Phillip Roberts; bugwood.orgKudzu bugs feed on legumes, but will congregate on many other crops.The kudzu bug, a pest of legumes, continues to expand its range, this time being confirmed in eastern Tennessee.
The pest was confirmed in Polk, Bradley and Hamilton counties, according to an Extension newsletter.
The bug was first confirmed in the United States in an Atlanta suburb in 2009.
Since then, it has been found in North Carolina, northern Florida, Alabama and Virginia.
About the size of a pencil eraser, the kudzu bug—a native of Japan and other Asian countries—feeds on kudzu.
But it also has an affinity for soybeans, where it can cause losses of more than 30 percent if left untreated.
Although homeowners have reported the kudzu bug on snap and pole beans, losses in commercial fields have yet to be reported.
It also frequents vertical surfaces and may be seen on corn, eggplants and other nono-legume crops, although they won't support reproduction.
In the fall, kudzu bugs invade homes, emitting an aggregation pheromone that attracts other kudzu bugs.