Q: A kudzu bug flew in my eye and you could not believe the pain it caused! What do they contain that would cause that reaction?
A: Yow, I can imagine the burning pain! Since it is a member of the stinkbug family, kudzu bug “juice” can be very irritating. It is a mix of compounds that smell badly and repel predators. As you learned, the best you can do is to stand over a sink and use the spray wand to deliver a gentle wash to your eye until the pain subsides. See your doctor if irritation continues.
Further comments from others:
I had the unfortunate experience of having a kudzu beetle land in the corner of my eye while picking green beans yesterday. It literally set me on fire and now, over 24 hours later, my eye is still swollen and painful. Do you know of any other instances like this? Folks should be aware of the danger of getting the chemical that causes the “stink” in their eyes. Believe me, it is an unforgettable experience.
A. N. ,Milledgeville
Got a kudzu bug on my eyelid last week while yanking some of the vine out of a tree. Very painful. Not a sting, but a burning sensation. Eyelids swollen 2-3 days, scabby for a week. I surmise that the chemical that gives the bug its odor must be a skin irritant. Glad it didn’t get into the eye itself. Now that this bug has arrived, I suggest that anyone attacking kudzu wear sunglasses or goggles to protect the eyes and the sensitive skin around them. A. G.