Date of this Version
Agricultural Research Magazine 60(5): May-June 2012 pp. 22; ISSN 0002-161X
Sure, this distant relative of the brown marmorated stink bug will feed voraciously on the stems of kudzu, the “Vine That Ate the South.” But Megacopta cribraria also has a taste for soybean and other legumes. In Georgia, where this native of Asia was first discovered in the United States in October 2009, there’s worry that the pest will set its sights on peanut, endangering a $2 billion crop that supplies nearly 50 percent of America’s peanuts (Georgia Peanut Commission, 2009).
Like the brown marmorated stink bug, Megacopta—also known as the “bean plataspid”—seeks shelter inside homes, buildings, and vehicles during the fall as temperatures cool. And when disturbed, it too emits a foul smell.
Researchers, however, haven’t been idle. For example, at the Agricultural Research Service’s Stoneville [Mississippi] Quarantine Research Facility, entomologist Walker Jones is evaluating a secret weapon in the form of Paratelenomus saccharalis, a tiny black wasp received, under permit, from Japan in 2011.