Elm Seed Bug
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Elm Seed Bugs

Learn More About These Common Salt Lake City-Area Nuisance Bugs

Elm seed bugs, known scientifically as Arocatus melanocephalus, are a true bug species that originated in Europe and has become a common sight in the Salt Lake City area. Residents often encounter them in large numbers, especially during the summer months, and their presence is most commonly associated with their signature aggregation behavior — they will often cluster in significant numbers on the sunny sides of buildings, trees, and even inside homes.

What draws the elm seed bug to our urban landscapes is the abundant presence of the elm trees they like to feed on. Their diet is primarily the seeds of the elm tree, hence their name, but their existence becomes a real bother to homeowners when they venture into houses seeking shelter or warmth. They tend to favor crevices around windows, door frames, and other small openings to settle in for the colder months. 

image of a bug

How to Identify Elm Seed Bugs

Identifying elm seed bugs is the first step to ensuring they don't become unwelcome tenants in your home. These bugs can be recognized by their distinctive reddish-brown color and the notable black-and-white patterning along their abdomen, which is visible when their wings are spread. Elm seed bugs are also characterized by a small, triangle-shaped plate on their back, known as a scutellum. Their overall body shape is somewhat flat and oval, and they are often mistaken for the Boxelder bug due to their similar appearance.

What Risks Do Elm Seed Bugs Pose?

While elm seed bugs are not known to be harmful to humans or pets, their presence can be quite a nuisance. Fortunately, these bugs are not destructive pests; they do not damage the structure of homes or nibble on household items. However, when they make their way indoors, they can become a source of irritation with their sudden flights and their habit of accumulating in large numbers. Some residents might also find the scent they emit when disturbed or crushed unpleasant, although it's important to note that this odor is not harmful. 

This annoyance factor, rather than direct harm, puts elm seed bugs on the radar for pest control. To mitigate the inconvenience these bugs cause, maintaining a well-sealed home environment and contacting a professional pest control service, such as Pest Pro Pest Control, for advice and assistance can be highly effective in managing and preventing an infestation. 

Do you have questions about elm seed bugs? Call the pest professionals at Pest Pro Pest Control at (385) 314-4973 for answers!


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How to Keep Elm Seed Bugs Out of Your Property

Preventing an infestation of elm seed bugs requires a few proactive steps, each designed to bolster your home's defenses against these invasive pests.

Steps you can take to prevent an Elm Seed Bug infestation include: 

  • Sealing cracks and openings: Inspect your home for any cracks or small openings around windows, doors, and foundations. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal these potential entry points.
  • Repairing damaged screens: Make sure all window and door screens are intact and free of holes or tears that could allow bugs to enter.
  • Keeping up with yard maintenance: Eliminate debris and clutter from your yard, such as piles of leaves or wood, which can serve as attractive hiding spots for elm seed bugs.
  • Managing elm tree debris: Regularly clean up any elm seeds or leaves that have fallen to the ground to reduce food sources for the bugs.
  • Using proper lighting: Opt for yellow-tinted outdoor lights, which are less attractive to elm seed bugs and other insects. 
  • Getting a professional opinion: If the problem persists or you are unsure how to proceed, contact a pest control expert like Pest Pro Pest Control to conduct an assessment and recommend custom solutions.

By following these steps, you can safeguard your home against the nuisance of elm seed bugs, creating a peaceful, more comfortable environment for your family.

If you have a problem with elm seed bugs, call Pest Pro Pest Control in Salt Lake City at (385) 314-4973 to request a free estimate for elm seed bug control services!

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