What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bug identificatio
Location: Boise, Idaho
July 1, 2013 3:02 pm
We live in Boise, Idaho and have an infestation of these small bugs. They can fly, but we see them mainly crawling. They are outside, but are also inside our house and camper.
Signature: bugged and curious

Elm Seed Bugs

Elm Seed Bugs

Dear bugged and curious,
This one was almost a stumper because this is a newly reported invasive, exotic species, the Elm Seed Bug,
Arocatus melanocephalus, a Seed Bug in the family Lygaeidae that was first reported in North America in 2012.  Even BugGuide does not have a photo yet, however, BugGuide does provide this information:  “Detected in sw Idaho, marking the first time it’s been spotted in the U.S. according USDA Native to south-central Europe” and “Invade homes during the summer to escape heat, and then stick around through the winter.”  Finally, BugGuide notes:  “One generation per year and adults overwinter. Doesn’t pose a threat to trees, despite their name — but does tend to enter houses and buildings in huge swarms.”  We generally take our identification needs to BugGuide first as it is such a comprehensive database for North American species, and though we suspected this was some type of Seed Bug, the lack of photo caused us to check other possibilities in vain.  Finally, we just did a web search of “true bug infestation Idaho” and we found a photo and a link to the Barrier Lawn & Pest Inc. commercial site with photos and a description.  There was a common name but no scientific name, and this helpful information is provided:  “The Elm Seed Bug is a new invasive species in Idaho, discovered in the treasure valley in the summer of 2012. … Elm seed bugs originate in south-central Europe, and are closely related in appearance to the Box Elder Bug, the only obvious difference is the size, with Elm Seed Bugs measuring at just under a quarter of an inch. Elm seed bugs are nuisance insects:  They don’t bite or cause damage, but become problematic because of their large numbers and tendency to enter homes. Elm seed bugs overwinter as adults, mate in the spring and lay eggs on elm trees.  The larvae feed on seeds (particularly of elm trees) in May-June, and become adults in the summer.  Like most true bugs, the Elm Seed bug has scent glands that produce an unpleasant odor when crushed.”  Additional searching led us to a pdf fact sheet produced by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture that has extensive information on the Elm Seed Bug.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Boise, Idaho

85 Responses to Elm Seed Bug Infestation in Idaho

  1. Sarah Mikek says:

    I have had this bug in my home for at least the last 7 years. I live in Washington County. They drive me nuts. They mate butt to butt and leave little brownish spots on my window sills. As they mature, when you smash them, they smell like Listerine. I only want them dead!

    The link in the above article ” Idaho State Department of Agriculture ” is broken.

  2. Sarah Jennings says:

    This is our second summer in our home and true to this website tthese little annoying bugs are back. We didn’t see them all winter but they’re back. I live in nampa and am calling in a post control to handle then and other not so nice spiders. How ever it is great to finally have a name for this mysterious bug.

    • Lowell Baker says:

      We have them in Cocolalla. This year seems a little heavy in concentration. What we hate is the smell from squashing them. I say they smell like old bananas. Their spay numbs the skin if you get it one you. My wife got the spray on her lips and the went numb almost instantly! The only thing I do not like about living in Idaho!

  3. Debbie says:

    I have also been battling these pests for several years. I’ve found the best time to attack them is before they’re old enough to fly and their outer shell isn’t hard enough protect them yet. I can see them migrate in herds across the alley, moving from my neighbor’s elm tree to my yard each spring. I use EcoSmart organic bug spray and it keeps the numbers down. Until everyone pitches in to eradicate these bugs, they won’t go away.

    • bugman says:

      Cooperation is a necessity with all forms of eradication of invasive species. Sadly, if you neighbor’s yard is a breeding ground for the Elm Seed Bug, you will continue to have problems if your neighbor does not get involved. Thanks for providing the timing information. The nymphs that have not yet developed wings are more vulnerable as they cannot fly away.

  4. Nicole says:

    Hi there,
    We have had trouble with box elder bugs infesting our house in the past but this year it appears we have a new enemy. Swarms of these obnoxious bugs are crawling on and inside our house. We have sprayed time and time again killing a good majority of them outside. It looks like someone dumped a bag of cereal all over our porch. However inside has been an ongoing battle vacuuming and spraying them with insecticidal soap. Our neighbors tree is half dead and absolutely covered in these bugs. They refuse to do anything about their dry weed patch they call a yard and their infestation of box elder bugs and elm seed bugs. Does anyone have any suggestions on who might be able to intervene? The pest problem is out of control and only getting worse.

    • Debbie says:

      You might want to try Code Enforcement (as a nuisance property complaint) or maybe the Dept. of Agriculture-Division of Plant Industries (I think they are the department that does mosquito abatement.)

  5. Gary says:

    I’m confused, I have a camper down elm tree (umbrella elm) and have never seen the bug on this tree? Is it a specific variety of elm? They are definitely all over the outside of my house and then find their way into the house as well as my neighbors house. This being the 3rd year we have been infested with them and I have not found anything that really kills them off? We have had the elm tree for 15 plus years so I don’t believe it is this tree. Any other advice or info on how to exterminate them indefinitely would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Gary says:

    We live in the meridian area off linder and Franklin road so if anyone is in that area and has any info on a solution I would love to know what it is.
    Thank you

    • Ty says:

      I live off 7th which is just east of Franklin and Linder. We have an elm tree in our back yard and have been dealing with these all three summers we’ve been here. We have pest control come every few weeks and it brings the numbers down, but the only way I can think to get rid of them is cut the tree down, but I can’t afford it. Ugh.

    • Michelle says:

      You need to contact a lawn maintenance company that can spray for them. Most pest control companies, due to restrictions, can’t spray your home or lawn properly for these. But Summer Lawns out of the Meridian/Nampa area surely will! They have been spraying early spring and mid-summer, we don’t have nearly the issue others have.

    • Jana Jensen says:

      I have had some luck with Raid Flying insect Spray. I am in a 24/7 battle with them on warm sunny days ! We spend hours at the Windows killing them by hand with a tissue or paper towels! Just so we can not have them land on us at night! They are the worst thing I’ve had to deal with! Thank goodness I finally found the right identification of these terrible things! They crawl into food , potatoe chip and sereal bags and my dogs food! If you haven’t had the pleasure of one on your tongue , feel lucky! I get feeling I’ll after killing dozens and breathing the fumes and they do numb the skin and feel like an electrical shock at times! I think in large amounts that they have toxins for sure!! Spray all your doors and windows and caulk well around them before fall! I just can’t believe the numbers of the. wintering in my Windows and they love bathrooms and kitchens also!!!

      • Jana Jensen says:

        PS I am in Snowville,Utah and I’ve heard of them all around Northern Utah but with the wrong identification! Sorry for the type’os
        above↕ and thanks for everyone’s input! I think that there is alot more to learn about these and they aren’t stopping their March! 151st saw them fall of 2017!!

      • Linn says:

        Yeah,one just attacked me.i gotta go to the hospital,I wanna know what it carries I’m getting burnt out on these things.there is a non toxic spray that’s not harmful to humans you can get it at Freddy’s or Home Depot it’s crazy how they will follow you around.in the summer time they will come out you outside eye level.i hope they don’t attack us to hard this summer but I’ve alreadt succumbed to its nasty ness.god luck.

  7. Jerry says:

    Live in north Mountain Home had elm seed bugs last year but this year is crazy they cover entire window screens you cant walk out the door and they are allover you, The property is ringed in piss elm’s (sorry never heard them called anything else) They are in total swarms.How do i kill them?

    • bugman says:

      We do not provide extermination advice, but perhaps one of our readers may have suggestions.

    • Gary says:

      There is no real pesticide for them you have to extensively spray the elms around you and constantly spray around your home every time you see the (probably every day I assume). I have found that the dawn ultra works to kill them on contact but there is nothing with a residual effect. 1tsp per gallon of water in a pump sprayer. You can also take an old bottle of those ones you connect to a hose and put a couple tsps in it and connect to a house to reach higher areas or for trees. GL from meridian Idaho we are infested too!

    • T.j. says:

      I just moved to mountain home in December have had them all winter (seems the house i rented has been infested awhile) I have been trying to figure out what in the H – E – double hockey sticks they are have bug bombed an everything does no good… do you know of a pest control company in the area that can treat inside and out because im originally from Georgia amd it dont matter how clean you keep your house your still gunna have roaches (at least in rual areas we have whats called a pine roach out there that are HUGE and live in our pine trees but also find thier ways in the house) but this is worse then any roach problem I have ever seen!

    • CJM says:

      I found that they do not live long in very hot water. Also when I see them I vacuum them with the hose of my vacuum. I have caught up to one hundred of them when I do this. Also found if I leave about 1/2 inch of water in my sink bowl, with a tablespoon of mouth wash in it, I find about 50+ of them floating dead in it upon returning home from work or waking up. I do not like sprays and or chemicals. I see a decrease in my home every day. I have been doing this for about 3 months doing both vacuum and sink. Down to maybe 25 a day now. Hopefully, the process will slow down the ability of them regenerating.

  8. Debbie says:

    I’ve also found that fly strips help keep the numbers down. The east side of my house is coated with these bugs, (especially in the heat of the day) and within 2 days I had 3 fly strips covered with them. I’ve also had to tape my windows shut to keep them from coming inside. They can squeeze through amazingly small spaces. I still recommend the EcoSmart bug spray. It is effective if you can spray them directly, but have found nothing to completely eliminate them.

  9. I ve had an infestation of these this week and used Bayer spectracide. And are seeing some results. We live in Boise next to Edwards Greenhouse. They are a big nuisance and are ecerywhere. Ill keep after them and talk with neighbors.

  10. Mary says:

    The Dawn Ultra works (Thank you Gary)! Please use that instead of the Bayer spectracide as it will kill honey bees. Hive collapse is a huge problem and we need to protect the pollinators and humans! Thank you!

  11. Tracie says:

    Are Box Elder Bugs and Elm Seed Bugs the same thing? I’ve gotten conflicting answers from anyone I ask. I have billions of Box Elders in my back yard because I have Maple Trees, I’m just wondering if there’s going to be a new annoyance creeping into my back yard! Just as a note I DO NOT exterminate the Box Elders, there’s no point in starting a losing battle since I have 5 Maples on my property that I’m not willing to get rid of, I like the shade too much!

    • bugman says:

      The Boxelder Bug is a native species and the Elm Seed Bug is a nonnative species introduced into North America from Europe. Both are classified as True Bugs in the suborder Heteroptera.

  12. SBJones says:

    These guys showed up last year (2013) at our place and were pretty bad in the 1,000 springs area South of Hagerman. This year we have millions of them. I’m not kidding, every morning there are piles and piles of dead ones in every outbuilding and hundreds of dead ones in every window seal. I have seen the ground crawling with these bugs like ant swarms.

    It would take aerial spraying to get rid of these things or introduce a natural predator. The whole Snake River is nothing but overgrown piss elms and will feed and breed these guys.

    • Debbie says:

      Over the years, the Starlings and Robins have acquired a taste for them in our area. The thought of an aerial attack concerns me because I am a beekeeper.
      I saw on the news the other day (I think it was on KBOI) that a pesticide company is trying to find what will kill them. You can submit your house as a trial area and they will do what they can free of charge. They are hoping to be able to add this bug to the list of what their chemical will kill.

  13. Jane says:

    We have these in Salt Lake City this year. Cats will eat the Box Elders, but won’t touch these. Womp womp. Guess I’ll have to keep flushing 20 of them down the toilet every day.

  14. Julie says:

    Yes! I am in Salt Lake City and just bombarded by them in the past few days! I am renting and my landlords seem not to think its a big deal when I texted them about it. When I asked if they would cover the cost to get a pest control service to come spray, they said it was the tenant’s responsibility to deal with pests indoors. They have no idea what a huge problem it is yet, until they come see. I didn’t either until I went outside this evening And saw the swarms all over the siding, the windows, and rain gutters. They drop on my head as I walk through my front door/overhang . I can’t afford the pest control co. I just had them come out for spiders in June, I can’t throw another dollar at pest control only 1.5 months later! Should I just ignore it and let them deal w this? And in the meantime, will vacuuming them off the ceiling and door frame work well enough to keep them from multiplying even further ?

    • bugman says:

      For the record, we generally don’t condone the use of pesticides, but there are situations where professional attention is required. You should check your local renters rights because in our minds, it is generally the landlord’s responsibility to deal with indoor problems as well as property problems.

  15. Debra says:

    Hi Julie…so sorry you have them now too. While you wait for your landlord to come around you can do a couple things that will help (as well as vacuuming them).
    Fly paper strips really attract them and a spray bottle with dish soap and water will take the numbers down a bit…they really hate the lemon scented. Both are inexpensive ways to keep your sanity a bit longer. They land on me too and it creeps me out.
    I think Bugman is right about your landlord being responsible unless it is specifically written in your agreement that you handle indoor bugs.

  16. Steve says:

    I have them in Blackfoot this year

  17. Arlene says:

    I first had them in my yard here in Pocatello all summer. I first noticed lots and lots of tiny green worms falling out of my piss elm trees. They were all over the ground. The birds were loving them. Then later the adult bugs were everywhere. (I assumed that the green worms were the immature bugs.) They are so messy, stinky, and disgusting. When it got cold, I thought maybe we were done with them, but no, they moved into my house. I just killed one crawling on my desk, AGAIN, which is why I decided to try to figure out what they are. Thanks for letting me know.

    • bugman says:

      Immature Elm Seed Bugs look just like adults but the nymphs are wingless. The green worms you originally witnessed were most likely caterpillars or sawfly larvae.

  18. MichaeL Gollaher says:

    It is now March of 2015 and the current warm spell in the Boise area has rejuvinated these hordes. Yes, we are infected too. Got Maple trees that in the past were infected with Box Elder bugs. It seems the Seed Bug is a cousin of the Box Elder, cause they are so similar in so many ways. The seed bug is, if anything, MORE invasive and once you are infected there is really nothing you can do to completely wipe them out. Guess I’ll try what folks in here have been posting and try to keep them in check.

    For the record:
    1 – Dawn Ultra or similar soap in water as spray (kills on contact, but no residual effect. Will usually keep hordes in check, cause they seem to dislike a lemony smell.)
    2 – Fly strips
    3 – Insecticide like EcoSmart or Bayer (pyrethrin? based) as last resort.

  19. Sarah says:

    I have used the small bug bombs in the orange cans. I put on a mask and quickly spray around the windows. I set the bomb off on a non windy day on my porches and inside up on my highest window sills when we leave for a bit. It seems to leave a residual effect as well, so when they walk on it, they die. They are messy, dead or alive. I have had these bugs at my place in Midvale since about 2005-6, so it is nothing new to me, just hard to believe nobody had ever heard of them at that time!

  20. Sheila says:

    These little bugs are driving me insane, they are all over my house. Come the warmer weather I have to vacuum my window sills twice a day it’s so embarrassing. Has anyone found the cure ??

  21. Sarah says:

    I have been dealing with this for a long time. I don’t want the exterminator to spray inside my house…although that might work. When they mate they leave red spots all over the sills. My vacuum is my best friend this time of year. I deal with them for a good 4-5 months out of the year! HATE THEM! I commiserate with you, if that is any consolation.

  22. Debra says:

    Hi Sheila…I doubt they’ll find a cure, but there are several ways to begin to manage them. I’ve been dealing with them for years like Sarah. They aren’t as bad for me now, but have moved to the neighbors house with a vengeance. I think I’ve made my house undesirable with eco-friendly sprays, cleaning up old wood/clippings etc. and hanging fly strips like wind chimes. They aren’t attractive, but better that than those nasty bugs. If you can get to them before they mature they are much easier to kill.

  23. Kaitlin says:

    I’m in Denver and have had these suckers bad the past 3-4 summers; I couldn’t even sit on my patio without one landing on me at one point and I am terrified of these harmless things. They seem the worst end of July/August and totally stick around through fall if they’ve made it into my sunroom. Seriously though, these things surprise me how sneaky they are. I can’t leave my windows open after July because they find a way to make it past all my screens,

    The first summer our condominium HOA sprayed it didn’t make much of a difference. The HOA has since cut down a few old elm trees on the property, and last summer they sprayed at least 3 times and its made a huge difference. Not sure if more neighbors sprayed last summer, but its definitely a neighborhood effort, (like getting rid of pine beetles).

  24. Jodie says:

    We live in southwest Idaho near the Oregon border and have had these bugs for the past few years. We live by a creek filled with Elm Trees so eliminating trees to try and help treat this bug problem is not possible. They just came out this past weekend and I have tried spraying with many different insecticides with no residual effects. Our screened in sun room was infested with them last year and so we shut it up and put of 2 raid bug bombs and it didnt’ touch them.
    I am going to try the Dawn Ultra idea and someone said they don’t like lemon scent things. If anyone finds a permanent solution please post! They are driving me crazy!!!

  25. John says:

    My wife and bought a house in Meridian last winter (off Linder and Cherry), and these things popped up in the summertime. I did not realize how bad it was until I was awaken in the middle of the night by one crawling on me. That set my determination to did them from my house. It drove me insane trying to get rid of them. I kept a vacuum and soapy water close by at all times. We had to keep our bathroom fan on all summer, cause they were crawling through. We have a locust and maple tree in our backyard, and our neighbor has an elm. I spent all spring sealing every crack I could find around the outside of our home. A couple days ago, they popped up again. I filled a 3 gallon sprayer with dawn and water and doused the exterior of our home. The siding, Windows, and doors. They are still flying around, but have not touched the areas I have oversprayed. We are already in the process of getting our trees cut down, hoping to eliviate some of the infestation. It is sad because the trees are beautiful, but I am willing to sacrafice them to destroy these things. I just can’t believe how smart these things are. They don’t seem intimidated at all when I am standing by them, but once I reach for the spray bottle, they start to scatter. For those of you that are dealing with this, I feel your pain. Hopefully the study performed last year around the valley will soon find a solution.

  26. Sadie says:

    FYI…on this thread we are talking about elm “seed” bugs. Not the larger, darker gray with the orange on them that are prevalent around the valley. Google “elm bug” and you will see the dark gray bugs with the orange lines…these are not the elm seed bugs we are talking about here. These are smaller, about the size of a hulled sunflower seed and they smell like listerine when you smash them. I have NO large trees within 1/2 mile of my house, we are on high range dry ground. We built our house 14 years ago and planted aspen, linden, maple and willow trees in the intervening years we have lived here. These seem to be a seasonal bug here in Midvale. I don’t have any now, but in mid spring they are awful and annoying. I would make sure what type of bug you have before you cut down any beautiful trees. The ones in this thread might not be the ones you have at your place. I can’t even find one to take a photo right now, which is great with me. Good luck!

  27. John says:

    Thanks for the reply, but I have done the research. They are identical to the ones pictured at the top of this page, and I have provided samples to multiple pest control companies as well as our local Zamzows to determine if it was elm seed bugs or not. Then we even had our arborist come out to confirm if our trees were infested by elm seed bugs. He, like the other professionals, confirmed , and said it was possibly due to the neighbors elm. He mentioned that we could keep fighting them, but to get rid of the massive infestation we had, the trees should come down. It is a shame that the trees will come down, but we can always replant new ones once the source of the infestation is determined and handled.

  28. Eastern Oregon says:

    Diatomaceous Earth works great on these critters. I sprinkled liberally around the outside of the house and even on the lawn. It can’t kill them all since they come in from other yards but it does keep the number down, I’ve had far fewer than last year.

    The DE gets on their shells, absorbs the oil/wax that coats, it breaks the seal allowing them to dehydrate from the inside out. Even the ones that get in to the house all die since they’ve gotten DE on themselves from the outside. It’s also cut down on the number of spiders we’ve had from last year; fewer box-elder/elm seed bugs mean fewer predators.

    Try to get the ‘food grade’ DE, it’s safer for animals. It’s a bit harder to find but you can get 10lbs from Amazon for under $20.

  29. Shelby Carrell says:

    It hit the upper 90’s and 100° and we have this nuisance for the first time. I’m in eastern Washington and we have pine trees.

  30. Brigitte kietz says:

    I live in Oregon columbia river gorge ,and just discovered,the elm seed bug
    a week ago,they play dead until I moved them then they fly.I did spray the screens and ground so far so good.I used,Spectracide Bug Stop
    Home Depot.

  31. Tammy says:

    I’m in Pocatello and have battled these for 2 yrs now. I used multiple bug killer to no avail. My mom seen a post on Facebook were you take vinegar and orange peels place them in a sealed glass jar and let it sit for 2 weeks. Place liquid in a spray bottle and spray those bugs. IT REALLY WORKS. The spray has multiple uses aside from killing the bugs. I have not been swarmed this year, only have about 10~15 of the little critters every couple days now. Good luck!

  32. Clay Steele says:

    We’ve had elm seed bugs here in Nampa for the last five years, I get them real bad every year because our backyard sits on a creek lined with elm trees. This year they started getting pretty bad then we got the extreme heat in late June through early July, and the bugs have just disappeared completely. I don’t know what happened but theres no bugs at all! Believe me I’ve had the bugs here to the point of being embarrassed if someone came over. Hope they stay gone.

    • Debra says:

      Hi Clay, was your area part of the mosquito abatement this year?
      Maybe the spraying works on them? Something’s got to.
      I had a bad wave of them during the heat and they are still here, but not nearly as many of them.

      • Clay Steele says:

        I don’t know , we live off Lone Star and Midland . Maybe the mosquito spraying worked I don’t know . But they’re gone. And I’ve had my house and sheds completely covered every year since 2010. It’s nice to be outside in the afternoon now. If the mosquito spraying worked that would be nice but the state of Idaho couldn’t care less because these bugs don’t eat any crops.

  33. Don says:

    These evil little bugs are all over my yard trees and inside my house. They crawl on me all day long. I used home defense on these and ot killed thousands of them i havent tried dish soap yet. Has anyone tried dottera lemon oil extract on them yet? Lol if they hate lemon that would be like pissing on them with a lemon. I will try that on my skin but carfully since lemon is phototoxic and can hurt you if exposed while on your body to the sun. But i bet i coukd make a mist spray for them maybe peppermint will work too. I will try some stuff. I live in Blackfoot Idaho on S Shilling Ave and these bugs have to go.

  34. Dave Strickland says:

    I live in Sweet I’d. And first noticed these Demons in 2005.And have had them ever since. I actually thought I was cursed cause no one else had them now I know different. Thanks to the misfortunes of all of you! Thanks for now I know their name..finally. I thought they were Box elders I got them too. Laundry Detergent & water kills them on contact only.Vacuum & Fly swatter helps .But they still breed .I’ll try some of the remedies mentioned. I’ve even nearly lost my house to a Brush Fire & still got invaded by Bugs. Nice to know I’m not only one …Now.Hope someone finds a cure cause this is a Horrible Infestation to deal with. Good luck & God Bless All You’all

  35. Really helpful blog thank you for information about “Bug” pest control

  36. Sue says:

    I’m in Idaho Falls near Melaleuca Field. This area planted a lot of elm trees
    ‘back in the day’ and now most are monstrously huge and have a lot of older branches and dead wood in them. We don’t have elm trees but the neighbors do, and we get the white elm seeds falling and piling up in our yard and around our decks and driveways. I had the elm seed bugs really bad 2 years ago, less last year, and only a few so far this year. Either it’s too early in the year for their swarming the house, or maybe parts dying off of the trees next door has helped?? I’ve been trying to shovel up the piles of the whiteish seeds that we get also, besides using Home Defense spray last month around the house perimeter. I guess I should wait a month or 2 to see if I’m as lucky as I hope I am right now!!

  37. Tiffany says:

    Hi, I’m Tiffany. I live in West Jordan, UT.
    These things have recently invaded my home, I tried killing them with Raid for flying bugs.
    I got most of the them but the ones that got away and out of my room, are now terrorizing my sister’s room and the rest of my house. Any advise how to farther deal with them would be very much appreciated! Thank you.

  38. Lowell Baker says:

    We are in Standpoint sand other than sucking them up with a vacuum, there is nothing you can do. Thank you Ukraine where they came from!

  39. Tami says:

    We moved to Malad Idaho a year ago and this was the first time we had seen these beetles. We are getting them under control with perimeter spraying. The problem that we have is that all the websites we have gone on day that they don’t bite but we have been bitten by them. My husband says that they almost act like they are trying to bore into the skin.

  40. Justin S says:

    Please use natural non-toxic remedies in your efforts to eliminate insects and other pests you don’t like. I live in West Valley, UT and have had these for a couple years now. Initially I thought they must have been young Box Elder bugs and that was why they were smaller and not orange colored yet and so simply ignored them. A lot more are getting in the house this year and so I started looking closer at them and realized they’re different. As someone else previously posted diatomaceous earth works great, I sprinkle this around the doors to help keep crawling bugs out of my house. I apparently don’t have as many as others but the few that make their way in my house I don’t do much to get rid of them since they aren’t harming anything. If they were attacking or posed some health threat I might think differently but there is always a less environmentally detrimental option available. Using toxic chemicals only helps the evil corporations like Monsanto/Bayer AG and destroys the pollinators like bees and butterflies. Thank you for caring about the planet where we live.

    • Debra P. says:

      I completely agree with you Justin. There are non-toxic ways to handle the situation. The first 5 years I dealt with them, they were EVERYWHERE. Finally this year there are very few. I think that nature is doing it’s part as I’ve seen Starlings and now Robins finding them a good food source.
      Tami, I think you may have a different pest. These have never bitten me or caused any harm to my plants. I did accidently drink one once in the middle of the night. My coaster now goes on top of my water glass 🙂

  41. mary bartolome says:

    This is our first year with these stink bugs..They are annoying..We tried dawn dish soap mixed with water , put in a spray bottle..When we sprayed them most of them looked like they were going into convulsions and then drop..They were DEAD ! It is the best bug killer we know of,. 2 or 3 squirts of soap into 16oz of water.

  42. Debra P. says:

    This is the first year in MANY that I’ve had very few of them, a handful at most. Last year I believe I came across the main nest in our irrigation box. I sprayed them with diluted dish soap and their numbers in our yard started to dwindle. I found none in the house throughout the entire winter and I’ve only seen 10 or 15 all summer. It’s been a long stretch with them (at least 6 years) and I’m hoping they’ve moved on for good.

  43. Ty says:

    We finally gave up and sold the house. The last 18 months of freedom from these pests has changed our lives!

  44. Colin says:

    I’ve been searching all over the internet in hopes of trying to discover what these little bugs are. (they look a bit like a miniature elder bug without the red marks & are orange color on their underside). We’ve always had a large number of box elders but this year is the first time I’ve ever seen these little bugs. I was killing ~50/day but now down to less than 10. I tried spraying the base of the wall around the outside of our building & then have just been using ‘Gorilla duct tape’ for gathering/killing them off. In a basement apt. I discovered many more than my place & put down some rodent glue boards and they were just covered in them in no time.

  45. Colin says:

    sigh… I forgot to mention… I live in Trail B.C. (a few miles up from the border of Wash., ~2hrs. north of Spokane). We’ve never had these before this year.

  46. Dick Kline says:

    Guess I will join the crowd of folks dealing with these critters. Have them for the first time this year. Live in Murray, Utah. A real pain in the butt for sure!

  47. Debra P. says:

    I’ve just found that one of the ‘you mix, on the hose’ pesticide/fertilizer sprayers does a wonderful job. Broadcast spraying the diluted lemon dish soap doesn’t hurt my plants but it definitely gets rid of these guys in a swath. I’m also able to get the ones hanging out on the roof. Been battling them for 8+ years. You’d think I’d have this down by now…

  48. Sarah Mikek says:

    I had them terribly this spring. When the first ones showed up, I got (disposable!) clear containers (like the ones that some lunch meat come in) and put them on windowsills about 1/3 full of water with a layer of dish soap on top. It helped if I could put them behind a curtain because it can get disgusting, but I got rid of more this way than any way I have tried in the last 10 years, (yes, I have had them for 10 years or more) I put them in front of doors on the floor where they were bad too. I live in Idaho, so water evaporates quickly and I would have to refill them. But, I caught spiders and other insects too, so this is a plus. I also tried the pantry moth traps in the sills, but the water and dish soap work much better. I am hoping that I stopped a lot of their disgusting mating and can eliminate some of them permanently. Their season is over where I live now. We will see what happens next year! As in years past, they are cyclical and I won’t see any until next March and they bother me for about 2 1/2 to 3 months. Oh, and they ARE Elm Seed Bugs. No doubt!

    • Sarah Mikek says:

      Oh…I don’t have a problem with them outside, just inside. And there are no elm trees anywhere nearby!

    • Debra says:

      Hey Sarah…thanks for the idea of the containers. I’ve also been fighting them for a very long time and any tips are helpful. I’ve too have found that dish soap is what kills them and it’s a whole lot less expensive than trying different sprays etc.

  49. scott says:

    i live in soap lake Washington thats in eastern Washington and this year we have a huge infestation on my 5 acres they are everywhere Icant even go outside to my shop without getting covered with them and they are making there way inside this is no small scale invasion mine is huge who can i call to complain about this at the state level its ruining my home and hurting my buisness what can i do to eradicate them ill try anything

  50. Wendy Chilton says:

    We spent 2.5 weeks in Osoyoos, BC in June of this year in our 5th wheel trailer. When we got to the RV park we were happy to be close to some big trees for shade. A couple days there we noticed these bugs in our trailers but didn’t know what they were. Finally found out that the big trees that we were so happy to have were actually Elm trees and these little bugger bugs were called Elm Seed Beetles. When we got back home we still have them and there is no Elm trees nearby. I have been trying to kill them now for 5 weeks. They are truly nasty. I have know idea what they are eating to survive this long

    • Debra says:

      Hi Wendy…best I can figure is that they eat seeds. They also hang out in my Maple tree. Lightly diluted lemon dish soap in a squirt bottle and vigilance is the best I’ve found for eliminating them.

  51. Sarah Mikek says:

    I will say this again, as I feel I am an expert on these stupid little suckers. I have disposable containers and I fill halfway or less with water and drizzle Dawn dish soap over the top. I then place them on my windowsills or in front of problem doors. It doesn’t get rid of them completely, but drowns quite a few of them. I have sprayed chemicals inside and out and this is the best way to see less of them. I do not have any large elm trees, or a lot of trees around my place. These just showed up about 10 years ago around here and we built our house in 2002. The large influx is seasonal (spring). They smell like listerine when you have the unfortunate contact with one, but they don’t bite and are not toxic. They are not the larger dutch elm bugs. No matter what kind of winter we have had…-25 degrees or not, they still show up in the spring.

    • Debra P. says:

      Thank you for that again Sarah Mikek…I’d like to add, if you put dish soap in a container that attaches to your garden hose you can eliminate them at a much younger age (if you see the migration). I can watch them move across my alley into my back yard every spring and this takes care of (at a minimum) 75% of them from growing up. I’ve been after them for about 10 years as well.

  52. Colin says:

    What I’ve been doing to help eliminate the numbers of them is I use a pressurized weed sprayer (the kind you pump the handle on).. filling it with water & dish soap. I soak them on the exterior (south-facing) walls in early spring when they come out in huge numbers. It also works for the elder bugs.
    I’m also still picking them off with strips of duct tape in my home (Gorilla tape), picking them off the windows & window frames and yah… I too cover my drinking glass now with a yoghurt container lid…. I also drank one by accident .. UGH!!!!

  53. Bruce says:

    I live in Middleton. We’ve had these bugs buzzing our home since about 2012. I’ve tried everything, and manage to kill a lot of them, but haven’t found a way to completely eradicate them. Sealing the house up does work, but I find, like Box Elders, they take flight when someone/something-like a dog or cat walks by, then they attach to you, and inevitably ‘ride’ you into your house. Everyone out here has these bugs around their home. I agree about a ‘community controlled eradication’ of these bugs, but that’s a long shot.

  54. Ty says:

    I said something to this effect a few years ago on this thread when we were dealing with it. The best luck we had was hiring a pest control company that will come back as many times as necessary when their treatment doesn’t eliminate the pest. That way were were able to have them come back a few weeks in a row and by then there was enough pesticide around my house the number of these little devils was down to a bearable amount. We finally got so tired of it we sold the house and moved to a newer neighborhood in south Meridian. My wife and I look back and talk about how we’d move again if this were to ever happen to us again. SOOOOOO ANNOYING!

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