The western conifer seed bug’s consumption of Douglas-fir seeds and seeds of various other species of pine results in a substantial loss of seed crop. Thus, its direct economic impact is a reduction in the quality and viability of conifer seed crops.
In its native range, the Western Conifer Seed Bug feeds on the sap of developing conifer cones throughout its life, and its sap-sucking causes the developing seeds to wither and misdevelop. It is therefore considered a minor tree pest in North America, but becoming sometimes more harmful e.g. in conifer plantations.
The happy news in all of this is that the suspected brown marmorated stink bug is probably a western conifer seed bug. The two insects vaguely resemble each other, but the innocuous western conifer seed bug gets the blame. It also gets blamed for being several different insects because of its body shape and coloration.
The western conifer seed bug belongs to the family Coreidae, commonly called leaf-footed bugs, and like many members of this family, it has a flattened, leaf-like expansion on the hind legs. The adult is about 3/4 inch (16-20 mm) in length and is dull brownish. There is a faint white zigzag stripe across the midpoint of its upper surface.
The Western Conifer Seed Bug also seeks the warmth of your home to bunker down in for the winter. It’s often misidentified as a Stink Bug, Cockroach or as the biting “Kissing Bug” due to its vaguely similar appearance. However, you will not find Kissing Bugs in New England and Stink Bugs are not as common to the region either.
The Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis, is one of the Leaf Footed Bugs that somewhat resemble another family, the Assassin Bugs, which includes the problematic Kissing Bugs or Bloodsucking Conenose Bugs in the genus Triatoma that may spread Chagas Disease. They are in the same order of insects, Hemiptera, which includes all ...
The western conifer-seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis), a plant-eating insect, has been documented to have bitten a human, though researchers consider the bite to have been a chance occurrence and not the result of the insect targeting the human.(Photo credit: Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org)
The bugs can be easily captured and returned to the outdoors or vacuumed into a bag and disposed of. There is no need to resort to insecticides. Chemicals are dangerous—western conifer seed bugs are not.
The western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis), also called the pine seed bug, is a commonly found insect which is often seen invading homes in large numbers during certain periods of spring, fall, and winter. Originally found only in the western United States, these bugs are now found all across the country, and even in parts of Canada.
The large, brown bug, found entering homes is the Western Conifer Seed Bug. This species, first described in California in 1910, has quickly moved eastward. In 1956 the WCSB was reported in Iowa and in1990 several were found in New York State. Life Cycle: In the fall, the Western Conifer Seed Bug enters homes through…