If you’ve been struggling with the presence of kudzu bugs, you’re not alone. They can be a real nuisance home pest, but don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.
These bugs love to feast on kudzu, which is how they got their name, but they’ll also eat other plants, including soybeans and wisteria. They have also been making their way into homes and businesses in some areas of the United States.
So what can you do to get rid of them? There are a few natural methods that seem to be working well. We’ll highlight nine of them below.
Kudzu bugs are small, invasive species that can cause significant damage to certain crops. They were first spotted in the United States in 2009 and have been spreading ever since .
They get their name from the kudzu plant, which is their favorite food. These little bugs prefer to eat, mate, and lay on a kudzu vine.
If you’re seeing kudzu bugs in your garden, the first step is to correctly identify them. They have a greenish-brown color and look like brown ladybugs. When disturbed, they have a smell similar to that of stink bugs.
If you’re seeing an increasing number of them on plants, in your house, or on other structures, you may have a kudzu bug infestation.
How to Get Rid of Kudzu Bugs Naturally
There are a few things you can do to keep kudzu bugs away. One option is to use a homemade insecticide. This is a great option if you want to avoid using harsh chemicals in your home.
There are also some tactics to help prevent kudzu bugs from invading your home in the first place. Keep your property clean and free of kudzu vines, and be sure to trim back any overgrown vegetation.
Below are more tips for controlling these critters. If you follow these suggestions, you might be able to keep them away for good!
1. Sealing Cracks and Crevices on Structures
You can do your part to help keep out kudzu bugs by sealing any cracks or crevices you find on your home or structure. This includes areas around windows and doors, as well as the foundation.
The critters like to hide in these spots, so if you close them up, you’ll make it harder for them to find a place to live.
You can use caulk to seal up the cracks, or if you have a bigger job, you might want to use spray foam insulation.
If you have a powerful vacuum cleaner, you can also suck them up. And don’t forget to empty the vacuum cleaner bag into a pail of soapy water when you’re done, or you’ll be welcoming all those kudzu bugs right back into your house.
3. Soapy Water
The next time you notice kudzu bugs on your property, reach for some soap and water. This home remedy works great for killing stink bugs, so I’m assuming it will do the same to these bugs.
To make this homemade kudzu bug killer, mix half a cup of dish soap with one cup of vinegar and 2 cups of hot water. Pour it into a spray bottle, and then give the bugs a good squirt.
And if you’re not in the DIY mood, try using an insecticidal soap that works against plant bugs.
Besides, knocking them off into a pail of plain soapy water will also do the trick as it will suffocate them.
4. Prune Plants
Pruning is the practice of cutting back parts of a plant. It’s an effective way of controlling kudzu bugs because it helps to decrease the population.
Giving your kudzu patches and other host plants a good trimming will disrupt the bugs’ sheltered locations.
5. Natural Predators
Some natural predators can also help with the situation.
The lady beetle is a great example. These insects will go after kudzu bug nymphs, so when you see one in your yard or garden, rejoice!
Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they’re also doing their part to help keep the kudzu bug population under control.
Other natural enemies that will attack the nymphs include green lacewings, big-eyed bugs, and damsel bugs .
6. Essential Oils
There are a few different essential oils that you can use to deter kudzu bugs, but we recommend tea tree oil, lavender oil, or peppermint oil. All of these oils have a strong scent that will naturally repel the critters.
What you’ll need to do is add a few drops of oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Then, just spray the mixture on the affected areas. But, you’ll need to reapply the mixture every few days until the bugs are gone.
7. Neem Oil
Neem oil is most effective against kudzu bug nymphs. So how do you use it?
Just mix 2 teaspoons of neem oil with one teaspoon of liquid soap and a liter of water. Spray it directly on the pests. You can also use it to treat the areas where they’re congregating.
8. Pick Them Off
You can pick the kudzu bugs off of your plants by hand. This is probably the most tedious way to eliminate them, but it’s also the most organic.
Make sure you wear gloves when you do this, and be careful not to crush the bugs. Dispose of them in a sealed bag so they can’t escape.
9. Diatomaceous Earth
You may have heard of diatomaceous earth—it’s a natural product made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae.
DE is great for eradicating kudzu bugs because it causes them to dehydrate and die. Moreover, it’s non-toxic to people and pets. You can buy it at most home improvement stores, or online.
Sprinkle it around wood piles or other areas where these bugs like to hang out. But, avoid breathing in the dust.
Thanks for reading! These are just a few of the many natural ways to do away with kudzu bugs. Be sure to experiment with them to find the one that works best for you.
Preventing kudzu bugs from coming back is also not difficult. You just need to take a few precautions:
Clean up by pruning excess plants or vines that might be attracting the bugs.
You can also use natural pesticides like the ones in this post to kill off any bugs that are already there. And most importantly, keep an eye out for these bugs and vacuum up any you see immediately.
Do you have a favorite method for dealing with kudzu bugs? Let us know in the comments below!