After a hot winter and a mild start to autumn, the temperature is starting to dip and many insects are looking for a warm place to spend the winter. One such insect is the Western Conifer Seed Bug.
Originally native to the western US (as its name would suggest), this insect has slowly been expanding its range eastward since the 1950’s. By the early 1990’s, the Western Conifer Seed Bug had reached New York, and today, it is well established throughout the northeast. While the cause of this species’ spread is not certain, the interstate highway system may have played a role.
Western Conifer Seed Bugs spend the summer months of coniferous trees where they use their piercing mouth parts to feed on conifer needles and seeds. As winter approaches, they are often seen on the sides of buildings as they try to find their way inside to spend the winter. While they can be quite large (up to ¾ inch), they are harmless to humans. Keep your eye out for the Western Conifer Seed Bug this fall, both outdoors and in!