The kudzu bug is now well established in parts of east central Tennessee. 

Specimens have been found in Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, Sequatchie, Monroe, Loudon, Blount, Roane and Knox Counties. 

A few soybean fields in this part of the state were treated for this pest. 

It’s only a matter of time before this insect moves into areas of middle and west Tennessee where more soybean acres are grown. 

If you need a memory refresher, search our previous articles or visit http://www.kudzubug.org/.

My prediction: Kudzu bugs will become well established in at least the southern half of middle Tennessee next year, and more than a few soybean fields will require treatment for this pest. 

I’ll be surprised if kudzu bugs are not found west of the Tennessee River in 2013. 

By 2014, it will probably be common in almost all soybean producing areas in Tennessee. 

The good news … this is a pest we can effectively manage with scouting and the proper use of insecticides.

And what about the brown marmorated stink bug? It is unclear how far populations of this invasive pest have spread in Tennessee. However, I found many on soybean test plots on the UT experiment station in Knoxville. 

Its spread has been slower than that of the kudzu bug. It is also a documented pest of soybeans and a serious pest of some fruit and vegetable crops.