Elm seed bugs are the latest invasive pest causing problems here in the United States. Common to central and southern Europe, it’s unclear how they arrived but at this pint in time, they’re making their presence well known.
ELM SEED BUG INVASION
The main problem with elm seed bugs is that they can live a long time. In fact, most will live 3-5 years. This means they’ll have to migrate out of bad weather. And it appears these migrations will happen in the winter and summer. So like many other invasive pests, elm seed bugs will look for safe harborage amidst the cracks and crevices of natural structures. That means during their flight from bad weather, they’ll be finding our homes and other buildings on which to roost and nest. And once on the home, they’ll forage up under house siding, around gutters, facia boards, windows, door frames and roofing. Once in these voids, it’s only a matter of time before they’re being found in living spaces.
ELM SEED BUG SMELL
Like stink bugs, elm seed bugs will release a scent used to mark territories. This means once your home is identified as a good nest site, more seed bugs in the region will find it. Additionally, elm seed bugs can release a nasty smell if handled. They don’t appear to pose any kind of hazard to people or pets but their smell is obnoxious to most so avoid touching them.
ELM SEED BUG BIOLOGY
Elm seed bugs look a lot like BOXELDER BUGS. Some people will mistake them for wood roaches because unlike their boxelder bug cousins, elm seed bugs are more tan in color with no red markings like our native boxelder bug. Elm seed bugs eat tree seeds and won’t pose a threat to the tree or plant from which the seed is dropped. Elm seed bugs will grow through stages known as instars. These start very small and after 4-6 stages, will reach maturity and achieve the adult length of 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
ELM SEED BUG TREATMENTS
Elm seed bug control should be done outside once you identify them as being active in your yard. Seed bugs will readily roost in trees but are commonly found on the ground under pine straw, mulch and thatch. Basically anywhere tree seeds can fall elm seed bugs will target. For this reason, it’s best to get them in the yard before they start migrating onto and into your home.
ELM SEED BUG GRANULES
When first found in the yard, treating the turf with BIFEN GRANULES will help reduce and eliminate any activity. Treat every 3 months to maintain the area and keep it seed bug free. If you have a significant population already established, apply the Bifen Granules and then spray over the top with CYONARA RTS. The granules will provide long term control but because they take awhile to get activated, the Cyonara will be needed for immediate control.
ELM SEED BUGS ON HOUSE SIDING
Once you start finding them on the siding of the house, you might be able to treat it with the Cyonara and keep them off. But if you’ve got major roosting already happening, you’ll need something stronger. A stronger spray for house siding is CYPERMETHRIN. Highly repellent to any insect treatments made around any point of entry can last 1-2 months and because it’s highly repellent to insect pests, keep them away and off your home.
if you’re finding them up high and out of reach. Since seed bugs will commonly be active around gutters and roof lines, the Dustick can prove quite helpful for treating.
ELM SEED BUG TREATMENTS FOR INSIDE THE HOME
Once inside the home, there are two treatments that will help. The first is to apply DELTAMETHRIN DUST to your attic. This is especially helpful if you’re finding activity on your roof top or up around the gutters. From there some will get inside and the attic is a great place to fend them off. Use a DUSTIN MIZER to apply the dust. It will propel the dust out a good 20 feet or more ensuring uniform coverage.
For living spaces, any crack and crevice should be treated with PHANTOM AEROSOL. This is a low odor product that comes with a special injector tube so you can direct the spray into the cracks and seams where elm seed bugs like to hide. Phantom goes on dry so it won’t make a mess. The only drawback of Phantom is that it won’t kill quickly. In fact it will take a good 1-2 days before you see results. But once it kicks in you’ll see a lot of elm seed bugs die. This is because Phantom is unique is how it works because it can be spread from one bug to another. This means that even if only 1-2 touch a treated surface, you can effective impact 50 or more. When it comes to pests like elm seed bugs that like to roost in groups, this mechanism is extremely helpful in eliminating them.