damage - kudzu bugs

Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)December 29, 2013

Does this look like normal cultural/environmental damage or do folks with more experience think this may be damage from adult kudzu bug?. They're supposed to be hibernating, but it's 55-72 degrees in here & they're not always in the same place. I see them on many plants, often on this Plumeria tip where there is now damaged spots.

There is absolutely no info I could find out there about what adult kudzu bugs eat. I think it's house plants (or whatever might still be green where one is) - they don't seem particular about genus at all.

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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Tiffany!

I had to go and google this Kudzu Bug since I have never heard of this pest and haven't had any issues with all of my Plumeria except for the normal Thrips and Spider mites. This Kudzu Bug seems to be located primarily In The south east and looks like they are spreading into Virginia and Maryland. They seems to be after the Soybeans and Legumes, but sounds like they have been tasting your Plumeria. I would think the latex would make them think twice, but these insects make their own decision...

My friends down South haven't mentioned anything about this pest so I really can't say much about what the effects from the bite looks like on the tree.

You could always send an email and a pic to Dr. Richard Criley ( University of Hawaii) I am sure he could help you identify and or answer any questions.

I keep looking at those browns spots and I would say it is from a sucking insect. Doesn't look like black spot ( fungus)

Sorry I couldn't help...

Take care and nice to see you here on the Plumeria side!! ;-)


    Bookmark   December 29, 2013 at 6:29PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I hope the kudzu bug doesn't spread like the plant. I've got that stuff in a few spots in my backyard. every year and several times a year I cut it back but it never dies. this year I'm hitting it with a backhoe and some fire LOL.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 7:20AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

TY, Laura. Having never had Plumeria before, I'm not in a position to gauge the damage you see in the pic. Since they are a new pest, there is very little known about them, but I have no doubt about what they are. Oh, and apparently they can bite, hope I don't experience that part.

The adults are also hanging out on Hoya and Begonia, a few others. I'm trying to determine if they are causing damage or just hibernating (the only info about the adult phase says they hibernate for winter.) If hibernating means moving around, damaging plants, I guess that's what they're doing. I haven't seen any signs of the juveniles, but not totally sure I *could* see them. Don't think they're breeding in the house, but not totally sure.

I started another discussion about them in clinic forum, with a link to file a report for those that see these things. I've been gathering pics to submit. I wasn't sure if this Plumeria pic showed damage from pests, or something else.

Mike, there's no Kudzu around my house either. Sure, there's a lot of it in the area, but none in our yard or the yards next to ours. These bugs showed up on plants this summer and I saw the adults on too many different plants to name before most plants came inside for winter. I think it's pure folly to think only Kudzu, Wisteria, and soybeans are in danger. Next to me at the moment, I see one on a Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' leaf.

Everything written about overwintering adults I've found is about how they are bothering people, not plants. The ones in our house haven't been spotted anywhere but on a plant. I've not noticed the odor they keep talking about, but I'm not at all intimidated by a little of that.

Hope you show that Kudzu who's boss, Mike!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2013 at 9:04AM
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It looks more like cold damage or physical damage than insect caused to me. I would just pull those two developing leaves off and see if it returns. That would be a fairly strong indication that its caused by an insect (assuming its not exposed to the cold).

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

TY for the input and suggestion. I don't know how picky this Plumeria is about cold, to make the experiment valid. It's chilly by this window, and down to about 55 in here on really cold mornings. I was expecting it to defoliate completely since it was in the low 40's a few nights before I brought potted plants inside (mid-November.) No idea what to think, I'm a total Plumeria newb.

Any reports of them showing up in TX yet?

    Bookmark   December 31, 2013 at 2:46PM
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