Insects: Western Conifer Seed Bug

Photo of Western Conifer Seed Bug

As the white season nears, you may notice various insects seeking shelter in your home. One such species known as the Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) is a relatively recent New England arrival, with the first individuals recorded in Connecticut in the mid-1980s. Formerly known only in western North America, this species is now found across much of the continent (including all 6 New England states, according to photographic records on BugGuide) and in parts of Europe (and likely elsewhere).

This bug is so named for the habit of sucking sap from developing seed cones of conifers, which may result in poor seed development. In New England, host species include Eastern White Pine and Red Pine.

Have you encountered a Western Conifer Seed Bug in your home this fall?

10/15/16 Update: A reader pointed out that, if disturbed, these bugs may release a stinky substance (he described it as an unpleasant, "very pungent almond/pine odor"), which accounts for another of their common names: Stink Bug.

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