The Invasion of Boxelder and Elm Seed Bugs in Idaho Falls and Pocatello

Boxelder bugs are native to North America and most Idahoans are familiar with this specific insect. Although, these pests are not venomous and rarely cause significant damage to humans or property, they can still become a major nuisance for homeowners. These insects are active in the summer and tend to become a problem by congregating in homes and staining carpets and upholstery while trying to find warmth. Boxelder bugs are known to leave a foul odor, especially when squished as a defense mechanism. As one can imagine having hundreds of these foul smelling creBoxelder Bug in Eastern Idahoatures in your home can quickly become troublesome.
While Boxelder bugs have been in Idaho for a long time, there is actually a new species of insect that is typically confused for the Boxelder bug. The Elm Seed bug is usually found in south-central parts of Europe and was just recently discovered in the United States for the first time in 2012. This pest was first discovered in Idaho and as an invasive species has no natural enemies to worry about. This makes the Elm Seed bug a very difficult pest to control, and it has become a large problem throughout Idaho and many other states. The Elm Seed bug is very similar to the Boxelder bug and the only clear difference is in size. The Elm Seed bug also does not pose a threat to human health, but does present a very foul odor when squished. It is believed that this insect made its way to the US by stowing away in traveler’s bags, and being introduced into an environment that has not adapted for its presence has caused them to flourish and overproduce. They make their way into homes through vents, cracks and other openings and have a tendency to produce and take over.
While very similar, Boxelder bugs and Elm Seed bugs react to the Idaho environment very differently. They can be hard to determine from each other and if either has infiltrated your home it is important to contact a professional to help treat this issue before it becomes worse.

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