Subject: what is this
July 2, 2017 6:14 pm
We have 1000s of these in and out of our home. Do you know what it is? They are very small, less than 1/2″.
This is an Elm Seed Bug, Arocatus melanocephalus, which we identified on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Native to, and widespread in S. & C. Europe, established and spreading in w. US (first detected in Idaho 2012)” and “Invades homes during summer, may stay through the winter.” Based on BugGuide data, Utah is a state that has experienced infestations. According to Utah State University Extension: “There’s a new bug in town. Since July 2014, Utah State University Extension’s Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Lab has received numerous calls about a small, brown and black insect gathering in and on homes. The elm seed bug, a native of Europe, was first identified in the United States in Idaho in 2012 and in Oregon in 2013. While the first samples from Utah came from Salt Lake County, the insect is likely well established along the Wasatch Front and Cache County. Elm seed bugs feed mostly on elm seeds, but can be found on other trees, such as the linden. Luckily, the bugs are not a concern for the health of elm trees, but they have become a nuisance pest, similar to boxelder bugs, by entering homes and buildings in the spring, late summer and fall. However, unlike boxelder bugs, these bugs can emit a pungent smell, similar to bitter almonds, from their scent glands.” Introduced species without natural predators pose a significant threat to native ecosystems.