What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

a very menacing looking bug turned up in my front room apartment. my letter explains all.
December 5, 2009
hello sir’s
on saturday 5th december i was removing the throw-over from an armchair in my front room (which is carpeted, and i own a indoor cat, and live at the top of a three story apartment – i might add, if it helps) i moved the chair out of my way and noticed an odd bug which may have been hiding/residing under the chair? it wasn’t mobile moving (i accidently broke one of its legs moving the chair (i’m sorry). any way, it was still alive. having rescued it, i placed it on an envelope to inspect it. i’ve never seen one of these before so i took some snaps of it, however after searching for this unique scary looking specimen in my ‘bugs and insects’ book i’m still not aware of the species.
the closest ‘relation’ looking insects i could find that looked even remotely like the one i found were either a ‘house’ or ‘field cricket’, a ‘water boatman backswimmer’ or a ‘forest bug’? but, what i don’t know is if insects, say, like black ants are easily distinguishable from red ants because of color, size and the like, being the same genus etc…….
i still think this particular species is not any of what i read up on. although similar looking. this one is very distinctive compared to the researched ones i read about.
my girlfriend had been traveling around eastern europe for the summer and, may of unknowingly smuggled it back england in her traveling bags?
if you guys know what species it belongs to could you please enlighten me with your knowledge.
i’m not a worry-guts but the insect does look rather menacing, and as i’m ignorant to what family it belongs and where it came i’ll house it in a glass jar. in case you need further photography.
i hope it’s not poisonous or, being female, laid a nest in my flat.
last thing, my girlfriend returned back to england around mid june,
so if it did manage to find its way into our front room it would be
highly unlikely that it managed to survive five months or so.
please help.
yours faithfully
mr jake bennett
My home, Leiston, Suffolk UK

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Mr. Jake Bennett,
This is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae.  We are nearly certain it is Leptoglossus occidentalis, the Western Conifer Seed Bug that is native to the Northwest region of North America.  Beginning in the 1970s, there were reports coming from eastern North America, and it is believe that an accidental introduction led to a range expansion.  In the 1990s reports of the species spread to the northern portions of Europe became more frequent.  There is a flickr page with reports from the UK.  Your girlfriend may have transported this specimen from the northern parts of Eastern Europe, or the species may already be naturalized in your area.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug often seeks shelter indoors as the weather cools, reemerging in the spring to lay eggs.  The species is considered harmless, though its increased range expansion may have as yet unknown effects on the species diversity within its adopted habitat.

Thank-you ever so much for replying to me on your website Sir, and the quickness of replying by e-mail too !!!
It’s very interesting and helpful. So thank you very much.
My questioning/story to you about my new best friend LFB was, totally something new for me.
Finding a devilishly looking critter (that I’ve never seen or know of in my life), in my own
lounge threw me a bit.
I would’ve spent hours, (more like days), hunting down genuine knowledge on the insect with-out your
rapid response.
I am really rather glad I came across him, being ignorant (totally) about insect genus’, I’ve found a new
interest, which is a great result.
I’ve moved him to a square plastic container as he couldn’t stick on the glass and resulted falling on his back
constantly and him being crippled at the moment I had to check him every half hour or so.
I’ve been trying to find – what I can feed him? to make him more comfitable whilst his back left leg mends
(if it ever will).
Saying that, he looks on the mend and is moving about -mostly on all other legs, while trying self physiotherapy!
One thing I have learnt though is, as much as they like fruit crops sugars etc.. never to
give them honey. He liked it so much that he covered himself with what he didn’t eat and kept falling on his
back and getting stuck.
Although | managed very gently to remove the honey from him I need to keep a close eye (just in case
I missed some).
Any who, he has lots of ivy plant shoots with him so if he gets stuck upside down again he can grab a bit
and pull himself back upright.
Mr Marlos, and my LFB have made my weekend.
I hope you have a good weekend also,
All the best.
Jason.
PS. I’ll let you know how he progresses if you’d like. Plus any tips from you would be great.
Q. Is there one particular fruit/food the Coreidae enjoy? preferably ‘non-sticky.
I’ve looked around the net
and all I found literally was multiple ways of exterminating them!!!!! which is for me a No-No.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

2 Responses to Western Conifer Seed Bug in UK

  1. clickbeetle says:

    The Western Conifer Seed Bugs normally seek shelter in the winter to escape the cold, at which point they will enter a deep hibernation state called diapause. Diapausing insects have a very low metabolism and do not eat or move about, kind of like hibernating bears. When the weather warms up, they become active again and complete their life cycle.

    However, if their environment stays warm enough (like if they are inside a house), the bugs will not enter diapause and their metabolism will stay high. In this state, they will typically die naturally before winter ends.

    I know this from experience because a couple years ago I tried keeping some bugs over the winter, feeding them with a paper towel soaked in sugar water to keep them going. (WCS bugs typically feed on young green pinecones, which don’t exist in winter). Neither of the bugs made it. I think the best thing you can do for bugs seeking shelter in your house is place them in a proper overwintering habitat. Ideally piles of leaf litter or other organic matter, or else inside a garage or toolshed or something. Someplace outside that will be cold enough to keep the bug in diapause, but sheltered enough so as not to kill the bug.

  2. spazpekker says:

    Mr clickbeetle.

    Thanks for the info.
    I had him in my apartment with heat on, still worrying if he would be warm enough.
    I’ve placed him on my small outside balcony (roofed – water and
    windproof), with dry leafs/soil in the plastic container where he won’t be disturbed apart from some local traffic noise.

    Sorry if my website posting letter about finding the insect was rather dramatic, as many things I know about in the world, non native UK insects is one of them.

    So thanks for your help Sir.

    Jason.

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