by Michael Lowrey
The latest invasive species to trouble North Carolina is something called the kudzu bug. The Raleigh News & Observer describes the issues with the insect’s rapid spread:
Which might be fine if the ladybug-sized critters didn’t exude a stinking, caustic substance that can raise welts on humans. And if they lunched solely on their seemingly uncontrollable namesake vine.
But the bugs – which sport what researchers call “piercing-sucking mouthparts” – have developed a palate for a major crop that for mysterious reasons it didn’t like in its native Japan: soybeans.