How To Get Rid Of Western Conifer Seed Bug? Expert Advice

Did you find a brown, foul-smelling bug in your house? It’s probably a western conifer seed bug. Here’s how to get rid of western conifer seed bugs and all you need to know about them.

Unsure what to do about the Western Conifer seed bugs that showed up in your home? This article will help you out.

These common pests are a huge nuisance in nurseries, garden centers, and pine seed producers.

Also known as the pine bug, it causes plenty of damage by feeding on coniferous seeds.

Although the bug doesn’t bite, it releases a pungent odor and can hurt you with its proboscis if it feels threatened.

How To Get Rid Of Western Conifer Seed Bugs
Western Conifer Seed Bug

How To Identify Them?

The Western Conifer seed bug is a large insect that grows up to about an inch and has a narrow body.

Apart from the abdomen, which has black and yellow stripes on it, this bug is reddish brown.

It’s easy to mistake the bug for the marmorated stink bug or the assassin bug because they look the same and have other similar characteristics.

Both bugs release a foul odor to deter predators.

Despite its name, the Western Conifer Seed Bug is not a seed bug but rather a leaf-footed bug. It is much more dangerous than the stink bug, and it’s important to know how to identify them.

The western conifer seed bug has three main identifying features that distinguish it from the stink bug:

  • Western conifer seed bugs have narrow bodies, while the stink bug is a broad-bodied insect.
  • Its legs are wider and in the shape of a leaf at the end.
  • While the stink bug’s antennae have white bands, the leaf-footed bugs do not.

How To Know if Your House is Infested With Them?

When the western conifer seed bugs come into your home, you need to act fast to get rid of them. This starts with the detection of the infestation in the first place.

This can be a little hard, considering these bugs don’t build nests indoors or cause any structural damage.

Carefully inspect wall vents, cracks, and crevices to look for them in the winter months.

Other places where you might find them include areas near an electrical outlet, door and window frames, baseboards, etc.

The foul stench given off by the western conifer seed bug when disturbed will help you detect them too.

Western Boxelder Bug

How To Remove Seed Bugs From Your House?

Using chemical insecticides in your home is hazardous, especially to children and pets. However, you can use them outdoors, such as in your garden.

Throw out the bugs

Whenever you come across a leaf-footed bug in your home, don’t hesitate to pick it up and throw it out.

However, you might want to wear gloves or use a paper towel to avoid getting the stink spray on your skin. If you don’t want to hold them, sweep them away with a broom instead.

Spot treatment

Keep a spray bottle of direct-contact insecticide aerosol handy. When you find one, spray it on them.

Hold the spray can about 12 to 15 inches away from the bug. Spray over an area of 2 sq. ft. for about two seconds.

Residual insecticide

If you have a western conifer seed bug infestation in your home, the insects likely come from nearby foliage.

You may use a permethrin-based residual insecticide to treat trees and shrubs in your garden. It will affect the central nervous system of the bugs, leading to paralysis and eventually killing them.

How To Prevent An Infestation?

Since using chemical pesticides isn’t the best way to deal with insects in your home, you should try to prevent the infestation from breaking out in the first place.

Seal up hiding places and entry points

Start by sealing the common hiding places and entry points of the bug. While a sealing caulk should suffice for small cracks, crevices, and holes, you may have to use copper mesh for large voids.

Keep your yard clean.

Remove rodent nests, dead foliage, mulch, and debris from your yard. They offer the bugs perfect hiding places.

Pheromone traps

You may use sticky pheromone traps to capture the insects and get rid of them.

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Frequently asked questions

Why are there western conifer seed bugs in my house?

Although pine seed bugs primarily live on trees, you might find them in your home from late summer to the end of winter.

The dropping temperatures force them to seek out a warmer place to spend the winter months, which is exactly what your house offers.

What do you do with western conifer seed bugs?

Using insecticides to kill western conifer seed bugs indoors isn’t a smart idea. Just throw or sweep them out of your home.

As for the ones in outdoor spaces, you may use residual or direct application insecticides. You can also use sticky traps to trap them and throw them out.

Can you squish the western conifer seed bug?

Never squish a western conifer seed bug. Not only would it release the pungent odor in defense, but its crushed body will leave its strong odor on whatever surface you do it.

Even when throwing them out, handle them gently and avoid touching them with your skin.

What kills seed bugs?

The tough exoskeleton of the pine seed bug protects them from a variety of pesticides. However, insecticides based on Indoxacarb, Imidacloprid, and permethrin can kill them.

You should avoid using bug zappers, as they will make the bugs explode and spray the stinky liquid all over.

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Wrap up

Unfortunately, this is a very common pest in the United States. Although they don’t usually cause any type of leaf damage, the damage they cause to the seeds can result in stunted seed growth.

Although this isn’t a big problem unless you’re trying to grow coniferous plants, a large number of these pests can fill your home with their pungent odor.

On a positive note, their life cycle isn’t quite ideal for rapid infestations as they reproduce only once a year. So if you can kill the ones in your house, you are rid of them for good.

Thank you for reading!

e of the emails were merely inquiries, there are quite a few that were somewhat humorous and others that showed how alarming a situation these bugs can generate! Read the emails below to know more.


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. 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.

    View all posts
  • 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.

    View all posts

11 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Western Conifer Seed Bug? Expert Advice”

  1. The Western Conifer Seed Bugs normally seek shelter in the winter to escape the cold, at which point they will enter a deep hibernation state called diapause. Diapausing insects have a very low metabolism and do not eat or move about, kind of like hibernating bears. When the weather warms up, they become active again and complete their life cycle.

    However, if their environment stays warm enough (like if they are inside a house), the bugs will not enter diapause and their metabolism will stay high. In this state, they will typically die naturally before winter ends.

    I know this from experience because a couple years ago I tried keeping some bugs over the winter, feeding them with a paper towel soaked in sugar water to keep them going. (WCS bugs typically feed on young green pinecones, which don’t exist in winter). Neither of the bugs made it. I think the best thing you can do for bugs seeking shelter in your house is place them in a proper overwintering habitat. Ideally piles of leaf litter or other organic matter, or else inside a garage or toolshed or something. Someplace outside that will be cold enough to keep the bug in diapause, but sheltered enough so as not to kill the bug.

  2. Mr clickbeetle.

    Thanks for the info.
    I had him in my apartment with heat on, still worrying if he would be warm enough.
    I’ve placed him on my small outside balcony (roofed – water and
    windproof), with dry leafs/soil in the plastic container where he won’t be disturbed apart from some local traffic noise.

    Sorry if my website posting letter about finding the insect was rather dramatic, as many things I know about in the world, non native UK insects is one of them.

    So thanks for your help Sir.


  3. I caught one of these Western Conifer Seed Bugs on my Jade Plant. Creemore, Ontario, Canada (close to Georgian Bay). Strange thing to find in my house in the middle of winter.
    Your site is a great source for insect identification.

  4. 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?

  5. Just this last Sunday I saw one of these critters on one of the windows after our potluck at church. I let it crawl around on my hand for a while and was going to let it fly to freedom, however it decided to hang out at one of the other windows near the doors. Not long after, some young (and probably naive) girl noticed it, grabbed a napkin, and uttering, “Eww, a bug,” snuffed out its life, in turn becoming revolted by the ensuing odor. I told her in a subtle tone it wouldn’t have hurt anyone (I didn’t want to sound like some PETA freak, lol) and that’s likely how they keep themselves from being eaten. But she said it was an ugly bug (???)

    Kristina A. Larson
    Ellsworth ME

  6. Does this have wings? It looks rather like the ones mostly in my attic. Some have appeared downstairs lately. They seem to jump rather than fly.
    Can I send you a foto of one I tried to kill neatly?

  7. We have a live tree this year and have these unwanted guests too! I’m curious if they came in during our very cold weather about 10 days ago or in the tree.

  8. 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

  9. I just found this little booger on my patio so I can have any kind of Christmas tree or anything like that here and it type of Pine-Sol wondering what the heck it’s doing on my balcony in Idaho granted the weather got down to about 38 degrees last night and it is October 19th 2018

  10. Today I found an insect which a couple of people have ID as a Western Conifer Seed Bug. I live in Hove, E Sussex. I would have attached a photo, but there isn’t an option to.

  11. Have noticed this bug since 2918.
    It is mostly found in my basement masonry fireplace from where the odd one used to escape until I tightly secured the fireplace doors.
    None has ever been noticed in the upstairs Elmira insert, which is connected to a liner.


Leave a Comment