How To Control Elm Seed Bug

Quick Facts…

  • The elm seed bug is relatively new to the western slope – it was first detected in 2017.
  • They are attracted to and feed on the seeds of the Siberian elm.
  • Elm seed bugs migrate into the interior of your home in the hotter months of summer and even into early autumn.
  • Elm seed bugs are mainly a nuisance pest and are not harmful to humans and pets.
  • Sealing cracks and crevices around doors and windows is the best management practice to prevent this pest from entering your home.

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The elm seed bug has been making its way across the Grand Valley since approximately 2017. It is causing quite a stir with homeowners. This bug is a major nuisance pest and will eventually make their way into homes. They make their way through cracks and crevices around windows and doors. Hot dry weather seems to be the trigger for their home invasion – usually around mid June to September. Although they do not pose a health threat to humans or pets, the large numbers of bugs that can enter your home can be overwhelming. Elm seed bugs do not bite or sting and will not feed on houseplants of household foods.

How To Control Elm Seed Bugs

If you have elm trees on your property, or if elm trees are present on neighboring properties, the chance of seeing elm seed bug populations is likely. Here are a few measures you can implement to minimize or potentially eliminate an elm seed bug home invasion:

Bug Proof Your Home – Elm seed bugs can enter through the smallest of openings. Be diligent about ensuring that weather-stripping around doors is tight fitting. Caulk around windows thoroughly and replace or repair any torn screens.

Use A Shop Vac – Some bugs may inevitably make it inside your home. It is generally not recommended to squash or crush them due to the highly unpleasant odor they will emit. The easiest and most convenient way to remove elm seed bugs is to vacuum them. If you have a wet/dry vac, try adding soapy water in the canister to drown captured bugs.

Place Sticky Traps on Windowsills – Sticky traps are made of plastic or cardboard and coated with a strong adhesive designed to trap any insect that crawls or lands on their surface. These glue-based traps are frequently used in pest control. They provide a non-chemical method to catch and monitor insects and other pests.

Apply a Chemical Barrier – Use a permethrin-based insecticide to apply a barrier to help prevent elm seed bug entry into your home. Spray a 3 – 5 foot wide continuous band directly onto the ground outside the foundation. Continue spraying upwards onto the exterior foundation another 2 or 3 feet. Apply this barrier around all windows & doors, vents, telephone, cable and electrical line entrances, and any other openings through exterior walls.

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