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Elm Seed Bugs in Grand Junction

Quick Facts…


· The elm seed bug is an insect that has newly arrived in Colorado that feeds on the seeds of Siberian elm.

· Elm seed bugs cause nuisance problems by moving into buildings in summer and early autumn. They do not reproduce indoors.

· The best management of elm seed bugs is to seal cracks and crevices on the exterior of buildings so the insects cannot enter. Indoors they are best managed by vacuuming.

· Movement of the bug to indoors can also be limited by use of certain insecticides applied to areas of the building exterior where the bugs can enter.


The first detections of this insect were made in July 2017, and it is presently known in Mesa, Delta and Montrose counties. With an abundance of their host plant, the Siberian Elm, present, they can quickly reproduce and rapidly spread to new areas. It is likely that they will spread to all of Colorado in the following years. While the bugs are harmless, they are a nuisance.


Unlike boxelder bugs, which appear in homes in the fall, the elm seed bugs most often appear in homes from mid-June through September and may become active in homes during the winter if temperatures are favorable outside. While the bugs may not try to enter the home until later in the year, it is strongly encouraged to have a professional treat the exterior of the home and entry points such as doors and windows well in advance with a long-lasting residual treatment that will serve is a preventative barrier to elm bugs and other pests.


The adult bugs are the stage normally present in a home. Luckily, the adult bugs do not reproduce inside so an infestation is unlikely to occur in your home. Immature elm seed bugs (nymphs) that develop outdoors on seeds lack wings and are smaller than the adults. As they grow, black wing pads develop, and the abdomen appears a lighter red color with two black dots in the middle.


Management of Elm Seed Bugs


These bugs are a nuisance pest and should be excluded from entering the home. How to get rid of elm seed bugs:

· Vacuum elm seed bugs found in the home and dispose of them outside or flush down the toilet. A bag less vacuum works best with these insects as they can be easily emptied when full of bugs.

· Spraying elm trees or cutting them down to reduce elm seed bug populations is ineffective as the bugs and elm trees are in high populations and highly mobile in the Western Slope area of Colorado.

· A perimeter barrier of insecticide around window and door entryways may be the best way to deter bugs entry into the home.

· Products containing pyrethroids have been recommended for outdoor structural spraying including beta-cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin and permethrin. These are common active ingredients in many retail insecticides sold for outdoor use.


Call King Pest Solutions and mention this blog to get $50 off your initial service today.


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