To help Latin American officials prepare for the possible introduction of the pest into their countries, University of Georgia researchers scheduled an informational meeting to share what they have learned about the kudzu bug (Megacopta cribraria) since it was found in the Southeast.
The goal was to educate the officials, representing various aspects of plant and animal health and international trade, on UGA’s current knowledge of the insect and provide a forum of discussion on trade issues surrounding quarantine concerns of the Honduran government, said Wayne Gardner, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the meeting’s organizer.
“The meeting was prompted by concerns voiced by the Honduran government concerning the interception of two separate container shipments of poultry products from Georgia that reportedly contained dead kudzu bug adults,” Gardner said. “The second discovery prompted Honduran officials to halt receipt of all container imports from the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.”
More than 4,000 containers from these states were reportedly held at Honduran ports, he said.