Agriculture agents say the kudzu bug reduced soybean crops in Central Georgia by 17 percent in 2010, and they warn local farmers to be on the lookout for them this coming season.
The insects -- also known as 'stink bugs' because of the smell they emit when threatened-- kill plants by sucking them dry.
Says Grady County Extension Agent Don Clark, "We expect [the bug] to migrate further south during this growing season, and we're hoping that we don't have to deal with it, but if we do we want to be ready."
Experts say the bug was first discovered around Athens, Georgia, where it picked up its nickname from its taste for the rapidly-spreading kuzdu vine.
They fear it will also be attracted to cotton, corn, and peanuts.