Elm Seed Bug Vs Box Elder Bug: The 3 Big Differences

There are two very common pests in North American homes in the summer and spring seasons. In this article, we compare the elm seed bug vs box elder bug.

Few things are more frustrating than finding your home taken over by nuisance pests.

Especially with the arrival of the warm weather, box elder bugs and elm seed bugs are a common sight in homes. 

The two pests are similar in several aspects, and homeowners often find it challenging to distinguish them from each other.

If you came here trying to find out more about how they differ, rest assured that you won’t be disappointed.

What Are The Similarities?

Elm seed bugs and box elder bugs are quite similar in several ways, which we’ll quickly go over:

  • Appearance: The two bugs even look somewhat similar to each other, with dark bodies and red or orange markings. Unless you specifically know how they look, it can be hard to differentiate.
  • Scent glands: Both these bugs release a pungent odor when attacked or killed. Like the infamous stink bug, they have scent glands that allow them to do this.
  • No structural damage: Neither of the two pests causes any structural damage. They don’t pose a threat to your furniture or other belongings.
  • Fecal stains: One of the biggest problems with the elm seed bug and the boxelder bug is that they leave dirty fecal spots all over. When these bugs infest your home, you’ll start noticing these fecal stains on the walls, curtains, and other surfaces.
  • Non-venomous: Thankfully, neither of them is venomous. They don’t pose a direct danger to humans, and they do not bite.
  • Infestation habits: Until late summer, they continue to enter homes in large numbers. You might even find them covering the entire perimeter of your home.
  • Overwintering: Boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs aren’t active during the cold months. They enter hidden spaces like wall cracks, crevices, and leaf litter to overwinter.
  • Frequent reproduction: With three to four generations of these bugs hatching each year, they can multiply very fast. This makes their infestations particularly irritating and troublesome.
Elm Seed Bug Vs. Box Elder Bug
Western Boxelder Bug

What Are The Differences?

So, how can you differentiate between an elm seed bug and a box elder bug? Here are a few ways in which the two bugs are different from each other:

1.     Appearance

Although the two bugs are somewhat similar in appearance, you can spot the differences if you know what to look for. 

Firstly, adult elm seed bugs grow up to only a third or a fourth of an inch, while box elder bugs can grow two inches long. 

Box elder bugs have bright red or orange outlines on their backs. On the other hand, elm seed bugs have alternating red and black stripes just outside the wings.

2.     Preferred habitat

As the name suggests, elm seed bugs prefer to live and feed on elm trees besides linden and oak.

You’ll find boxelder bugs mostly on boxelder, maple, and ash trees. You can differentiate between the two bugs based on where they’re coming from and the trees around your home.

3.     The time of the year

The time of the year is a potential indicator too. In case the bugs are infesting your property, and you notice their nymphs as early as May, they’re likely elm seed bugs.

Box elder bugs don’t come out so early; you won’t usually see them until late summer.

Elm Seed Bug Vs. Box Elder Bug
Elm Seed Bug

How To Control Them?

Due to how fast both these bugs reproduce and multiply, you may not be able to get rid of them completely. However, you can control the number of elm seed bugs and box elder bugs on your property through the following means:

  • Vacuum the bugs: Using a vacuum cleaner is one of the simplest ways to get rid of a large number of bugs at the same time. When you come across a bunch of elm seed or box elder bugs, just vacuum them up.
  • Be careful what you bring home: Before you take home any firewood, carefully inspect it for bugs. Other pests besides elm seed bugs and box elder bugs might be present too.
  • Block entry points: Another important step to take is to block all access points through which the bugs might get inside your home. Install screens over your windows, as keeping them closed all the time may not be feasible. You may also place sticky traps on the window sill to trap the bugs.
  • Remove food sources: Get rid of any potential food source that might attract these pests to your property. This means you should prune elm or boxelder trees and remove volunteer ones. Keep your lawn and your gutters clean of debris and destroy elm seeds.

If it gets too bad, you might have to contact a pest control company and get them to carry out professional treatment.

Elm Seed Bug Vs. Box Elder Bug
Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Frequently Asked Questions

Are elm seed bugs the same as boxelder bugs?

Although elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs share several similarities and can be equally troublesome, they aren’t the same species. 
They are two different types of insects, with several differences to distinguish them from each other.

Do box elder bugs like elm trees?

No, if the bugs on your property are coming from elm trees, they’re likely elm seed bugs. 
Box elder bugs mostly live on box elder, maple, and ash trees. You won’t find them on elm trees.

What other bugs look like box elder bugs?

Although box elder bugs have a relatively unique appearance with their markings, they do share similarities with a few other bug species too. 
Kissing bugs, elm seed bugs, and conifer seed bugs look like box elder bugs and are often confused with each other.

What do elm seed bugs look like?

Elm seed bugs have a flat and elongated oval-shaped body, growing up to 1/3rd or 1/4th inch long. While the dorsal side of the body is dark brown, the abdomen is red on the underside. You’ll also notice alternating patterns of red/orange and black strips on the sides of the body.

Wrap Up

If you’re unfortunate enough to have an infestation of elm seed bugs or boxelder bugs in your home, remember not to squish them. 

It will only cause them to release a foul odor and make your home smelly. In case these bugs are very common in your region or you start noticing them, take preventive measures immediately. 

Remove dead elm and boxelder tree trunks, keep your yard clean, and leave no entry points. Taking these steps early on will save you the hassle of dealing with the infestation later.

Reader Emails

These two bugs are so similar that many of our veteran readers also get confused between them.

Over the years, we have got the same query several times, and we wanted to share one of the discussions with you. Do go through for a quiet chuckle!

Letter 1 – Western Conifer Seed Bug and Boxelder Bug – Two popular query subjects in the same letter

 

Two mysterious bugs
I have recently moved to a new property and the critters here are curious to me – I can’t figure out what they are, but I find a few every day in the house. They can fly short distances. I usually find them close to windows or wherever there is a good amount of light. I live in a fairly wooded area and very close to a river. I live in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. [first insect[: – body (excluding antenae) about 3/4 inch long. – body underneath wings is striped orange (sorry, it was hard to get a picture of that) – feisty when captured. [second insect] – body (excluding antenae) about 1/2 inch long. – body underneath wings is red (sorry, it was hard to get a picture of that) – plays dead when captured. Can you identify what these bugs?
Thanks,
Jim

Western Conifer Seed Bug Boxelder Bug

Hi Jim,
We know from your follow-up letter that you correctly identified both the Western Conifer Seed Bug and the Boxelder Bug from images on our site.

I kept poking around on your web site and I believe I have answered my own questions. It’s amazing how different the bugs can look while they are maturing. Your bug page had a half dozen samples of the same bugs at different stages, so I was able to make a match (I think!): image365 is a western conifer seed bug, and image368 is a box elder Am I right? Well, at least you have some more sample pictures now. Your web site is an excellent resource! Excellent work. Thanks,
Jim

Reader Emails

4883

Letter 1 – Mating Boxelder Bugs

 

Help with bugWe have been over run with these little bugs and don’t know what they are, can you help? We are in Tampa , Florida and the bugs seem to be mainly in the wood chips or tree base.
Thanks,
Mike



Hi Mike,
And judging by the mating pair, you will soon have even more Eastern Boxelder Bugs, Leptocoris trivittatus.

Letter 2 – Mating Boxelder Bugs

 

box elder bug love May 5, 2010 Not sure if you are interested in another one,but here is a picture of mating box elder bugs from our local playground. My 3 year old wanted to know why they had 2 heads, which evolved into a very interesting conversation…. Sara Bridgewater, NJ
Mating Boxelder Bugs
Hi Sara, Thanks so much for sending us your photo of mating Eastern Boxelder Bugs, Boisea trivittata.  We are happy to post it.

Letter 3 – Immature Boxelder Bug

 

Subject: Red bodied bug on ground next to maple tree Location: Oveland Park, KS June 4, 2014 10:04 pm Dear What’s that bug, There are hundreds of these bugs on the ground next to our Red Maple tree. The body is about 1/4 inch long. I would love to know what they are (and if they are helpful or harmful or neither). Thank you and all the best, Neal Schuster Overland Park, KS Signature: Neal Schuster
Boxelder Bug Nymph
Boxelder Bug Nymph
Hi Neal, This is an immature Eastern Boxelder Bug, and they are often found in large aggregations. Hi Daniel, Thank you so much for your quick response.  I am a bug-fan and I always enjoy figuring out what they are. Thank you for maintaining your site.  It’s fabulous. All the best, Neal Schuster

Letter 4 – Mating Boxelder Bugs

 

Subject: More kissing bugs? Location: Pennsylvania April 20, 2016 11:11 am Hi, I sent a photo earlier today of a bug to see if it was a kissing bug. Here are a couple more photos. There are dozens of these guys all around my house. If you could help me identify them I would appreciate it. I’m terrified that they are deadly kissing bugs! There are a bunch of these on the screens outside my house. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I have occasionally found them inside. Some are bigger without the red markings, but up too high so I can’t get a good photo. If it is a kissing bug, how worried should I be. And how should I get rid of them? Thanks! Thanks for your help! Signature: Michelle
Mating Boxelder Bugs
Mating Boxelder Bugs
Dear Michelle, You have nothing to fear from these mating Eastern Boxelder Bugs.  They are harmless, though they can pose a considerable nuisance when they form large aggregations on exterior walls of homes.  They tend to favor walls with light colors and sunny exposures, exactly like those in your image.  You may or may not be amused that Eastern Boxelder Bugs are also known as Democrat Bugs because of the large aggregations they form.  Seems they are making a timely appearance with your Pennsylvania primary election occurring next week. Thank you so much!! I really appreciate you getting back to me!

Letter 5 – Immature Boxelder Bug

 

Subject: Please identify Location: Albany NY July 10, 2017 10:08 am 1/48to 3/8″ long In fkower bed near Alany NY First appeared in June. WHole bunches clustered on edging. Signature: Ann
Eastern Boxelder Bug Nymph
Dear Ann, This is an immature Eastern Boxelder Bug nymph, and immature individuals are known to aggregate in tremendous numbers with adults, leading to the use of the common name Democrat Bug.  Other similar looking, closely related insects that also form large aggregations include the Western Boxelder Bugs and Red Shouldered Bugs.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

what IS that? October 20, 2009 this rather large fellow was on the screen door this morning. Never saw the like before. Bill & Family Massachusettes
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Dear Bill & Family, Every year at this time, we get reports of Western Conifer Seed Bugs, Leptoglossus occidentalis.  They are noticed as they enter homes to hibernate as winter approaches.  This species is native to the Pacific Northwest, but has spread across the continent since the 1970s.  They are harmless.

Letter 2 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Large, brown bug infestation terrifying college students! October 25, 2009 Hello! We’ve been finding these large, dark brown bugs (roughing a few inches in length) all over our apartment, especially on windows and in lamps. They can crawl rather quickly, but do not fly. We’d love to get rid of them, but have no idea what they are or how to go about eliminating them! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. College Students from Massachusetts Windows, walls and lamps
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Dear Terrified College Students, The Western Conifer Seed Bugs that have been invading are perfectly harmless.  They are merely seeking shelter from the upcoming cold weather.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest, not Massachusetts.  Beginning the in 1970s, it greatly expanded its range across North America in the northern latitudes.

Letter 3 – Western Conifer Seed Bug: and What’s That Bug? book preview. Follow up Masked Hunter

 

Assassin bug November 13, 2009 I was going to send you a burying beetle, but then this one popped up unexpectedly so here he is. I’ll save the burying beetle for another night. The cat loves/hates them. Loves to stalk, hates being spit on. Oroboros Denver, CO
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Dear Oroboros, you snake, This is not an Assassin Bug.  It is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, one of the Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae.  Just this morning we wrote about the Western Conifer Seed Bug for the Household Intruders chapter of our book, so we are just going to post that section as part of your reply.  We hope our readership enjoys this short preview. Western Conifer Seed Bug (excerpt from Curious World of Bugs draft)Had it remained confined to its native Pacific Northwest range, the Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, would never have made our Rogue’s List of household intruders, but during the 1970s, individuals were noticed in the eastern portions of North America, thousands of miles from their home territory.  These introductions were probably due to human assistance, though the exact source of the accidental establishment cannot be ascertained.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug found the climate in the eastern part of the continent to its liking, and there was a readily available food source, and the species multiplied.  Both adult and immature Western Conifer Seed Bugs feed on the sap of the resin rich green pine cones, and occasionally the twigs and needles of many species of conifers, so they do little damage to the trees themselves, though they do have a negative effect on the developing cones which wither and fall off the tree.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is now very well established across North America, everywhere but the southern and gulf states.  In the very late twentieth century and into the early twenty first century, reports of sightings in many European countries were confirmed, doubtless due to the importation of stacks of lumber that may have contained hibernating adults. The Western Conifer Seed Bug can be recognized both by its dull orange and brown coloration and its long antennae.  Its most distinguishing feature though is the widening on the hind leg that gives the family members a shared common name of Leaf Footed Bug or Big Legged Bug.  Since homemakers are often prone to swatting this relatively large intruder should it be encountered inside, this action releases what some to find to be an offensive odor, and what others have described as the scent of apples, the smell of grass, or the odor of pine.  Because of the scent, the Western Conifer Seed Bug is sometimes mistaken for a Stink Bug, though the odor released by a Stink Bug is rarely described as pleasant. Because of their habit of entering homes to seek shelter from the winter cold, Western Conifer Seed Bugs gain attention in the autumn along with some true Stink Bugs like the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.  None of these species pose any threat to humans, pets or to the home.  They will not breed indoors and they will not bite.  Since they are just seeking shelter from the elements, if they escape notice upon entering, they will find a secluded place and rest until the warm sunny days of spring arrive.  At that time, they again attract attention as they seek egress at the bright windows. Update with new photo How fascinating! I was quite sure of the general identity before I sent that, so I am really glad now for the serendipity that caused me to choose it and learn something new. I do tend to find them closest to the window that is right next to a pine tree which now makes a lot of sense. So here’s a followup then. I found this guy in my bathtub, and suspect that they are the same species but perhaps this is a juvenile? I named the photo replicator because something about it reminded me of the replicators from the Stargate series.
Masked Hunter
Masked Hunter
Your replicator is an Assassin Bug, an immature Masked Hunter.  It may bite, but does not spread Chagas.  Thanks to clickbeetle for pointing out there was a link with a new image.

Letter 4 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Stink Bug December 20, 2009 This bug shows up at my parents house (the house is in a wooded area) every fall. They are pretty flat bugs and seem to crawl into the house under doors and windows. We find hundreds of them around. No one we’ve ever talked to can seem to identify them. Not even exterminators. We call them a “stink bug” because they give off a relativley fowl spell if you step on them. I would be happy to give you more details if you need. Thank you! Rob Peterson Minnesota – Subberb east of the Twin Cities – Stilwater, MN
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Hi Rob, The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, often enters homes when cold weather arrives so that it can pass the winter in hibernation.  It is a benign species that will not harm your home, your furnishings, your pets nor you.

Letter 5 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Need insect ID January 14, 2010 My husband gets this bug on his desk in his 3rd floor attic office about once a month. It is very slow moving. We live in Woodinville, Washington which is about 20 miles east of Seattle. Susie Woodinville, Washington USA (Seattle)
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Hi Susie, We just finished posting another letter of a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, that had been smashed, so it is nice to follow that with your photo of a living specimen.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs are native to the Pacific Northwest, so this is a local native insect for you.  Adults often seek shelter indoors when the weather begins to cool.  They will hibernate and become active again when the weather warms in the spring.  They are a benign species that will not harm you, your home or its furnishings.  Adults and nymps feed on the sap from the cones of conifer trees, so they don’t even damage the host trees. Daniel, Thank you so much for the ID and the helpful information. Susie Egan www.cottagelakegardens.com cottage_lake_gardens

Letter 6 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Please Identify This NJ-based Insect April 1, 2010 Hello. Thank you for reviewing my request. Please assist with an identification. We have recently had a LOT of rain, and before that snow, in Northern New Jersey. I have a bathroom built just over the ground. I have seen two of these insects so far in the bathroom, so I presume they may have been living in the dirt and were “uprooted” by all the rain. They move very slowly. I am just interested to learn what they are. Thank you. Al Northern New Jersey
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Dear Al, This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, a species native to the Pacific Northwest that greatly expanded its range beginning in the 1960s.  It is a harmless species that often hibernates inside homes when cold weather arrives.  It is frequently noticed by the unknowing “land lords” when warmer weather approaches, and the insects become active again.

Letter 7 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Is this related to your October 2010 Bug of the Month? Location: Wilmington, MA October 30, 2010 8:56 pm Hi! I have seen about dozen of these bugs around my home in the past couple months. I live in Wilmington, MA. I’ve never seen anything like this before. There was a good lull between the last one I saw and the one today. I was losing hope because I would love to have this identified. This bug doesn’t stink, that I’m aware of, though we do have a dog and two cats, so I may just be blaming a stink in the house on them! This bug is slow crawling, almost like it thinks I won’t see it if it doesn’t move/moves slowly. But once I caught it, it moved much quicker. Also, one of the bugs about a month ago did fly, which scared the bejesus out of me because I wasn’t expecting it! I hope I’m not rambling too much and provided enough information! Thanks for your help!! Signature: Christine L
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Dear Christine, You have provided a photo of a Western Conifer Seed Bug, one of the Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae.  The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is in the family Pentatomidae, but both families are considered True Bugs in the suborder Heteroptera.  Like Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, the Western Conifer Seed Bugs will enter homes to hibernate as the cooler weather arrives.  They will not harm you, your pets or your home.  They just want to come in out of the cold.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest, but beginning in the 1960s, there was a significant range expansion that now includes much of Eastern North America.  It is unclear if this was a natural range expansion, or if there was human intervention, or if it can be attributed to global warming.  In the early twenty first century, reports began to arrive that the species was becoming established in Northern Europe.

Letter 8 – Whitecrossed Seed Bug in Hawaii

 

black redish orange bug Location: Hawaii/Oahu May 11, 2011 3:58 pm found this on my window on the 5th floor of an apt building?? what is it? and is it dangerous? i have kids.. help please..thank you. Signature: Elgee
Whitecrossed Seed Bug
Dear Elgee, Your bug is the spitting image of the Whitecrossed Seed Bug, Neacoryphus bicrucis, which we quickly identified on Bugguide which states it is:  “widely distributed but apparently uncommon.

Letter 9 – Birch Catkin Bugs

 

Kleidocerys resedae I think Location: Beloeil, Quebec, Canada August 23, 2011 11:52 am hello bugman, I noticed those little insects (~4mm) clustered on the end leaves of our white birch and also on the maple tree next to it, but much more so on the birch, they seem to feed off the stems or actual seeds of the tree. I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned even if that tree has been attacked by fungus in the past and is likely not going to last another decade? I found it in bugguide but not on your site, but perhaps it goes by another name? Thank you! 🙂 Signature: Frederic
Birch Catkin Bugs
Hi Frederic, Thanks so much for taking the time to self identify your Birch Catkin Bugs, Kleidocerys resedae, and BugGuide is a wonderful place to search for North American species, however, as you must know, this can sometimes take considerable time.  We really appreciate you saving us some time, yet providing us with a posting of a new species for our site.

Letter 10 – Giant Western Conifer Seed Bug terrorizes Michigan

 

the other Michigan invader? Location: Lansing, Michigan October 5, 2011 7:11 pm Hello, Since early spring, I’ve seen a certain species of insect that I’ve never seen in MI. It’s some sort of beetle, loves windows, walks extremely slow and flies when necessary. There’s been a lot of talk regarding the Stink beetle but I don’t think this the same insect. I’ve seen big ones and little one and they are everywhere. What is it? Signature: paw print
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Dear paw print, We love your photo that reminds us of a scene from a 1950s era science fiction film of giant bugs terrorizing the world.  The culprit is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, and though it is a Leaf Footed Bug that is not in the same family as the Stink Bugs, they are members of the same suborder Heteroptera.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest, but since the 1970s, it has been expanding its range to the east and in the early 21st millenium, it was accidentally introduced to Europe where it has naturalized. Daniel, You have solved my year-long mystery! Thanks! Amariliz

Letter 11 – Mediterranean Seed Bug

 

What is this? Location: Northern California November 8, 2011 10:59 pm I have found 2 of these recently on the kitchen floor and one just now crawling across the carpet! I live in Northern California and it is winter time here! Interesting pattern….but I’d rather NOT find them in my house… Cockroach or beetle??? Blegh…. Best advice on how to get rid of them? Signature: Ms. No Thank You Bugs!
Mediterranean Seed Bug
Dear Ms. No Thank You Bugs!, Sorry for the delay.  We are trying to catch up on unanswered requests.  This is a Mediterranean Seed Bug, Xanthochilus saturnius, an introduced species that according to BugGuide is:  “Locally abundant in parts of California. Also reported from Oregon and Washington.”

Letter 12 – Whitecrossed Seed Bug

 

Subject: mystery bathroom bug Location: Midwest US January 7, 2013 7:50 pm Found this bug in my bathroom. Wondering what it is, and if I should worry that there are more or if it’s harmful? I live in the midwest. In an apartment. Signature: C
Whitecrossed Seed Bug
Dear C, This is a Whitecrossed Seed Bug, Neacoryphus bicrucis, and according to American Insects:  “Over much of its range, this species is associated primarily with Ragwort, Senecio anonymus. Males attempt to hold and guard a territory, a cluster of flower heads. Females need access to these flower heads for feeding, mating, and ovipositing.”  Many True Bugs seek shelter indoors to hibernate, and we suspect that might be the case with this individual.  The Whitecrossed Seed Bug will not harm you or your apartment.  

Letter 13 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Name that bug Location: Waltham, MA February 28, 2013 8:24 pm We found this bug flying around our apartment in MA. Any idea what it is? Thanks. Signature: Been bugging me
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Really?  This Western Conifer Seed Bug appears to be swimming, not flying.  They often enter homes during the winter to hibernate.  Thw Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the pacific northwest, but since the 1970s, it has been increasing its range across North America and it has been introduced to Europe in the 21st millennium.

Letter 14 – Elm Seed Bug Infestation in Idaho

 

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.

Letter 15 – Mediterranean Seed Bug

 

Subject: Beetle ID Location: Yuba City, CA. N of Sacramento July 2, 2013 10:04 pm what kind of bugs are these?? They are all over my yard, and a few are in the house. they are about 3/8 – 1/2 inch Signature: Scott
Mediterranean Seed Bug
Mediterranean Seed Bug
Dear Scott, You have Mediterranean Seed Bugs, Xanthochilus saturnius, an invasive, exotic species that is, according to BugGuide:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant” and “can be very abundant in grass seed fields in so. OR.”  It was first reported in North America in 1994. Great thanks…. So how do i get rid of them!!! We do not provide extermination advice, and we tried unsuccessfully to find an agricultural fact sheet on them.

Letter 16 – Non-Native Dirt Colored Seed Bug: Rhyparochromus vulgaris

 

Subject: Help! Bug Showed Up. Location: Bend Oregon October 6, 2013 2:21 pm Can you help me identify what this bug is. I just showed up and there are hundreds of them on my front porch. They don’t bite but are a bother. Signature: Jason
Dirt Colored Seed Bug:  Rhyparochromus vulgaris
Dirt Colored Seed Bug: Rhyparochromus vulgaris
Hi Jason, Whenever a person is suddenly troubled with large numbers of small insects that we don’t recognize, we suspect an invasive, exotic species, and in your instance, our instincts were correct.  This is a Dirt Colored Seed Bug, Rhyparochromus vulgaris, and it is a relatively recent introduction to the Pacific Northwest.  According to BugGuide, it is:  “native to Europe, recently introduced to NA (Seattle, WA area)” and “earliest NA record: WA 2001; since 2003, large congregations have been reported in nw. WA; expected to spread to BC.”  BugGuide also mentions that these Dirt Colored Seed Bugs are found:  “on the ground and on tree trunks; tends to congregate around buildings late in the season seeking shelter.”  The government shutdown has negatively impacted our ability to link to any information provided by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) as they are deemed not essential at this time.  British Bugs has some information, including:  “The London records are from dry grasslands; this species seems much more of a generalist than R. pini, which is mainly found on heathland in the south-east.  Adults overwinter, mating in the spring. The new generation is complete from late July onwards.”  Now we are wondering if the Dirt Colored Seed Bug nymphs from Montana we posted some time back might be  Rhyparochromus vulgaris.

Letter 17 – Stink Bug and Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: What is it? Location: California November 25, 2013 2:34 pm I know it’s a type of beetle but which one? I found two. I suspect they are kissing bugs. Pest control came by did an analysis on the sample and claimed common garden beetle but it doesn’t look like one. Signature: Clueplease
Say's Stink Bug
Say’s Stink Bug
Dear Clueplease, Your pest control guy does not know his bugs very well, because he is wrong, but so are you.  These are not beetles.  Both are True Bugs, so if we were awarding points to the person who was more correct, that would be you because Kissing Bugs are also True Bugs in the order Hemiptera.  The dead black bug with the border is a Say’s Stink Bug, Chlorochroa sayi, and it poses no harm to you or your home.  See BugGuide to confirm our identification.  The other bug is a Western Conifer Seed Bug or a closely related member of the genus Leptoglossus.  Both Stink Bugs and Conifer Seed Bugs have been known to seek shelter indoors when the weather turns cooler.  They seek a sheltered place to hibernate, and they will not harm your home, but if the are plentiful, they may become a nuisance.
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Letter 18 – Possibly immature Dirt Colored Seed Bug

 

Subject: Please help Location: Anza, CA December 28, 2013 9:12 pm I found these guys in my home. I have lived here for ten years and have never seen them before. I have taken an insect identification class before, but I am not experienced enough to figure this out. It looks like a Hemiptera of some sort. It’s about a millimeter long and it is pretty difficult to get a picture of it. It’s winter here in Southern California, and I am in the high desert. Could you please help? I don’t think it is the brown marmorated stink bug because it doesn’t have true bug characteristics and there’s no odor. I suspect it is coming in through a crack somewhere for warmth, but who knows what it is. I don’t think it is butting me or my animals because it doesn’t have apparent piercing/sucking mouthparts. Please help. Signature: Cass
Dirt Colored Seed Bug nymph, perhaps
Dirt Colored Seed Bug nymph, perhaps
Dear Cass, Though your photo is blurry, your immature Hemipteran closely resembles the bugs in this photo from our archives that we tentatively identified as Dirt Colored Seed Bug nymphs, though there is some question that they might be Chinch Bug nymphs.

Letter 19 – Probably False Chinch Bug Nymphs and Frit Fly

 

Subject: tiny bugs on outside walls of house Location: Phoenix AZ April 28, 2014 3:22 pm we just noticed these buggers on our outside walls. they don’t appear to fly; when i touch the wall near one, it falls,. the photo is of a bougainvillea petal floating in our pool, with what (i think?) appears to be a queen! either that, or something wanting to eat them all. please help, so we know what to do, if you can. they are getting inside one window which doesn’t seal properly and a parakeet lives near that window! thank you!! Signature: suzy
Possibly Immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs and Syrphid Fly
Possibly Immature False Chinch Bugs and Frit Fly
Dear Suzy, These immature Heteropterans look remarkably like some still unidentified, possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs we posted from Montana in 2012.  The Fly may be a Syrphid Fly, a family that has many species with larvae that feed on Aphids, members of the same insect order as your True Bugs.  We will try to get Eric Eaton’s opinion on this identification. Eric Eaton Responds Daniel: Wow, immatures are really hard.  I suspect something in the “Lygaeoidea” like you do, but….Fly might be a Chloropidae [Ed. Note:  See BugGuide].  This whole image looks like something out of a sweep net sample through a grassland. Eric Ed. Note:  May 2, 2014 We posted some images of a very similar Heteropteran nymph that might be a False Chinch Bug, Nysius raphanus, and the same is likely true for this posting.  According to Colorado State University Extension:  “Mass migrations of false chinch bugs in the vicinity of buildings are primarily associated with very hot, dry weather. This may force the insects to move from drying weed hosts to seek shelter and higher humidity. Migrations indoors may occur through openings and cause nuisance problems. However, false chinch bugs do not bite, do not feed nor damage anything indoors, and will ultimately die out if trapped inside.  Irrigated landscapes adjacent to buildings may further encourage false chinch bug migrations to these areas. Therefore it may be desirable to temporarily discontinue watering in the immediate vicinity of the building when a problem migration is in progress. Providing cool, humid areas at some distance may encourage the insects to move away more rapidly.”  According to BugGuide:  “3 (or more) species are introduced N. caledoniae, huttoni, vinitor” which supports our believe that this might be an invasive exotic species.

Letter 20 – Probably Immature False Chinch Bugs from Arizona

 

Subject: Thousands of these tiny bugs in my garden Location: Tempe, AZ April 30, 2014 7:30 pm Hello, I have a permaculture garden in the front yard. Mostly covered in wood chips and compost. I live in Tempe, Arizona. This evening, I saw thousands of these critters crawling among the rocks, concrete patio and among my sweet alyssum plants. I have a lot of kale in the yard, one watermelon patch, some cucumber, zucchini, and lots of nasturtium among other edible plants. Not sure what they are. I don’t normally bother with garden pest because I do organic gardening to avoid killing bees and pollinators. But the shear number of these bugs scared me a little bit. Please help me identify. They are tiny, the largest ones I could find is about 2mm. Attached is photo of the larger one and a group of the smaller ones, that were about 1mm. These were taken with point and shoot camera and cropped really tight to show the insects. Signature: Yes
Immature Dirt Colored Seed Bug
Immature False Chinch Bug
A few days ago, we posted an image, also from Arizona, of a very similar immature Heteropteran that we tentatively identified as a Dirt Colored Seed Bug in the family Rhyparochromidae.  It can be very difficult to ascertain a proper identification based on an immature specimen.  Perhaps we will soon learn a proper identification if there is a statewide outbreak of these numerous nymphs.
Immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs
Immature False Chinch Bugs
Dear Daniel, Thank you so much for writing back. After hours of looking through Google. I came to what is the closet to all the different stages of the bug that is in my photo. False Chinch Bugs http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05603.html Looks like my photos match exactly the different stages of the photo they have on the site “Figure 2. False chinch bug adults and nymphs.” I also posted a lot more photos I took here: http://www.phoenixpermaculture.org/forum/topics/i-have-a-huge-amount-of-crawlers-in-the-yard What do you think? Thank you. Sincerely, Jacq Davis Hi Jacq, We believe your False Chinch Bug identification might be correct.  Nymphs can be very difficult to properly identify.  According to BugGuide:  “3 (or more) species are introduced N. caledoniae, huttoni, vinitor” which supports our believe that this might be an invasive exotic species.

Letter 21 – Long Necked Seed Bug

 

Subject: What Is This May I Ask? Location: Arkansas, USA June 5, 2014 3:24 am Found several of these around the edge of the vanity sink. Some of they have even crawled into my towels. Can you help me identify what this bug is? Signature: Lee
Long Necked Seed Bug
Long Necked Seed Bug
Hi Lee, This looks like a Long Necked Seed Bug, Myodocha serripes, but we cannot tell you why it has entered the home.  Though they hibernate, this is the wrong season to find them indoors.  There is more information available on BugGuide.

Letter 22 – Possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in Utah

 

Subject: Bug everywhere Location: Roy utah November 13, 2014 8:47 am This bug has been in my house everywhere festering in Curtians blankets clothes anything! It’s making me feel like a dirty person no matter what I do I can’t get rid of them and I think they bite there was one in my daughters diaper I put on her the other day and she grabbed her privates and cried so I took her diaper off and there the bug was! Why are these is my house everywhere what can I do to keep them out! What kind of bug is it please help! Signature: Jaimie
Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bug
Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bug
Dear Jaimie, This is probably a Dirt Colored Seed Bug in the family Rhyparochromidae. So where does it come from? How come they are everywhere in my home what do I do to keep them out do they bite are they dangerous? We can think of two possibilities.  One is that their habitat was destroyed, possibly with the clearing of a weed covered lot, and then then moved to your property.  Another possibility is that they are coming indoors to hibernate.  Dirt Colored Seed Bugs are not dangerous, but as you noticed, they can be a nuisance if they are plentiful.  See more on Dirt Colored Seed Bugs on BugGuide.  There are also some images on the Utah Pests website.

Letter 23 – Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bugs

 

Subject: Tiny brown bugs everywhere! Location: Central California November 17, 2014 4:26 pm Woke up this morning to hundreds (!!!) of these little bugs at our back door. They are teeny tiny, only barely bigger than a flea. Others in the area have noticed they are swarming too, starting yesterday. If it helps any, we are located along the Central Coast of California Signature: Morgan
Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bugs
Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bugs
Hi Morgan, These appear to be immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Sometimes when fields are cleared, there is a migration of insects to gardens.  We are not certain of the species, but you can read more on the Dirt Colored Seed Bugs on BugGuide.

Letter 24 – Possibly Seed Bug Nymphs

 

Subject: hemipteran nymph Location: Valley View, South Australia February 27, 2015 9:58 pm I found thousands of tiny bugs climbing my back fence from the ground upwards this morning and wondered what they were. I took the attached micrograph using a USB microscope. The background grid is 5mm squares Signature: Geoff Smith
Possibly Seed Bug Nymphs
Possibly Seed Bug Nymphs
Hi Geoff, Since these Hemipterans are immature nymphs, they may be difficult to identify to the species or genus level.  We believe they are Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae, and they do not look too dissimilar than these unidentified nymphs from Australia, and they also resemble these nymphs from California.  Whenever a species appears in a heretofore new location, we suspect it may be an invasive, exotic, introduced species without natural predators.  The climate in California and Australia are similar enough that species from either location can easily adapt, so they may be native, or introduced, and since they look so similar to the California sighting, it is possible they are the same species, and that one or the other, or both, are introduced. Many thanks Daniel I agree with what you’ve said – interestingly the block behind my house has recently been cleared and the bugs are swarming all over the fences around this newly bare ground. They are all still there today and the ants don’t appear to like them, although I noted that a small spider had eaten just a few of them overnight. I accidentally squashed a few against my hand when I first noticed them and they smell unpleasant. Regards Geoff

Letter 25 – Mediterranean Seed Bugs we believe

 

Subject: Thousands of beetles! Location: Southern California (Thousand Oaks) April 17, 2015 3:17 pm Hi, My property is covered with these tiny beetles running around – and I would like to know what they are. They vary in size from not much bigger than a flea, to about 1/4″ long. They run in sort of like “fits and spurts”, and if I gently pick one up with a tissue to bring it back outside (some are getting in the house) they leave a brownish/reddish spot on the tissue (looks like blood, but I’m pretty sure I’m not smooshing them so it is probably more of an excretion). A couple of larger ones appeared to have an “X” design on their backs. I would appreciate any help in identifying them! Sorry I can’t get a better picture. Signature: Thanks, Eve-Marier
Seed Bug Nymph
Seed Bug Nymph
Hi Eve, This is not a beetle, but a True Bug, but there is not enough detail in your image to provide a more specific identification. Daniel, Thank you for your reply.  Here is a picture of a larger one where the design on its back is visible.  Can you ID it?  Thanks so much! Eve-Marie
Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe
Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe
That is a big help Eve-Marie, We believe you are being troubled by Mediterranean Seed Bugs, Xanthochilus saturnius, a species well represented on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant … earliest NA record: CA 1994 can be very abundant in grass seed fields in so. OR.”  According to the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook:  “The Mediterranean seed bug, Xanthochilus saturnius, is very small with even more distinctive markings of black-on-tan. Behind the head is the thorax with a jet black band followed by a band of stippled brown. The large triangle between the wings (scutellum) is also jet black. A light stripe outlines the scutellum, and the posterior edge of the leathery portion of the wing, forming a distinct X. There are also three other jet black blotch markings on the wings. Oregon reports “It can be very abundant in grass seed fields in southern Oregon, indicating that it does feed on grass seed.” For that reason, it continues to be “regulated in foreign trade”. Even though they do no damage to house, humans, or pets, these seed bugs become a huge annoyance and costly to exterminate when they migrate into households.”

Letter 26 – CaliforniaFalse Chinch Bugs, we believe

 

Subject: HELP whole ground is moving Location: West Texas May 17, 2015 11:17 am I need to see if someone could identify this bug so that I can get this under control. Had an exterminator tell me it was a chich bug and then a stink bug. My well groomed yard has none. My outside yard has weeds they were green now dead. I’ve seen some in my winow seals. they give me the chill bumps. Going out of my mind. Signature: chilledtothebone
Possibly Immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs
Possibly Immature California False Chinch Bugs
Dear chilledtothebone, These are immature True Bugs, and nymphs can be very difficult to identify.  Your individuals look very similar to these still unidentified nymphs from Montana we posted several years back, and we suspect you may also have Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae. Do yall happen to know anything about them? I did notice so.ething this morning I had not seen and that was several black bugs around but no nymphs. I will take pictures in the moring or evening to see if it helps any I’ve attached a video to help as well. And will send a couple more pictures on next email.  And what they are living in.  Do you know if they are harmful to anything?
Possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs
Possibly California False Chinch Bugs
Dear chilledtothebone, Thanks for sending additional images that contain winged adults.  That should make identification easier.  We believe the transparent wings on the adults and the markings on the nymphs are a good match for these California False Chinch Bugs, Xyonysius californicus, that are pictured on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide, they are:  “common on trees in Mar-Apr in Central TX.”  The Arthropods of Orange County site has some excellent images.
Possibly Dirt Colored Seed Bugs
Possibly California False Chinch Bugs

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Mating Boxelder Bugs

 

Can you identify these? They showed up in our neighborhood about 4 years ago, and are prolific breeders. Their young resemble “large” aphids with orange-ish red abdomens. The adults have the same orange/red abdomen that is exposed when they take flight. In the picture attached, I believe the smaller one (on the left) is the male mating with a female. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Ron Hi Ron, The Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittata, is one of our most frequent query subjects due to the mass aggregations they form. Though they may be a nuisance when they appear in large numbers, they are not harmful to you or your home. Your mating couple is a nice addition to our site.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

145 thoughts on “Elm Seed Bug Vs Box Elder Bug: The 3 Big Differences”

  1. I found one of these on a window in my apartment in San Francisco just a couple days ago. I captured it and it’s now residing in a former salad container with some dirt, chard and a grape. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ertiepie/4048048861/ One thing: I did notice when I transferred it from the small container to its new biodome, it did try to fly a little bit. Maybe it was more of a wing-enhanced hop, but it definitely caught air.

    Reply
  2. How fascinating! I was quite sure of the general identity before I sent that, so I am really glad now for the serendipity that caused me to choose it and learn something new.

    I do tend to find them closest to the window that is right next to a pine tree which now makes a lot of sense.

    So here’s a followup then. I found this guy in my bathtub, and suspect that they are the same species but perhaps this is a juvenile?

    I named the photo replicator because something about it reminded me of the replicators from the Stargate series.

    Reply
  3. The “replicator” is a masked hunter. It is an immature true bug, but not of the Western Conifer Seed Bug. There are a lot of other pictures of the masked hunter elsewhere on WTB.

    Reply
  4. I have seen these at my Great Grandmas in Salt Lake and always thought they were so cool but never knew what they were.

    I have the same feelings about bugs. I love them and am glad you do not offer extermination advice or even give it. thank you so much.

    Reply
  5. 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.

    Reply
  6. 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.

    Reply
  7. I live in Mesa, AZ and I too have similar looking bugs I discovered today covering half of the back of my home. Thankfully they had no interest in coming in my house as they are small enough to fit through the window.
    screen

    Reply
  8. I live in Mesa, AZ and I too have similar looking bugs I discovered today covering half of the back of my home. Thankfully they had no interest in coming in my house as they are small enough to fit through the window.
    screen

    Reply
  9. 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.

    Reply
    • 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!
      Lowell

      Reply
    • 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!
      Lowell

      Reply
  10. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  11. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.)

      Reply
  12. 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.

    Reply
  13. 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.

    Reply
  14. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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!!!

      Reply
  15. 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

    Reply
  16. 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?

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  17. 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.

    Reply
  18. 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.

    Reply
  19. 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!

    Reply
  20. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  21. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  22. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  23. 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.

    Reply
  24. 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 ?

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  25. 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.

    Reply
  26. 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.

    Reply
  27. I have caught eight or ten of the insects (elm seed bug) in my house over the last month. How do I get rid of them?
    Boise, Idaho , October, 2014

    Reply
  28. I have been finding what looks like the Western Conifer Seed Bug in my house in Woodinville, Wa. and also in my shop in Redmond, Wa. .

    When I killed them the fragrance they emit smells like green apples. Is that a common result?

    Reply
  29. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  30. 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.

    Reply
  31. 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.

    Reply
  32. 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!

    Reply
  33. 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 ??

    Reply
  34. 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.

    Reply
  35. 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.

    Reply
  36. 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).

    Reply
  37. 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).

    Reply
  38. 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!!!

    Reply
  39. 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!!!

    Reply
  40. 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.

    Reply
  41. 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!

    Reply
  42. 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.

    Reply
  43. 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.

    Reply
  44. 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.

    Reply
  45. 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.

    Reply
  46. I live in southern Maine and never saw a Western Conifer Seed Bug until about 15 years ago. I’m ok with bugs but this one creeps me out. There must be thousands of insect species in my back yard; so how is it that these bugs seem to be the only ones who know that the house will be warm all winter and that the way in is through the windows and doors? They fill the bedrooms upstairs somehow squeezing in between the wall and window frame. Every night we get rid of them and the next day there are more. I’ve seen them as late as November.

    Reply
  47. 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.

    Reply
  48. 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.

    Reply
  49. 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!

    Reply
  50. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  51. I live in ogden utah and keep seeing them around my house and when you kill them they stink like stink bugs.. have you been able to find out what they are?

    Reply
  52. 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.

    Reply
  53. We have similar bugs to this bug, however we are uncertain if this may the bug it is. There are several on our tree and it’s seems as if they keep growing in population. Are they harmful if touched? I could get a picture of what ours look like to be certain.

    Reply
  54. 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
    ……Dave.

    Reply
  55. 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
    ……Dave.

    Reply
  56. These bugs have completely infested my home. We live next to a grass field, and are sorronded by fruit trees. We have them every where can we do anything to reduce the amount. My mom is ill and on oxegen will they affect her.

    Reply
  57. I love these guys – are they beetles? I find them in my home about once every two weeks, and I’ve been putting them outside because they’re so slow-moving, I’m afraid I’ll accidentally squash one.

    If I chose to leave one indoors, will it starve or die of thirst?

    Thank you.

    -Inordinately Enamored of Bugs

    Reply
    • Western Conifer Seed Bugs are True Bugs, not Beetles. They seek shelter indoors to hibernate. We cannot predict the survival rate of an individual that seeks shelter indoors.

      Reply
  58. 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!!

    Reply
  59. 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!!

    Reply
  60. 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.

    Reply
  61. 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.

    Reply
  62. 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!

    Reply
  63. 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.

    Reply
  64. 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.

    Reply
    • 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 🙂

      Reply
    • 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 🙂

      Reply
  65. If anyone knows how to get rid of these Mediterranean seed bugs please let me know, they are taking over my yard and my house. …..ewww!

    Reply
  66. 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.

    Reply
  67. 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.

    Reply
  68. You wouldn’t think they were cool if they invaded your home. They wake us up at night crawling all over our faces, head, neck and anything else exposed. Woke up yesterday morning with one crawling on my eye.

    Can’t get rid of them because they love box elder and ash trees and we have an abundance of both in our neighborhood.

    Reply
  69. 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.

    Reply
  70. 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.

    Reply
  71. Are these bugs considered a “Lovebug”? They look so much like Florida Lovebugs! But fit the description better because of their red lines and you see so many lovingly! stuck together.

    Reply
  72. 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!

    Reply
  73. 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…

    Reply
  74. 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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  75. 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

    Reply
  76. 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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  77. 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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  78. 2019 I too have an infiltration of these “seed bugs” here in NW Idaho. I’ve recently received a report from the Entomology Dept at UofI, Moscow, ID that identified the bugs I sent in as such. Not a biting bug just annoying. They are prevalent in my home thruout the winter on the floor, walls, furniture, and seem attracted to water in my kitchen. I collect them and dispose of them and upon reccomendation I will exterminate them this fall when they attempt to re-enter my home. I am opposed to poisons, in as much as, I feed and attract birds, bees, and butterflies so I’ll do my research first

    Reply
  79. 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!!!!

    Reply
  80. 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!!!!

    Reply
  81. I have a Animal Dyson Vacuum, the moment I see them in the Spring, I start to vacuum the up with the hose and metal extender. When I hear the ping I know I have the second stage growth but I go after all of them.

    I ask the owners to spray they only do it once. Not enough to get all stages. I also noticed bugs last year on my c antelope and water melon. They sucked the life out of the limbs so I sprayed Black Flag out of them. The plants were already dying, so what the heck.

    Reply
  82. I have a Animal Dyson Vacuum, the moment I see them in the Spring, I start to vacuum the up with the hose and metal extender. When I hear the ping I know I have the second stage growth but I go after all of them.

    I ask the owners to spray they only do it once. Not enough to get all stages. I also noticed bugs last year on my c antelope and water melon. They sucked the life out of the limbs so I sprayed Black Flag out of them. The plants were already dying, so what the heck.

    Reply
  83. Oh, buy the way hot, hot water when they are in the sink. When you are not home, try a small corner of Ivory soap in the sink. The seem to like the smell and soap seems to coat their bodies and the have a problem crawling out. Not a lot of water maybe 1/2 inch. Just a small piece.

    Reply
  84. 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.

    Reply
  85. 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!

    Reply
  86. I have very similar bugs. They are minuscule and grouped in one section on my concrete patio. What are they and how do I get rid of them?

    Reply
    • Did you ever find away to get rid of these? I am currently seeing the same thing… at first I just thought it was a shadow until I got closer…

      Reply
  87. Thanks for all this BugMan !
    I actually submitted a question with a pic , of this specimen !
    So , I was checking to see if it had been posted , and Surprise , I found this entry which answered all of my questions !
    The distinguishing characteristic is that Smell/odour that it gives off !!! I find it rather offensive !! When I see one in the house now , I use tweezers to pinch a leg …. then relocate it outside !!! He can find some pinecones easily around here !!!

    Reply
  88. Thanks for this thread! I’ve had these bugs every summer for a few years now in Salt Lake City, and I finally decided to look and see what they are. I’ve been dealing with them by closing windows and spraying with soapy water. I have also used fly strips and allowed a few spider roommates to stay in the out-of-the-way corners. I’m not sure if the spiders eat them, but their webs help catch and kill the pests.

    Reply

Leave a Comment