SB Project: Sketches 38 and 39
Kudzu is a Japanese plant that was introduced to the United States in 1876 and has since been dubbed “the vine that ate the South”. According to Wikipedia it’s been spreading at a rate of 150,000 acres a year. Kudzu has been used to prevent erosion and improve topsoil quality, but unfortunately it grows so well in the southern US that it out-competes virtually all other plants, destroying the biodiversity of areas it infests.
Harvest Mites, or Trombiculid Mites, are sometimes called chiggers, but should not be confused with Chigoe Fleas, which can potentially do a lot more damage to their hosts. In their larval stage these tiny red mites create holes in the skin of their hosts using digestive enzymes. They then feed on the exposed inner skin, causing irritation and swelling. After feeding they drop off and mature into adults. Harvest Mites are potential vectors for a number of diseases.