouts and gutters to the grill cover to the table and umbrella to everything you looked at. we sprayed with a regular insecticide, then got the one that attaches to the hose for bigger coverage. it kills the ones you spray and the next day more come back. what do we do? will this last all summer? this is insane. i took pictures i that i would post if i could figure out how. HELP!!!

  7. Hi..these little nuisance critters are all over my white house and I noticed that they are swarming on my cherry trees. I mixed up a batch of very hot water, some liquid soap and some oil of peppermint. This helps and is not a harmful chemical. I am sure that I will have to do it more than one time..but, it’s a start! Any other tips – I AM ALL EARS!

  8. I saw a bunch on the gutters in the back of the house, didn’t even check the front and side gutters. I just scraped a bunch of nasty eggs they laid. I guess I have to hose their eggs almost every day before they hatch. Good thing they don’t bite or poisoned.

  9. We live just north of Atl. And I have never seen this in the years past but in the last 3 weeks they appear after 3pm each day only on the side of our house that unfortunelty for us is on our back deck. Last week end after watering the plants on the deck I came in to sit on the couch and not long after that felt a horrible burning feeling on my back side. I jumped up to find one had made its way into my shorts. Of course it stunk but thehoriible burning pain felt as if I had my skin pressed against a hot burner. It lasted for hours. I took benydryl and it did subside but I have a burn mark in the shape of the bug a shield in that spot. Its healing just like a bad burn. Has anyone had this happen to them? I am not fearful of insects but I am these. I have never had such burning pain like that. Also we have sprayed and it seems like there are more. What can I do so we can enjoy our beautiful deck this summer and I pray they don’t come in the house. Thanks

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