Remember my post from back in the month of June (kudzu bug) when I mentioned to be on the lookout for a new insect invader called the kudzu bug. Well, it certainly didn't take long for it to find its way to the kudzu in our area. I just got this e-mail forwarded from a colleague from USDA APHIS yesterday. This bug will affect legume type plants and will probably be a pest of the cover crops we use in our area.
Last week, the bean plataspid (aka kudzu bug or Megacopta cribaria) was found in both Pasco (US 301 in Dade City) and Hillsborough (Dr MLK Jr Blvd in Seffner) Counties, and has thus made its way to the Tampa Bay area. Pinellas and Manatee Counties were not specifically surveyed, so it is possible that populations are present there as well. In both new counties, the bugs were found on kudzu, their primary host, but they can also affect other legumes and can be a nuisance pest by congregating on or in structures (like some ladybugs or the brown marmorated stink bug). For more info, see: Pest alert-kudzu bug