Doug Johnson, UK Extension Entomologist
Kudzu bug continues to be found ever closer to Kentucky (KY). Until just recently, Kudzu bug in Tennessee (TN) was found only in the eastern portion of the state where few soybeans are grown. These infested counties are the closest to KY, but in an area of KY where few soybeans occur. Unfortunately, within the last week, this pest has been found in two additional TN counties. Both of these TN counties are soybean producing areas of central and west TN (See the Map).
Though these two finds are no closer to the KY border (in fact not as close) as the eastern TN infested areas, they are much closer to the KY main soybean production area. Shelby Co. is the greater Memphis area and on the US-51 route that leads directly into the KY Purchase area. Lincoln Co. is on the TN-Alabama line just east of I-65 and astride US-231 that leads directly into middle TN.
Certainly, these finds do not indicate any immediate problem for Kentucky. Nevertheless, we continue to see movement of the population toward KY and now toward our main soybean production area; as expected, along major traffic routes.
No immediate action need be taken save keeping an eye out for the presence of these insects. If you find what appears to be a Kudzu bug or a brown marmorated stink bug, please get them to your local County Extension office so that they can be properly identified.
Note: I have started a twitter feed specifically aimed at information on invasive stink bugs as they relate to KY grain crops. If you would like to receive this twitter feed you may go to your twitter account and follow @DrDougStinkBugs or search on my email address firstname.lastname@example.org. This feed will be used only for information/updates on invasive stink bugs in grain crops (currently Kudzu bug and brown marmorated stink bug); so you will not be overwhelmed with unwanted tweets. The major outlet for more detailed information on these pests will remain the Grain Crops Update blog (http://graincrops.blogspot.com/) and Kentucky Pest News newsletter(http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcollege/plantpathology/extension/kpnindex.htm).
For All things Kudzu bug See: Kudzubug.org