Western Conifer Seed Bugs (Pine Seed Bugs)
The western conifer seed bug, also called the pine seed bug, is a common household invader found inside many homes during the fall, winter and spring. The pine seed bug is in a small group of insects called the leaffooted bugs. This name refers to the flat, leaf-like expansions of the hind legs. Pine seed bug is a true bug (Order Hemiptera, Family Coreidae). Consistent with all members of this order, the insect has a simple life cycle (egg, nymph, adult) and sucking mouthparts.
Identification and Life Cycle
The pine seed bug is about one inch long, elongate in shape and dull reddish brown in colour. It appears pointed at both ends; the antennae are almost the length of the body and are obvious in living or fresh specimens. A faint, white zigzag line is more or less noticeable across the centre of the back (depending on individual).
Pine seed bug nymphs and adults spend the summer on pine and Douglas-fir trees where they use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on sap from green cones and twigs. This sap feeding is of no consequence to otherwise healthy trees. Cones may be damaged causing seed to fail to develop.
The pine seed bug is a typical accidental invader, similar to the better known cluster flies, Asian lady beetle and the box elder bug. The adults wander into houses by mistake in the fall of the year. They are attracted to the exposed south sides of houses where they bask in the warmth of the late summer/early fall sunlight. After sunset, they crawl into wall voids and attics through cracks and gaps in the siding, foundation and eaves, or around windows and doors. Like other invaders, they do not bite, sting, feed, carry diseases or otherwise cause harm to people, pets, the house or its contents. They cannot reproduce inside the house, as egg laying and development are restricted to the host plants during the summer months.
Control is the same as for other accidental invaders. Seal cracks and gaps to help prevent entry. A treatment of areas,particularly around doors and windows, as well as areas where they are found on the structure can greatly reduce the number of bugs getting into your home. Pine seed bugs already indoors need only be vacuumed or swept up and discarded as they appear.
Treatment for the control of these bugs is best performed in late summer and into the fall season, when they are most active and trying to invade your home to survive the winter. For more information regarding this and other fall treatments, please call us.