Flickr User: UGA College of Ag
Kudzu bugs, those little green Lady-Bug looking critters that you've probably seen daily for the past month or so have not only invaded all of South Carolina but our neighboring states.
This Southeast Asian species originally took hold in 2009 in nine Georgia counties, they are now found in three surrounding states and in every single county in South Carolina. The State newspaper reports that, "DNA testing in both states [Georgia & S.C.] indicates that all these millions of kudzu bugs came from a single female," which might be the worst news.
Image from: http://bit.ly/JpYNr6While Kudzu bugs are not harmful or bite humans, they are quite annoying. Landing on us and just hanging out for a while, causing a minor freak-out of, "What's on me, what is it! OMG OMG!!" is never fun. However, the bugs can cause real damage to crops. Wikipedia reads,
[the bugs] give off an offensive odor when touched or squashed. Hosted by wisteria, green beans and other legumes, the insect sucks juice from the stems of soybean plants and reduces crop yield. The insect infests kudzu appreciably reducing its growth.
The little critters might be helpful in taking care of the kudzu plant overgrowth we have all over the state.