Subject: Martha’s Vineyard bug
Location: Martha’s Vineyard, MA
October 7, 2012 1:17 pm
I photographed this on Martha’s Vineyard on Oct. 6, 2012. It was a sunny day, about 70 degrees F.
Signature: Gary

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Hi Gary,
This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug,
Leptoglossus occidentalis, and we have been getting at least one identification request per day despite not posting any new images lately.  Your photo is exceptional, so we are creating a new posting.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific northwest, but beginning in the early 1970s, it began to increase its range, most likely through accidental human intervention.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is now found across the northern portion of North America in Canada and the northern states.  In the early 2000s, it also was introduced to Europe where it is spreading.  This is one of our most common identification requests when the weather cools as the Western Conifer Seed Bug will enter homes to hibernate.  It is not considered a threat to people, pets or homes, and it feeds on fluids from the seeds of conifers, so it doesn’t do any harm to the trees themselves either.  It is considered a nuisance when there are high population densities of Western Conifer Seed Bugs.

Thanks for the quick response and the kind words about the photo.

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Location: Massachusetts

2 Responses to Western Conifer Seed Bug

  1. alicelu says:

    how can I discourage the Western Conifer Seed Bug from hibernating inside my house?

    • bugman says:

      If you want to keep Western Conifer Seed Bugs from entering your home, you need to understand why they are entering and how they are gaining access. They enter homes to provide shelter from the elements, and they are able to enter homes through cracks in the foundation, gaps in windows and doors, and even simultaneously as people come and go through open doors. You can make your home inhospitable by keeping the indoor temperature the same or lower than the outdoor temperature, though that would not help much for the human inhabitants. You can have your house hermetically sealed, but that could get costly. You will most likely never be able to keep them out with 100% assurance, but you can at least weatherproof your windows and doors and check for cracks in the foundation. That will have the added benefit of keeping your heating and cooling costs down.

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