Friend or Foe?
Hi Bugman!
We moved into an older house a few months ago and periodically, even in the dead of Canadian winter, I find these beetles wandering in the house. These guys can fly and sound quite loud when they do. I’m hoping they aren’t damaging in that they eat wood! Can you identify the species and tell me more about them?
Thanks from the Toronto area,

Dear Ursula,
You have a Western Conifer Seed Bug. The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis was first described in California in 1910 and prior to 1969, it was only known in the Western U.S. Then it started to move East. By the 1970’s it was established in Wisconsin and Illinois, and by the mid 1980’s was found in Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario. In 1990 this species was collected in New York State and in 1992 it was found in Pennsylvania. It is also present in Mexico. The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a True Bug from the Family Coreidae, the Big Legged Bugs or Leaf Footed Bugs. It is a pest on conifer trees. It will not harm the wood in your house. They are seeking shelter for the winter. Like many true bugs, including Stink Bugs and Box Elder Bugs, they seek a comfortable place to hibernate.

Thank you so much! It’s reassuring to know that we don’t have some sort of wood boring insect manifestation chewing away the framing of our new home! But seriously, I like knowing all the creatures I live with, invited or not, and what their living habits are. Hopefully, our Western conifer seed bugs will be returning outside come the warmer weather.
Thanks again and have a great, great day!

5 Responses to Western Conifer Seed Bug

  1. I caught one of these Western Conifer Seed Bugs on my Jade Plant. Creemore, Ontario, Canada (close to Georgian Bay). Strange thing to find in my house in the middle of winter.
    Your site is a great source for insect identification.

  2. Chuck says:

    I have been finding what looks like the Western Conifer Seed Bug in my house in Woodinville, Wa. and also in my shop in Redmond, Wa. .

    When I killed them the fragrance they emit smells like green apples. Is that a common result?

  3. Kristina A. Larson says:

    Just this last Sunday I saw one of these critters on one of the windows after our potluck at church. I let it crawl around on my hand for a while and was going to let it fly to freedom, however it decided to hang out at one of the other windows near the doors. Not long after, some young (and probably naive) girl noticed it, grabbed a napkin, and uttering, “Eww, a bug,” snuffed out its life, in turn becoming revolted by the ensuing odor. I told her in a subtle tone it wouldn’t have hurt anyone (I didn’t want to sound like some PETA freak, lol) and that’s likely how they keep themselves from being eaten. But she said it was an ugly bug (???)

    Kristina A. Larson
    Ellsworth ME

  4. Mary Loomer says:

    Does this have wings? It looks rather like the ones mostly in my attic. Some have appeared downstairs lately. They seem to jump rather than fly.
    Can I send you a foto of one I tried to kill neatly?

  5. Valerie says:

    I love these guys – are they beetles? I find them in my home about once every two weeks, and I’ve been putting them outside because they’re so slow-moving, I’m afraid I’ll accidentally squash one.

    If I chose to leave one indoors, will it starve or die of thirst?

    Thank you.

    -Inordinately Enamored of Bugs

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