AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Within a few days of discovering a native parasitic fly that may reduce kudzu bug numbers significantly over time, Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist and Auburn University researcher Xing Ping Hu has discovered a local egg-parasitic wasp.
The finding – the first discovery of a local wasp that parasitizes eggs of the exotic kudzu bug – could prove to be a game changer in the fight against this invasive species, Hu said. Along with the earlier finding of a fly that preys on kudzu bug adults, Hu said the discovery of the parasitic egg wasp doubles the frontline of defense using natural enemies to fight this pest.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Alabama Extension specialist and Auburn University professor Xing Ping Hu is gaining insight into the virulent kudzu bug, including the discovery of a native predator that could go a long way toward reducing the pest’s numbers.
“Since its detection in 2009, this stink bug has developed from an urban nuisance to a serious bean crop pest throughout the Southeast,” said Hu, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System entomologist and professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. She added that its rapidly expanding range, explosive population growth, severe damage to legume crops and vegetables, repulsive smell and difficulty to control have contributed to its elevated pest status.