Finally, Georgia gets a kudzu-eating bug. Unfortunately, however…

A kudzu-eating pest never before seen in the Western Hemisphere has arrived in northeast Georgia, but it’s not all good news.

The bug feasts on soybean crops and releases a stinky chemical when threatened.

Researchers from UGA and Dow AgroSciences identified the bug, which is native to India and China, last month. It’s been spotted in Gwinnett, Hall, Walton, Barrow, Jackson, Greene, Clarke, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties.

Commonly called the lablab bug or globular stink bug, it’s pea-sized and brownish with a wide posterior. The bug waddles when it walks but flies well.

“At one home in Hoschton, we found the bugs all over the side of a lady’s house,” said Dan Suiter, a UGA entomologist. “There is a kudzu patch behind her home that provides food, and they were attracted to the light color of the siding.”…

“We have no idea what the long-term impact on kudzu will be, but we also have to consider the fact that it feeds on crops too,” he added.

Related Link: University of Georgia Cooperative Extension
Homeowners finding the critter are asked to call 1-800-ASK-UGA1