Hogarth's Pest Control specializes in all types of industries, residential and commercial.
The western conifer seed bug, sometimes abbreviated as WCSB, is a species of true bug (Hemiptera) in the family Coreidae. It was originally native to North America west of the Rocky Mountains; but has, in recent times, expanded its range to the eastern portion of North America including Nova Scotia, Maine, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. It has become a species with an accidental introduction to parts of Europe as well.
Reaching 16-20 millimeters in length, with males being smaller than females, these bugs can fly, making an audible buzz when doing so. Western conifer seed bugs are similar in appearance to the brown marmorated stink bug. Their bodies are brown and angular, with six legs and two antennae. Their main line of defense is to spray an offending smell; however, if handled roughly, they can also stab with their proboscis, though they cannot injure humans as it is only for sucking plant sap.
Diet and Habitat
Throughout its life in its native range, the Western conifer seed bug feeds on the sap of developing conifer cones; this sap-sucking causes the developing seeds to wither and misdevelop. Thus, it is a minor tree pest in North America, becoming increasingly more harmful in conifer plantations.
Its host plants in their native range include conifers like the White Spruce, the Lodgepole Pine, and the Rocky Mountain and Coast Douglas-firs. It can also be found on species such as the Eastern White Pine and Red Pine in eastern North America and Europe.
They lay eggs in small groups on the needles or leaf stems of its host plants. The eggs then hatch in spring. The nymphs develop throughout five instar stages before molting into adults. In the northernmost parts of the native range, these bugs begin to move about in large quantities by September or so, seeking warmth and shelter for the winter; they can become a nuisance in areas with extensive conifer forests, as they will sometimes enter houses in considerable numbers. They can become structural pests, as it has been found that they will sometimes pierce PEX tubing with their mouthparts, resulting in leakage. We receive calls each fall regarding these insects— do not hesitate to give us a call today!