Posted by Capitol Pest on August 7, 2015

In dealing with the ever prolific elm seed bug, we have come across some poor information. The media reports one thing because they heard it from somewhere else and some “experts” are best guessing and it leaves the general public uninformed.
The facts are as follows;
1. First detected in Idaho approximately the June of 2012. (the general consensus is that they came from Europe)
2. Characteristics & life cycle
a. Mate & Lay eggs in the spring on elm trees and they are very prolific
b. Larvae hatch then feed on the seeds and the fruit of the elm tree
c. When it starts to get too warm outside they try to escape the heat by coming indoors
d. When the weather starts to get cooler in the fall they sun themselves on the south side of buildings to keep themselves warm
e. Early fall they hibernate
3. They stink when you squish them
4. They are not poisonous
5. Some “over the counter” general insect sprays are not every effective
Now the part that is important – How do you get rid of them?
Yes we can treat your structure, it will kill some of them. Yes we can treat the turf and the shrub beds, it will kill some more of them. Yes we can treat the tree(s) and that will kill even more of them.
However, short of spraying every elm seed bug in the face with a pesticide and chopping down all of the elm trees in the Treasure Valley, we will not be able to get rid of the population of elm seed bugs, simply because, there are so prolific and they do not have a natural predator. Another factor is your neighborhood, because we treat your property does not mean that your neighbor will treat their property, and it has been noted that elm seed bugs can travel up to 2 miles. (Although I have never personally followed one, I would tend to believe that they would travel that far simply because of how quickly they spread in the valley).
We recommend first, that you exclude them from your home as much as possible. Do not leave windows and doors open without screens that are in good repair and properly installed, caulk all cracks around windows and doors and install door sweeps. This is a short list of items you can do to prevent entry, when we come to treat your home we will advise you of the potential points of entry for the elm seed bug. Second, we can treat the structures, turf, shrub bed and trees, in your yard. This process will limit the population but it will not prevent it entirely. We recommend service year around that will maintain the products we use.