New bug eats kudzu but it likes beans, too

By Peter Kent

PlastapidAn undocumented immigrant has been located in South Carolina and Georgia, according to entomologists. Getting into the United States last year — researchers are unsure how — a new invasive insect is flourishing in fields and houses.

Clemson researchers are asking for the public’s help in tracking the bean plataspid, a relative of the stinkbug that is the first plataspid species reported in North America.

While the good news is that the bug feeds on kudzu, the significant concern is that it also feeds on bean plants, notably soybeans, which are a multimillion-dollar commodity crop in South Carolina. Approximately 590,000 acres of soybean are produced in South Carolina with a gross value of $139 million.

“The bean plataspid has been confirmed on kudzu and/or soybeans in 13 counties in South Carolina,” said Jeremy Greene, Extension entomology specialist at the Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville.

“We are actively looking for this insect, and the S.C. Soybean Board has funded a portion of a project to help with the search for this pest,” said Greene. “If you see it in or around kudzu, in noticeable numbers on buildings, or anywhere, please let me know quickly.”

 




For information: Jeremy Greene, 803-284-3343 ext. 245, greene4@clemson.edu