Greene notes this insect seems to prefer kudzu, but, it will feed on legumes in general, so it could be on other hosts, and it might be present but not yet detected in other counties.

“We need your help in documenting where this pest is and is not. If you are out and about and want to check patches of kudzu or soybean fields, please take GPS coordinates and note information about the presence or absence of these bugs in your area,” the Clemson scientist urges.

Greene stresses growers, crop consultants and others should take digital pictures or preserve specimens believed to be bean plataspids in vials of alcohol. These images or samples can be sent to the Edisto Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackville, S.C., for verification.

Greene warns anyone collecting samples of these pests to be careful when leaving an infested area because these insects can be transported very easily on your clothing and get into your vehicle.

The Clemson researcher says it is likely these new pests are in other South Carolina counties. He plans to ramp up scouting and research efforts to get a better idea how widespread these insects are and what damage they can do in the Palmetto state.

The bean plataspid is native to China and India. It is pea-sized, brown and has a large posterior. One characteristic is that it has a waddle when it walks. When challenged it flies well and can emit an odor similar to stinkbugs.