This past of FALL - As the leaves start to change and the weather gets cooler, it’s only natural for some insects to try over-wintering in building structures. They start to appear in Massachusetts + Rhode Island around September-October and focus heavily on the sunny side of structures. Today’s story comes from one of our long time customers. Her contractor found a ton of “stink bugs” all over the exterior of the home. Naturally, she was very concerned. “What will they do to the building structure? Are the harmful to humans? What is their purpose? They’re very scary looking!” are some of the normal responses for the Western Conifer Seed Bug. But in reality, they’re harmless creatures who live off of seedlings (sap) of trees and in large numbers can cause stress and disease to the tree. I assured our customer that they do not sting or bite, and that their purpose for being there is to stay warm for the winter months.
Other important things to know – they do not destroy structures either they are purely a nuisance pest. They enter through cracks/crevices, any gaps around windows or doors and will be quasi-dormant inside until spring. However as you heat your home or we get a dramatic change in the weather the insects become confused and thinking it is spring will wander around. Once they get inside wall & ceiling voids inside your home treating them is like finding a needle in a haystack! They come out of these voids in large numbers around March-April depending on weather. The concerning part of this pest is they can hit your home in such large numbers that it seems like a scene out of a horror movie. So, if you happen to see a Western Conifer Seed Bug it is best to vacuum them up dispose of the bag. If you handle them they will emit a foul odor or if you crush them they will stain surfaces with the same unpleasant smell, remember they feed on tree sap. The control program EHS employs is a spring + fall treatment and after the 1st year the numbers will be reduced dramatically or even eliminated. The fall program can include excluding all gaps/voids that serve as entry points for these pests to prevent this issue from happening again in the future.