Currently viewing the category: "Seed Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ed. Note:  Because our previous posting of Elm Seed Bugs has received so many recent comments, we have decided to make the Elm Seed Bug our Bug of the Month for July 2015 and to post it live a few days early.

Subject: Invaders!
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
June 27, 2015 12:13 pm
We have these little buggers that we seem to keep finding on the back end of our home near the windows. I found a nest of them underneath one of the blinds in our bedroom window. They dont appear to fly. They are about 1/4 inch long. What are they? Do they bite? How can we get rid of them? Thanks in advance…
Signature: -Loyal WTB fan for 5+ years

Elm Seed Bug

Elm Seed Bug

Dear Loyal WTB fan for 5+ years,
It appears that you have an Elm Seed Bug,
Arocatus melanocephalus, infestation, a nonnative species first reported in North America in Idaho in 2012.  As you must know, we do not provide extermination information, though we are sometimes freer when the species is invasive like the Elm Seed Bug.  There are currently numerous comments from readers on the first Elm Seed Bug posting in our archives, and you may find some help there.  According to Gemtek:  “Identification: Elm seed bugs are typically ⅓ inch long and are dark brown in color, with an abdomen that is reddish colored. Like a boxelder bug, their wings fold to form a thin X shape. Aside from color differences, elm seed and boxelder bugs look nearly identical.  Diet, Habitat, Life Cycle, and Habits:  Once again, elm seed bugs are similar to boxelder bugs in all of these aspects. A key difference is that elm seed bugs are primarily found on elm trees. They feed on elm seeds, but will also feed on and live in other types of trees. They are most visible in warmer weather and will create an unpleasant odor if crushed.”  According to BugGuide:  “Invade homes during the summer to escape heat, and then stick around through the winter … One generation per year and adults overwinter. Doesn’t pose a threat to trees, but may show up indoors in huge swarms.”

Elm Seed Bugs invade home.

Elm Seed Bugs invade home.

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Subject: Webspinner?
Location: Austin
May 20, 2015 12:05 pm
They’re everywhere
Signature: Danyel

Long Necked Seed Bug

Long Necked Seed Bug

Dear Danyel,
This is a Long Necked Seed Bug,
Myodocha serripes, and according to BugGuide, they feed on:  “Seeds of strawberry and St. John’s wort. Sometimes a pest of strawberries.”  There is contradictory information in the El Dorado Springs Sun Online in an article LONG-NECK SEED BUGS BENEFICIAL IN STRAWBERRIES where it states:  “Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, has seen several long-neck seed bugs in many strawberry patches during the late spring.  ‘Long-necked seed bugs are a beneficial insect in strawberries,’ said Scheidt.”  The article contains information from another expert:  “They can be found under leaf litter in early spring and in fields and under artificial lights in the summer. Long-necked seed bugs overwinter in woodland and migrate to fields in the spring and summer; they are attracted to lights.  According to Richard Houseman, University of Missouri plant sciences professor, long-neck seed bugs will sometimes feed on strawberry seeds but are rarely a threat needing treatment. They do feed on pests like St. John’s wort and other small insects.”  Do you live near where strawberries are cultivated?

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: HELP whole ground is moving
Location: West Texas
May 17, 2015 11:17 am
I need to see if someone could identify this bug so that I can get this under control. Had an exterminator tell me it was a chich bug and then a stink bug. My well groomed yard has none. My outside yard has weeds they were green now dead. I’ve seen some in my winow seals. they give me the chill bumps. Going out of my mind.
Signature: chilledtothebone

Possibly Immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs

Possibly Immature California False Chinch Bugs

Dear chilledtothebone,
These are immature True Bugs, and nymphs can be very difficult to identify.  Your individuals look very similar to these still unidentified nymphs from Montana we posted several years back, and we suspect you may also have Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae.

Do yall happen to know anything about them? I did notice so.ething this morning I had not seen and that was several black bugs around but no nymphs. I will take pictures in the moring or evening to see if it helps any I’ve attached a video to help as well. And will send a couple more pictures on next email.  And what they are living in.  Do you know if they are harmful to anything?

Possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs

Possibly California False Chinch Bugs

Dear chilledtothebone,
Thanks for sending additional images that contain winged adults.  That should make identification easier.  We believe the transparent wings on the adults and the markings on the nymphs are a good match for these California False Chinch Bugs,
Xyonysius californicus, that are pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “common on trees in Mar-Apr in Central TX.”  The Arthropods of Orange County site has some excellent images.

Possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs

Possibly California False Chinch Bugs

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Subject: Unknown insect
Location: Southern Ohio
April 30, 2015 7:13 pm
Greetings!
I was roving through the pasture with my Nikon and I caught this little guy. He was small and I had never seen one before. No idea what it was but it eventually unveiled its wings and flew off. I’d like to know what it was just to appease my curiosity.
Thanks!
Signature: Tyler

Large Milkweed Bug

Large Milkweed Bug

Hi Tyler,
Generally identification requests we receive are recent sightings, but occasionally we receive images taken in previous years.  We are curious if this is a recent sighting.  Your insect is a Large Milkweed Bug
Oncopeltus fasciatus, and according to BugGuide, they are found:  “y[ea]r round in CA, TX, FL, otherwise mostly in late summer and fall” and “Adults overwinter.”  BugGuide further elaborates:  “They can’t survive cold winters, so they migrate south in the fall and overwinter in southern states.”  Ohio, even southern Ohio, is not considered a southern state, and though there is much talk of global warming, it is understanding that Ohio had a particularly severe winter.  We can’t help but to wonder if this individual overwintered and was observed this spring, or if it was seen in a previous year.

This was taken last year in the summer
Tyler Hickey

Thanks for the clarification.

No thank you! This is my first time using this service and I think what you guys do is wonderful and I plan to use it again. Here’s a little sketch I did of our friend.
Best,
Tyler Hickey

Sketch of Large Milkweed Bug

Sketch of Large Milkweed Bug

Dear Tyler,
We have added your beautiful sketch to the posting of your Large Milkweed Bug.

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Subject: Thousands of beetles!
Location: Southern California (Thousand Oaks)
April 17, 2015 3:17 pm
Hi,
My property is covered with these tiny beetles running around – and I would like to know what they are. They vary in size from not much bigger than a flea, to about 1/4″ long. They run in sort of like “fits and spurts”, and if I gently pick one up with a tissue to bring it back outside (some are getting in the house) they leave a brownish/reddish spot on the tissue (looks like blood, but I’m pretty sure I’m not smooshing them so it is probably more of an excretion). A couple of larger ones appeared to have an “X” design on their backs. I would appreciate any help in identifying them! Sorry I can’t get a better picture.
Signature: Thanks, Eve-Marier

Seed Bug Nymph

Seed Bug Nymph

Hi Eve,
This is not a beetle, but a True Bug, but there is not enough detail in your image to provide a more specific identification.

Daniel,
Thank you for your reply.  Here is a picture of a larger one where the design on its back is visible.  Can you ID it?  Thanks so much!
Eve-Marie

Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe

Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe

That is a big help Eve-Marie,
We believe you are being troubled by Mediterranean Seed Bugs,
Xanthochilus saturnius, a species well represented on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant … earliest NA record: CA 1994 can be very abundant in grass seed fields in so. OR.”  According to the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook:  “The Mediterranean seed bug, Xanthochilus saturnius, is very small with even more distinctive markings of black-on-tan. Behind the head is the thorax with a jet black band followed by a band of stippled brown. The large triangle between the wings (scutellum) is also jet black. A light stripe outlines the scutellum, and the posterior edge of the leathery portion of the wing, forming a distinct X. There are also three other jet black blotch markings on the wings. Oregon reports “It can be very abundant in grass seed fields in southern Oregon, indicating that it does feed on grass seed.” For that reason, it continues to be “regulated in foreign trade”. Even though they do no damage to house, humans, or pets, these seed bugs become a huge annoyance and costly to exterminate when they migrate into households.”

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Subject: Little black and orange bugs
Location: Mojave, California
March 26, 2015 12:47 pm
I work in Mojave, CA and a bunch of these little guys live right outside my workplace. The thorax is a blackish/grey color while the abdomen is bright orange with symmetrical black spots. The wing coverings are orange with black shapes and two little white dots. They have six legs, two antenna, and are about the length of a thumbnail. They’re always out and about during the day, and most of them appear to be mating at this time. I tried looking them up online but couldn’t find anything so hopefully you can help me out!
Signature: Lexi

Mating Small Milkweed Bugs

Mating Small Milkweed Bugs

Dear Lexi,
These are mating Small Milkweed Bugs,
Lygaeus kalmii, and they are generally found in conjunction with milkweed, though they may feed on other plants as well.  You can read more about Small Milkweed Bugs on BugGuide.

Small Milkweed Bug

Small Milkweed Bug

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination