Hard Earth Farm

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Goats in the Mist: Kudzu Bugs from Kudzu Hell 2

Posted by [email protected] on June 18, 2012 at 2:50 PM

 See these nasty guys? They are kudzu bugs, a.k.a. bean plataspids, globular stink bugs, and, colloquially, bugs from Hell. They infest legumes and suck nutrients from the leaves and the stems. Due to their sheer numbers, they can wipe out one's entire crop. For us, they are in the green beans, black-eyed peas, and lima beans.

We've taken several measures against them:

  • Cinnamon--they don't like fine powder. They even appear to stay off of plant stems with dirt.
  • Early morning hand removal--exactly what it sounds like. Early in the morning, before the sun has risen, we shake infested plants and brush off bugs into trash bags. They are sluggish and can't fly, so it's the best time for them to be removed. The bugs may still try to 'suicide jump' off of the branch and onto the ground, but a careful placement of the trash bag can resolve that.
  • Hand removal during rain--getting them into trash bags while it is raining. This method's efficacy varies with the strength and duration of the rain.
  • They like light colors--if one wears a light shirt or straw hat, they are apt to perch on it.
  • They like ragweed--I suppose that someone has to.
  • They can stain one's hands orange--not painful, but quite unnecessary.
  • They smell absolutely repugnant--if one fills a bag full of them, for the love of all that is Earthy, one ought not take a whiff of it.


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1 Comment

Reply Mike Turner
2:13 PM on June 16, 2013 
Try mulching the beans with coffee grounds. This has been 100% effective for me at repelling kudzu bugs from green beans and yard long beans when mulched at seedling emergence and is over 90% effective (at most 4 bugs per plant) when my 5 foot high plants were mulched when the first kudzu bugs appeared on the plants. This is the first summer since 2010 that I've been getting a normal bean harvest. For the past 2 summers, hundreds of kudzu bugs infested and eventually killed all of my bean plants.