Crawling on the TV in my Daughters room
January 15, 2010
I had woken up at around 3:30am and checked in on my daughter. When I turned on the light I saw this little example of mother nature crawling his way to wherever he was going. So I did what all mothers do when they feel thier children are in danger, and whacked it with a shoe till it stoped moving. I took a close look at it and realized it has a close resemblence to a kissing bug. Which got me very scarred. I like in a well maintained apartment building in Peekskill, NY and it’s the middle of January. Could it really be one of those nasty little blood suckers, or do I owe it a apology and a mtachbox burial. I am very concered because it was so close to my daughters bed. Please if someone could get back to me I would greatly appreciate it.
Karla B. T. (surname withheld to preserve anonymity)
Peekskill, NY 10566
This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, one of the Leaf Footed Bugs that somewhat resemble another family, the Assassin Bugs, which includes the problematic Kissing Bugs or Bloodsucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma that may spread Chagas Disease. You were astute to recognize the resemblance since they are in the same order of insects, Hemiptera, which includes all True Bugs. The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a benign species that is native to the Pacific Northwest, but since the 1970s its range has increased greatly to include much of the Northeast and Canada, and very recently, portions of Northern Europe. We are going to tag this entry as Unnecessary Carnage, and in order to prevent any retaliations, we are not including your surname in our posting in order to allow you to maintain anonymity. We are doing this because we have received threats in the past from folks whose letters were tagged as Unnecessary Carnage that accused us of libel and warned us they would take legal action against us with frivolous lawsuits. We do not blame you for your first reaction, and we understand your fear of a perceived threat. We hope in the future you will recognize that Western Conifer Seed Bugs, which often seek shelter indoors as the weather cools, are benign, and then promptly relocate them rather than squashing them. A matchbox burial would be sweet, but we think it is unnecessary. We would happily restore your surname to the posting if you give us permission.