When kudzu bugs first appeared in 2009, crop scientists predicted they would eventually become a problem but they weren’t sure where or how.
They are still evaluating damage to soybeans and peanuts but gardeners have found two plants kudzu bugs definitely damage: beans and peas. This makes sense because kudzu vine is a legume and so are beans and peas.
The insects seem to hurt the vegetable plants by sucking juice from the leaves, making them look “scorched”.
Any insecticide labeled for use on vegetables should kill them. Carbaryl (Sevin) and acetamiprid (Ortho Fruit Flower & Vegetable) should be effective. Remember to spray in the evening to avoid contact with honeybees.
Organic insecticides like insecticidal soap, horticultural oil and spinosad (Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew, etc) can also be used but multiple applications may be necessary.