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Western Conifer-Seed Bugs are an Ugly, Stinky – but Harmless – Nuisance.
The western conifer-seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) is believed to be native to North America west of the Rocky Mountains. However, western conifer-seed bugs have been expanding eastward and were first found in Minnesota in the late 1980’s. Today, they extend all across the northern United States into Canada.
Western conifer-seed bugs generally become a nuisance pest in the fall, when they seek shelter before the coming winter. Much like boxelder bugs and lady beetles, western conifer-seed bugs enter structures through cracks and gaps.
If these fall pests become a nuisance around your structure, call Adam’s.
- Structure Invading
Western Conifer-Seed Bug Treatment Options
One-time Fall Invader Control
Adam’s exterminates cluster flies by applying an EPA proven residual insecticide treatment to the foundation and exterior of your home before the pests congregate and enter your home. All cracks, crevices and any possible entry sites are carefully treated, with particular attention given to the sunny sides of the structure. Treatments are generally done in late August or September. The service is warranted for 3 months.
Premier Fall Invader Prevention
Adam’s premier fall pest service provides year-round control of cluster flies and other “fall invaders.” An EPA proven residual insecticide is applied to the foundation and exterior of the structure. Special attention is given to potential entry points, such as eaves, doors, windows, any cracks and crevices, and the sunny sides of the structure, typically the S and SW sides. Treatments are generally done in late August or September. The Premier Fall Invader Prevention service is an ongoing annual service, so you never forget to schedule treatment. The service is warranted for 12 months.
Need to prevent more pests than just cluster flies? Adam’s Premier Perimeter Program includes a minimum of 3 preventive barrier treatments around the exterior perimeter of your home for year-round prevention of common household bugs, including insects, spiders, boxelder bugs, and cluster flies. Your Pest Management Professional inspects for pests, and then applies a season-specific, non-repellent, residual material to control common household pests before they can get inside. Comes with a 12-month guarantee.
Premier Home Pest Prevention
Adam’s best value for prevention and control of common household pests, including cluster flies! Adam’s Premier Home Pest Prevention service provides year-round pest prevention with a minimum of four visits throughout the year. Service visits focus on the exterior of your home, where most pest problems originate. And should a pest problem ever occur between scheduled visits, the plan includes additional treatments at no additional charge. This program includes common household pests like spiders, centipedes, sow bugs, and roaches and seasonal pests like wasps, multicolored Asian lady beetles, ants, and mice, as well as cluster flies.
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More About Western Conifer-Seed Bug
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS?
- Western conifer-seed bugs are relatively large and easy to see. They are typically not noticed during the spring and summer, but can be found on Douglas firs and pine trees.
- While flying, the flight pattern and loud buzz produced by the western conifer-seed bug resembles those of a bumble bee.
- When the weather turns cold in the fall, they may be seen on the sunny or south side of structures.
- They may also be found indoors during the winter and early spring.
WHAT DO WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS LOOK LIKE?
- Adult western conifer-seed bugs are ⅝″ to ¾″ in length.
- It has two pairs of wings that are held flat over the body when at rest.
- Western conifer-seed bugs generally have a reddish-brown body.
- There are white zig zag markings on the wings.
- Western conifer-seed bugs have large back legs that feature noticeable leaf-like enlargements.
- The head is small and has a long, 4-segmented beak.
- Young nymphs are orange, becoming reddish brown after a few molts.
- Eggs are laid in chains on conifer needles and measure about 1/16” each in length.
ARE WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS DANGEROUS?
- Western conifer-seed bugs are harmless. They do not bite and are not known to transmit any disease.
- They will discharge a pungent odor if disturbed, handled, or crushed.
- Western conifer-seed bugs are not the same as kissing bugs and care should be taken not to confuse the two. (True kissing bugs are vectors of Chagas disease, however they are not found in our area.)
CAN MY HOUSE OR TREES BE DAMAGED BY WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS?
- Western conifer-seed bugs do not cause significant damage to the trees.
- Nor do they damage structures or property.
- Too many western conifer-seed bugs in an area will limit the trees’ ability to reproduce.
WHY ARE WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS IN MY HOUSE?
- In the fall, western conifer-seed bugs look for a sheltered location to survive the winter. They don’t distinguish between cracks and crevices in trees or cracks and crevices in your building.
- Western conifer-seed bugs that make their way into your structure may be spotted indoors throughout the winter months.
HOW CAN I PREVENT WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS FROM COMING INSIDE MY HOME?
- Caulk around door and window frames, soffits, and utility lines and vents to eliminate any gaps
- Caulk all cracks behind chimneys and underneath the wood fascia.
- Fix or replace any damaged or loose-fitting screens, windows, or doors.
- Screen fireplace chimneys and attic and wall vents.
WHAT DO WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS EAT?
- Both nymphs and adult western conifer-seed bugs feed on seeds of various species of pines. They stick their needle-like proboscis into the pinecone, inject a digestive liquid into the seed, and then drink the resulting liquid, leaving the seed empty and useless.
WHAT IS THE LIFE CYCLE OF WESTERN CONIFER-SEED BUGS?
- Western conifer-seed bugs, like all true bugs, develop through gradual metamorphosis: egg, nymph, and adult. The nymph is basically a small version of the adult insect and their body form gradually matures with each molt.
- After mating in the spring, female western conifer-seed bugs lay rows of 1⁄16″ long eggs on the needles of conifer trees.
- There is one generation of western conifer-seed bugs per year.
- The eggs hatch in about 10 days and the nymphs emerge.
- The nymphs pass through 5 stages (instars) before becoming adults. With each molt, both the body size and wing pads grow.
- Adult western conifer-seed bugs emerge in late May or early June.
- Adults seek overwintering sites under pine bark, in dead and dry pine trees, and in abandoned rodent nests. Adult western conifer-seed bugs may also enter homes and buildings in search of protected overwintering sites.