Invasive Elm Seed Bugs in Texas
What are Elm Seed Bugs?
While Elm Seed bugs are often confused with Box Elder bugs, these two distinct species cause their own distinct set of problems. There has been an increase of these pests in Texas over the last couple years, as they crowd homes, and make themselves comfortable here. Learn how to more effectively rid your home of these pests, preventing them from infesting your life.
Elm Seed bugs weren’t recognized as a pest until the late 1990s, when they infested residents of Northern Italy. Since then they have continued to grow, spreading to more places around the world including the United States as of recently. This bug has a reddish brown tint, ranging in size to grow as big as a half an inch in length. These bugs can be easily identified from others by a triangle marking on their backs. They began causing trouble in only a few states, eventually spreading their reach.
These pests derive their name from laying eggs in elm trees. Once these young elm seed bugs are hatched they will move into the gutters and under the siding of homes. Those that are able to sneak inside will move up to the attic, creating nests. While these pests are unpleasant for a number of reasons, one of the greatest is their foul smell. This stench is only increased when the bugs are squashed. Unlike other insects, elm seed bugs can live a long time, usually around five years. This means an infestation when not properly taken care of will fester and grow over time, only leading to more problems.
Getting Rid of Elm Seed Bugs
At this point in time, Elm Seed bugs aren’t seen as a threat, they are primarily an annoyance. While they aren’t known to carry any diseases and thus don’t carry a health risk, and they are not an agricultural threat, they still are an annoyance that must be addressed. The first step is to keep them out entirely before they can cause trouble. This is done by sealing the cracks in your foundation, and ensuring your home is properly secured. Clean the matter out of your gutters on a regular basis and clear the area of debris directly around your home. These common places for Elm Seed bugs to hide need to be taken care of, eliminating their shelter.
If elm seed bugs do infest your home, it may be time to call the pest control company. Don’t let the problem fester, instead call and get it taken care of sooner rather than later. Get the stench, and the insects out of your home before more advanced problems can arise.
Tips for Elm Seed Bugs
Elm Seed bugs enter structures through cracks and crevices, but most commonly through windows and doors. Any gap in weather stripping in a window or door is an open invitation. New windows, and even picture windows, are susceptible to elm seed bug entry.
Tips for keeping the pests outside include caulking foundation cracks and gaps in soffits and around plumbing, gas or electrical conduits; sealing windows and doors with sealant or weather stripping; and making sure all screens fit tightly. In addition, vacuuming the bugs is effective. Be sure to dispose of or freeze the vacuum bags before reuse. If using a vacuum with a hose extension, insert a knee-high nylon stocking into the hose end and secure the open end around the hose end with a rubber band. Vacuum elm seed bugs, then remove the stocking with the bugs, tie it shut and throw it away. Keep in mind that this method may cause elm seed bugs to emit their foul-smelling odor. For larger-scale exterior vacuuming, fill a wet-dry vac with approximately 1 inch of water and a dash of dish soap to drown the bugs.
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