The western conifer seed bugs are usually confused with the damaging brown marmorated stink bug and assassin bugs. But, it is easy to identify these insects by checking their lower hind legs that widen out to their sides shaped like a tiny leaf.
The western conifer seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis is also known as pine bug. This insect is commonly seen invading houses in large numbers in spring, fall, and winter. Initially found just in the western region of the United States, the bugs can now be found all over the county as well as in certain parts of Canada.
The insect is narrow, largish, around an inch long, and has a reddish brown colour. It looks like it tapers to both ends, with long antennae whose length is almost the same as its body.
Sometimes, these insects are mistaken for biting insects such as kissing bugs or even cockroaches. People find them alarming and scary due to their size and their tendency to gather in a large mass. The insects overwinter during late spring then produce young insects or nymphs. They feed on tree seeds throughout summer.
Once late fall comes, the adults overwinter below tree barks as well as other natural spots outdoors. But, they tend to be more attracted to structures because of their warmth. Their common entry points to get inside structures include cracks and gaps, unscreened vents, voids, and others ad they overwinter in walls, ceiling voids, and attics.
Dramatic temperature fluctuations during the winter season may force indoor activity. For instance, if the air gets too cold, the insects move closer to the warmth. If a winter day becomes unseasonably warm, the insects assume it is already spring.
The only choice you’ve got when they are in their overwintering stage is vacuuming them up. Avoid crushing or handling these insects because they give off a foul smell and may even stain because of the tree sap they eat.
Elimination and Prevention
Similar to cluster fly or ladybug, seed bugs will sneak inside through small cracks and are drawn to the warmth of your home. Thus, the first and foremost line of defence from pest infestation is by tightening up your house.
You can start by finding and sealing off those small gaps. Although taking some preventative measures helps in reducing the number of western conifer seed bugs entering the house, it might be hard to spot all possible points of entry and seal them uptight.
This is why hiring pest control professionals to perform exterior bug control is the best method to significantly lower the number of bugs that get inside your home. These experts use all the right equipment and tools and they have the skill and knowledge to effectively target and inspect for all potential points of entry.Having said this, for effectively treating your house from the infestation of western conifer seed bugs during fall, timing is very critical. Once the weather starts to cool, you might want to schedule treatment early enough for the season so that the bugs don’t get to sneak inside before you take measures to stop them. However, do it too soon and treatment is going to become less effective because it can break down over time. So, time your pest control efforts to prevent them from going in vain.