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Kudzu Bug Natural Prevention

undefinedThough pesticides may be needed occasionally, many of you may prefer to prevent some pests before they are needed to reduce the amount of chemicals in or around your home.. here are some tips to prevent kudzu bugs from being a problem.

1) Start legumes later.  If you keep a garden the earlier that you plant legumes, the more likely you are to have kudzu bug infestations.

2) Reduce breeding areas. The kudzu bug’s favorite food is, surprise, kudzu, so if you have large patches of it, you should remove it. However, unless your neighbors also take similar steps, removing just the plants in your garden will not have much impact.

3) Scout for kudzu bugs early and often. Both kudzu bug eggs and adults are found in clusters. Small-scale farmers and gardeners can thin out kudzu bugs by removing the eggs and adults. Scouting for new eggs and kudzu bug clusters should be done routinely. If you find that kudzu bugs have made a home in your garden, remove the plants that are housing them. Otherwise, the bugs will just keep coming back throughout the growing season. You can tell whether the population is increasing by keeping track of how many bugs you count per plant each day.

4) Use row covers.  Keep kudzu bugs from finding your crop by covering your legumes with a lightweight “floating” row cover. A floating row cover lets water and air through and does not block very much sunlight. They can be found at garden supply stores or ordered from seed catalogs. The covers can lie directly on the plants (the plants will lift the cover as they grow), or you can support the covers with wire hoops. The trick is to keep the edges of the covers tightly buried or weighted so that the kudzu bugs cannot get in. You should continue to scout your plants for kudzu bugs, however, because there’s always the chance that they may sneak in.

5) Keep your colors dark. Kudzu bugs are very attracted to white surfaces. Repaint white fences, borders, etc. around your garden in a darker color.

6) Don’t leave openings to your home. Kudzu bugs are a very unwelcome visitor indoors, as they tend to look for places to spend the winter. Keep them out by sealing exterior cracks and gaps greater than 1/8″. Doorsweeps are also great for keeping out all sorts of uninvited guests.

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