How To Get Rid Of Western Conifer Seed Bug? Explained

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!

Reader Emails

Wester Conifer seed bugs are very notorious for defoliating pine trees, and many of our readers have checked with us on measures to get rid of them over the years.

While some 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!

Letter 1 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Bug
Location: Vermont
February 8, 2016 2:40 pm
Brownish red with white marking on back, 6 legs and feelers
Signature: H

Western Conifer Seed Bug on TV
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear H,
We are very amused that you have taken an image of this Western Conifer Seed Bug from the monitor screen.

Letter 2 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: WTH is this critter!??!?
Location: Southeast Michigan
March 22, 2016 11:42 pm
This is the 3rd one of these I have found in my house in the last few weeks. It is starting to get warmer here in Michigan so I am thinking this is a spring invader of some sort.
Signature: Creeped out by the creeper

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Creeped out by the creeper,
Fall Invader would be a more likely reference for this Western Conifer Seed Bug, a species that seeks out homes when the weather begins to cool so that it can hibernate.  When the weather begins to warm, the hibernators become more active and try to return to the outdoors.

Letter 3 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Periodic Insect In Bedroom!
Location: Toronto, Canada
March 27, 2016 8:10 pm
Hi these days starting in February Toronto, Canada I’ve seen this large insect in my room fly from no where onto my bed when I’m studying! It’s as big as my half index finger! It’s got long legs and crawls… Sorry but I’ve been too scared to touch it and kill them so the first time I saw it I sweeper it out. They seem hard to kill as my brother killed one before after it “revived” after being smashed by a broom twice. They have long antennae. What are they and where do they come from? Do they normally infest rooms?
Signature: J.J

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear J.J,
This Western Conifer Seed Bug is a member of a species originally native to the Pacific Northwest, however, it expanded its range across North America, beginning in the 1960s, presumably with the assistance of humans.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs seek shelter indoors when weather begins to cool, and they become active indoors when the weather outside begins to warm.  At that time, they are noticed as they attempt to gain egress.

Letter 4 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Insect i.d
Location: Ontario
April 5, 2016 5:09 am
Hello!
This is the third bug of this kind I’ve seen in our house in a few weeks. They’re about the size of a cricket, do not move much or quickly when disturbed. They seem to appear in the spring.
Any insight would be appreciated!
Thanks.
Signature: Anne

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Anne,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a common household intruder that seeks shelter indoors when the weather cools and then becomes active and attracts attention when the weather warms and it seeks egress.

It certainly looks like that species, and did emit a loud buzz. We also have two large pine trees directly outside the house (touching the house), which would correlate. A pest control company here in Toronto identified it as a “Stink Bug”, is that the same insect under a different name?

Stink Bugs are in the family Pentatomidae and Western Conifer Seed Bugs are Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae.  Both are in the suborder Heteroptera, meaning they share physical traits.

Letter 5 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: What is this
Location: Hillsdale, Michigan
April 25, 2016 5:42 am
This bug was crawling in my sons college house in southern central Michigan – approximately 15 miles from the Ohio line. Can you identify it?
Signature: Mama Chase

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Mama Chase,
This Western Conifer Seed Bug probably sought shelter indoors when the weather cooled to hibernate, which is why they are frequently found in homes and other buildings.  This is a harmless species.

Letter 6 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Found in Markham, Ontario
Location: Markham, Ontario, Canada
May 4, 2016 5:09 pm
What is this bug?
Signature: Kevin Alves

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Kevin,
Because they frequently enter homes to hibernate, Western Conifer Seed Bugs are one our our most common identification requests.

Letter 7 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Eastern Blood Sucking Conenose?
Location: Crousetown N.S. Canada
May 25, 2016 7:08 am
I have seen a few of these around our yard and home and i was wondering what it is. It looks like a Conenose but i can’t find any information about them living in our area.
Signature: Chris

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Chris,
This harmless Western Conifer Seed Bug is frequently confused for the Eastern Blood Sucking Conenose Bug because they are both True Bugs in the suborder Heteroptera.  See BugGuide to verify our identification.

Letter 8 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Friend or Foe?
Hi Bugman!
We moved into an older house a few months ago and periodically, even in the dead of Canadian winter, I find these beetles wandering in the house. These guys can fly and sound quite loud when they do. I’m hoping they aren’t damaging in that they eat wood! Can you identify the species and tell me more about them?
Thanks from the Toronto area,
Ursula

Dear Ursula,
You have a Western Conifer Seed Bug. The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis was first described in California in 1910 and prior to 1969, it was only known in the Western U.S. Then it started to move East. By the 1970’s it was established in Wisconsin and Illinois, and by the mid 1980’s was found in Minnesota, Michigan and Ontario. In 1990 this species was collected in New York State and in 1992 it was found in Pennsylvania. It is also present in Mexico. The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a True Bug from the Family Coreidae, the Big Legged Bugs or Leaf Footed Bugs. It is a pest on conifer trees. It will not harm the wood in your house. They are seeking shelter for the winter. Like many true bugs, including Stink Bugs and Box Elder Bugs, they seek a comfortable place to hibernate.

Thank you so much! It’s reassuring to know that we don’t have some sort of wood boring insect manifestation chewing away the framing of our new home! But seriously, I like knowing all the creatures I live with, invited or not, and what their living habits are. Hopefully, our Western conifer seed bugs will be returning outside come the warmer weather.
Thanks again and have a great, great day!
Sincerely,
Ursula

Letter 9 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Please Identify Attached Insect
Location: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
October 19, 2016 5:20 am
I’m in the 4th floor of a condo, and every time I open my window for some air, this bug appears.
Signature: Not sure

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Western Conifer Seed Bugs frequently seek shelter indoors to hibernate when the weather begins to cool.

Letter 10 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Just making sure we didn’t bring ah hitchhiker back from Punta Cana
Location: Victoria BC
November 13, 2016 6:19 pm
Hello
We just got back from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic yesterday and woke up to this bug outside our on-suite bathroom. I can’t find it a picture of this bug anywhere. I want to make sure we didn’t bring back an unwanted house guest.
hoping you can help
thanks in advance
–Mike
Signature: hoping you can help

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Mike,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a native species to the Pacific Northwest, however it has greatly increased its range, probably with human assistance, since the 1960s.  It is now reported in much of Europe.

Letter 11 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Six legs and wings
Location: Gold Bar, WA
November 30, 2016 4:49 pm
I have run across two of these in the last month, both about the same size. They do fly, I captured this one in a cup while it was hovering next to the light bulb in a desk lamp. We have lived here ten years and I have not seen any before.
Signature: Dave Zehrung

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Dave,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest, including Washington.  Since the 1960s, its range has significantly expanded to include much of northern North America, and since the 21st Century, Europe as well.

Letter 12 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Portland, Oregon
December 18, 2016 11:32 pm
I saw this sucker walking up a door frame. When I attempted to catch it it flew away. Wondering if maybe it was hiding in the doug fur Christmas tree we brought home yesterday ?
Signature: Jason

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Jason,
Western Conifer Seed Bugs are notorious for entering homes when the weather cools to hibernate, but according to BugGuide, they feed on “sap from green cones, twigs, seed pulp, and sometimes needles of Pinaceae (pines, hemlock, spruce, Douglas-fir)” so it might have gained access to your home on the tree as well.

Letter 13 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Pennsylvania bug
Location: Northeastern Pennsylvania
January 15, 2017 9:33 pm
Washing dishes in my kitchen when this bug buzzed loudly across the room and dive bombed into the water. Water was hot so he didn’t make it. Never saw one before, abdomen has an odd concave shape. Black (or dark brown?) with yellow markings. What is this bug?
Signature: Debbie

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Debbie,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a species native to the Pacific Northwest that greatly expanded its range across North America beginning in the 1960s.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often seek shelter indoors to hibernate when the weather cools, which is probably why you found it in your kitchen.

Thank you so much for your help!  I have been bombarded with “stink bugs” this year more than ever!!!  Asian lady bugs are everywhere as well. They are driving me crazy!!!!  So when this new looking bug landed in my sink, I thought, “Here we go again!”  Thank you for identifying it for me. I refer to your site often!  It’s a fantastic reference!!!
Btw….is there any kind of deterrent for any of the above mentioned bugs?  I do not want to spray to kill, I just wish I could discourage them out of our living space better. Our home is an 1815 farmhouse and we are trying to seal up as much as we can. Any advice would be helpful.
Again, thank you for the ID on the bug. I will continue to reference your very informative site!  Have a great day!
Debbie

Hi again Debbie,
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs, Multi-Colored Asian Lady Beetles and Western Conifer Seed Bugs are all introduced species in your area, and they probably have no natural enemies, hence their ability to proliferate, and they are most likely here to stay.  Short of sealing your house better, we cannot provide any additional deterrents. 

Thanks very much!  Then we will continue to do that!!  Again, j appreciate your help and will continue to enjoy your site!!!

Letter 14 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject: Unknown Bug Spechie
Location: Milwaukee, Wi
April 18, 2017 1:46 pm
Good Afternoon Bugman,
I did some research to see if I could see what kind of bug my kitty brought me to show his catch. I do not know which part of the house he retrieved this bug from.
I was unsuccessful in finding the answer, but the similarities are between a kissing beetle and a soldier beetle ? Can you help me ?
Thank you have a nice day !!
Signature: However you would like

Western Conifer Seed Bug

This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, a species native to the Pacific Northwest that has expanded its range to include much of North America.  It is also recognized as an Invasive Exotic Species in Europe

Letter 15 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject:  Hello
Geographic location of the bug:  In my house
Date: 11/17/2017
Time: 08:36 PM EDT
Hello. I am a young entomologist and I just found out about The website from the bugopedia and I am happy that I found out about you. I am not sure what this Bug is but I Think it is some kind of stink Bug because it stinks.
How you want your letter signed:  Identifycation of Bug and signed by bugman

Western Conifer Seed Bug

This is not a Stink Bug.  It is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae.  Your individual looks like a Western Conifer Seed Bug, a species that frequently enters homes to hibernate when the weather begins to cool.  We don’t know where on the planet your house was built, but we can tell you that the Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest, but has spread across North America beginning in the 1960s.  Shortly after the beginning of the 21st Century, it was also reported in Europe and it is now commonly found across northern Europe where it is considered an Invasive Species.

Letter 16 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject:  Kissing bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Williamsport Pennsylvania
Date: 01/11/2018
Time: 10:17 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! We have brown stink bugs but this one is different. I was wondering if you could identify this for me? I was worried about it being the kissing bug. Thank you very much!
How you want your letter signed:  Ashley

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Ashley,
This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, one of the Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae.  It is classified in the insect suborder Heteroptera, the True Bugs, along with Stink Bugs that are in the family Pentatomidae and Kissing Bugs that are in the family Reduviidae.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs are native to the Pacific Northwest, but they began to noticeably increase their range beginning in the 1960s, possibly due to more and more people traveling for work or pleasure.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often enter homes to hibernate as the weather cools.

Letter 17 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subjec:  Deadly kissing bug?!?!
Geographic location of the bug:  Washington State
Date: 10/20/2018
Time: 05:22 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I have been seeing these more frequently and found one in my house this evening. Is this the dangerous kissing bug, or something else?
Thanks in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  A nervous Nelly

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear A nervous Nelly,
This is a native Western Conifer Seed Bug, not a Kissing Bug.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug has greatly increased its range beginning in the 1960s when it began to be reported outside of the Pacific Northwest.  It now frequently enters homes to hibernate in the northeast and beginning in the early 2000s it has been reported in Europe as well.

Letter 18 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject:  Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Tacoma washington
Date: 12/17/2018
Time: 06:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I’ve found this in my kitchen. What is It? It was quite large, with wings.
How you want your letter signed:  Daniele

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Daniele,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug you encountered is native to the Pacific Northwest, but beginning in the 1960s, it began to expand its range eastward, most likely due to increased human travel including airline travel.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often seek shelter indoors to hibernate when weather cools, and this phenomenon is quite marked in its expanded range of eastern Canada and U.S., and because of its hibernation habits, we suspect it was able to stow away in luggage and other items involved in human travel.  Beginning in the third millennium, Western Conifer Seed Bugs were introduced to Europe.  Outside of its Pacific Northwest origin, it is considered an invasive species.

Letter 19 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Please identify this beetle for me, thanks!
This beetle is very prolific at our home in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico from late summer to present. We are at 7300′ altitude and have not had a hard freeze or snow yet. I can’t keep these guys from getting into my house. They emit a foul smelling substance when disturbed. Please let me know anything you can. Is it a mesquite bug or a biting bug? It buzzes when it flies and has dark bands on it’s abdomen. Thanks!
Tammy

Hi Tammy,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis. It is an introduced species that has become very wide spread in about 20 years. They are seeking shelter from the winter by moving into your home. Here is a site with more information.

Letter 20 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

Subject:  What’s this bug?
Geographic location of the bug:  Upstate NY
Date: 10/12/2021
Time: 05:47 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These bugs on walls trying to come into the house. Thank you!
How you want your letter signed:  Patrick

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Patrick,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug often enters homes to hibernate when the weather begins to cool.

Letter 21 – Western Conifer Seed Bug

 

small critters in my room
Hi! I discovered your site while trying to identify the very small bugs that keep on squeezing their way into my room. Makes me reluctant to open my window, because whenever i find them, they are either dead or dying. And i always seem to find them near my window. Since i’ve only seem them dead, i don’t have much information besides the photo i’ve attached. i hope the picture works…
Thank you!
Brenda from Ontario

Hi Brenda,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug often seeks shelter from the cold inside homes. It won’t damage your interior. It is just cold.

Letter 22 – Western Conifer Seed Bug in Austria

 

Subject: Hallo from Austria!
Location: 48°05’12.82″ N 16°16’47.70″ O
October 17, 2016 8:42 am
Dear members,
please help to identify this bug, that seems to have infested our garden and home. I live in Austria, Lower Austria, Moedling ( 48°05’12.82″ N 16°16’47.70″ O ) and since app. two years we have these strages, app. 2,5 cm (1 inch) long bugs, that no amount of insect spray can kill.
Maybe you can also suggest a repellant to get rid of these nasty bugs?
Best regards, Frank.
Signature: Frank Reeser

Leaf Footed Bug
Leaf Footed Bug

Dear Frank,
This is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae, and it looks like it is a member of the genus
Leptoglossus.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, has been introduced to Europe from North America, but the markings on the wings are more pronounced than your individual.  You can find some information on British Bugs.  We do not provide extermination advice.

Letter 23 – Western Conifer Seed Bug blamed for extended lunch break

 

Subject: Western Conifer Seed Bug…I think
Location: Irvine, CA
December 29, 2013 3:11 pm
I spent so much time admiring this handsome critter that I was late clocking back in from lunch! Thanks to your website in conjunction with Google image search, I believe it to be a Western Conifer Seed Bug, or some closely related species. Sorry for the poor quality of the photo; it was taken with my cell phone. Thank you for your entertaining and informative website, and for your assistance in IDing this little guy. Gal. Bug.
Signature: SMTO

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear SMTO,
We wish we were flies on the wall when you had to explain to your boss that you were late from lunch because you were enthralled by a bug.  This invasive exotic species is nowhere near as exciting as some of our native species.  You might miss the end of the week should you ever encounter a Tarantula Hawk, a Western Shorthorned Walkingstick, a Mourning Cloak or a Potato Bug, which can all be found in Irvine.

Thank you for the quick response!  Actually, it was easy to explain, since I was taking the picture when my boss got back from his own lunch break.  And yes, potato bugs–we find those in our yard quite often.  The dogs are freaked out by them 🙂  I’ve never taken any pics of those, but I do have some (in my humble opinion) nice shots of a mourning cloak hanging out on a motorcycle.

Thank you for attaching your Mourning Cloak photo.  We used a lovely image of a Viceroy on a Motorcycle when we produced a What’s That Bug? calendar back in 2006.

Letter 24 – Western Conifer Seed Bug in Canada

 

Subject: Is this some kind of beetle?
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
October 15, 2016 6:29 am
Hi,
I received as a gift a blooming Phalaenopsis plant. A week later I found this little guy hanging around. It looks like a beetle to me but I’m not an expert. Can you tell me what it is please?
Thank you,
Signature: Ella Mendelovitz

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Ella,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is a True Bug, not a beetle.  Western Conifer Seed Bugs often seek shelter indoors to hibernate when the weather begins to cool.

Letter 25 – Western Conifer Seed Bug Fanmail

 

Western Conifer Seed bug and empty nest syndrome
Hi WTB! Back in November of 2009, I found a little bug crawling up my bedroom wall. After sending you guys a picture and having you ID it as a Western Conifer Seed bug, I did a little (ok a lot!) research on your wonderful website. I found that they basically hibernate and live off of fat stores in their body for the winter. So I named him Axel, gave him a home in a jar with plenty of air holes, made sure he had water, and kept him for the winter. Last saturday I released him into some evergreen trees next to my house. Now, I’m going through “empty nest syndrome” 🙁 But, I am glad I was able to keep him warm for the winter and now he’s probably happy muching on some trees somewhere. Thank you, WTB, for all the great info and the time and patience to ID a pretty common bug! I c ome to your website at least once a day, and still find new and interesting bugs! Keep up the great work, hopefully this fall, I will find another Axel on my bedroom wall! 🙂
Jenn Kendall

Thanks for the sweet letter Jenn.

Letter 26 – Western Conifer Seed Bug in UK

 

a very menacing looking bug turned up in my front room apartment. my letter explains all.
December 5, 2009
hello sir’s
on saturday 5th december i was removing the throw-over from an armchair in my front room (which is carpeted, and i own a indoor cat, and live at the top of a three story apartment – i might add, if it helps) i moved the chair out of my way and noticed an odd bug which may have been hiding/residing under the chair? it wasn’t mobile moving (i accidently broke one of its legs moving the chair (i’m sorry). any way, it was still alive. having rescued it, i placed it on an envelope to inspect it. i’ve never seen one of these before so i took some snaps of it, however after searching for this unique scary looking specimen in my ‘bugs and insects’ book i’m still not aware of the species.
the closest ‘relation’ looking insects i could find that looked even remotely like the one i found were either a ‘house’ or ‘field cricket’, a ‘water boatman backswimmer’ or a ‘forest bug’? but, what i don’t know is if insects, say, like black ants are easily distinguishable from red ants because of color, size and the like, being the same genus etc…….
i still think this particular species is not any of what i read up on. although similar looking. this one is very distinctive compared to the researched ones i read about.
my girlfriend had been traveling around eastern europe for the summer and, may of unknowingly smuggled it back england in her traveling bags?
if you guys know what species it belongs to could you please enlighten me with your knowledge.
i’m not a worry-guts but the insect does look rather menacing, and as i’m ignorant to what family it belongs and where it came i’ll house it in a glass jar. in case you need further photography.
i hope it’s not poisonous or, being female, laid a nest in my flat.
last thing, my girlfriend returned back to england around mid june,
so if it did manage to find its way into our front room it would be
highly unlikely that it managed to survive five months or so.
please help.
yours faithfully
mr jake bennett
My home, Leiston, Suffolk UK

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Mr. Jake Bennett,
This is a Leaf Footed Bug in the family Coreidae.  We are nearly certain it is Leptoglossus occidentalis, the Western Conifer Seed Bug that is native to the Northwest region of North America.  Beginning in the 1970s, there were reports coming from eastern North America, and it is believe that an accidental introduction led to a range expansion.  In the 1990s reports of the species spread to the northern portions of Europe became more frequent.  There is a flickr page with reports from the UK.  Your girlfriend may have transported this specimen from the northern parts of Eastern Europe, or the species may already be naturalized in your area.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug often seeks shelter indoors as the weather cools, reemerging in the spring to lay eggs.  The species is considered harmless, though its increased range expansion may have as yet unknown effects on the species diversity within its adopted habitat.

Thank-you ever so much for replying to me on your website Sir, and the quickness of replying by e-mail too !!!
It’s very interesting and helpful. So thank you very much.
My questioning/story to you about my new best friend LFB was, totally something new for me.
Finding a devilishly looking critter (that I’ve never seen or know of in my life), in my own
lounge threw me a bit.
I would’ve spent hours, (more like days), hunting down genuine knowledge on the insect with-out your
rapid response.
I am really rather glad I came across him, being ignorant (totally) about insect genus’, I’ve found a new
interest, which is a great result.
I’ve moved him to a square plastic container as he couldn’t stick on the glass and resulted falling on his back
constantly and him being crippled at the moment I had to check him every half hour or so.
I’ve been trying to find – what I can feed him? to make him more comfitable whilst his back left leg mends
(if it ever will).
Saying that, he looks on the mend and is moving about -mostly on all other legs, while trying self physiotherapy!
One thing I have learnt though is, as much as they like fruit crops sugars etc.. never to
give them honey. He liked it so much that he covered himself with what he didn’t eat and kept falling on his
back and getting stuck.
Although | managed very gently to remove the honey from him I need to keep a close eye (just in case
I missed some).
Any who, he has lots of ivy plant shoots with him so if he gets stuck upside down again he can grab a bit
and pull himself back upright.
Mr Marlos, and my LFB have made my weekend.
I hope you have a good weekend also,
All the best.
Jason.
PS. I’ll let you know how he progresses if you’d like. Plus any tips from you would be great.
Q. Is there one particular fruit/food the Coreidae enjoy? preferably ‘non-sticky.
I’ve looked around the net
and all I found literally was multiple ways of exterminating them!!!!! which is for me a No-No.

Letter 27 – Western Conifer Seed Bug invades Slovakia

 

Strange bug
Location: Slovakia, Central Europe
October 3, 2011 7:52 am
First of all sorry if I make any mistake, I am not from English speaking country.
So to the point, this bug started appearing right after our building got renovated. I`ve never seen this kind of a bug in my whole life and now it is everywhere. It is getting really annoying to get rid of them many times a day. Just out of sheer curiosity, what kind of bug is it and/or how can I possibly get rid of them?
Signature: Thank you, Lukas Brath

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Hi Lukas,
Your English is perfectly understandable.  We can tell you for certain that this is a Leaf Footed Bug in the genus
Leptoglossus, and we are relatively certain that it is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis.  The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest, and beginning in the 1970s, it began to expand its range across North America in the northern latitudes.  While it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem in its native range, once it became established in other areas, people began to complain that it entered homes to hibernate as the weather began to cool.  We learned that in the early years of the 21st millenium, the Western Conifer Seed Bugs was accidentally introduced to Europe and is has become established there as well.
There is much information on the spread of the Western Conifer Seed Bug in Europe available on the internet, including a scholarly article entitled “Will the invasive western conifer seed bug
Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Hemiptera:  Heteroptera: Coreidae) seize all of Europe” by Jerzy A. Lis, Barbara Lis & Jerzy Gubernator.  That article begins with the compelling statement:  “In our day, thanks to high-speed transport systems, people are moving living species (intentionally or not) across ecosystems and countless borders.  As we know, most introduced species usually do not survive, because they find neither a tolerable environment nor an available ecological niche.  Sometimes, successful establishment may also require multiple introductions (Balcom 2004).”   You should be able to find all the information you desire now that you know this is a Western Conifer Seed Bug.

Letter 28 – Western Conifer Seed Bug from the UK

 

Subject: What is this insect
Location: Maidstone, Kent u.k
October 25, 2013 7:08 am
Found in our home, in langley, Kent. England. Countryside location,
Can you tell me what this insect is?
Signature: ??

Western Conifer Seed Bug
Western Conifer Seed Bug

The Western Conifer Bug is native to the Pacic Northwest, and it was accidentally introduced to Europe early this century.

Letter 29 – Western Conifer Seed Bug in UK

 

Subject:  Please identify me 🙂
Geographic location of the bug:  London, UK
Date: 09/26/2017
Time: 01:53 AM EDT
Dear Bugman,
I have a lovely bug which I discovered in my study. He was sat at my desk as I was working one evening. He is very sweet with interesting markings. I have looked everywhere for the type of bug he is and the best I can come up with is kissing bug, which seems highly unlikely as I live in London! He is very sweet but have since put him in a breathable container just in case ! I will set him free of course I just didn’t know where to set him free, ie what he eats and so where in my garden perhaps he would be happiest.
How you want your letter signed:  Thank you in advance of your help. Alex

Western Conifer Seed Bug

Dear Alex,
The Western Conifer Seed Bug is native to the Pacific Northwest and it is an Invasive Exotic species in London.

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for replying! That is fascinating.
I will release him to a conifer tree as soon as I am home from work. Thank you for a super fab service !
Poor chap has a damaged leg as one of my cats found him before I did, but he moves almost without disability.
Thank you again,
Alex

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.

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

  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Jason.

    Reply
  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.
    Thanks

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply

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