Western conifer seed bug


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The western conifer seed bug are commonly called leaf-footed bugs, and like many members of the Coreidae family, it has a flattened, leaf-like expansion of the hind legs. The adult is about 3/4 inch in length and is a dull brownish color.. There is a faint white zig-zag stripe across the midpoint of its upper surface. When the insect takes flight, it lifts the wings to reveal bright yellowish orange areas on its back. The leaf-footed bugs use piercing sucking mouthparts to pierce the scales of conifer seeds and suck out the seed pulp. The list of host plants includes white pine, red pine, Scots pine, Austrian pine, mugo pine, white spruce, Douglas-fir and hemlock. Often these trees are planted or growing near homes, and if that is the case, the bugs may seek the nearby buildings as an overwintering site. LIFE CYCLE In the spring these bugs move out of doors to coniferous trees nearby. The bugs then feed on the developing seeds and early flowers of different species of conifers. Females are reported to lay rows of eggs on needles of the host trees, which hatch in about ten days. Young nymphs then begin to feed on tender cone scales and sometimes the needles. The nymphs are orange and brown, becoming reddish-brown to brown as they develop. Nymphs pass through five instars and reach full adulthood by late August. The adults will feed on ripening seed until they seek overwintering quarters. MANAGEMENT If these bugs are a problem in your area, be sure to screen attic or wall vents, chimneys and fireplaces to mechanically block their points of entry. Eliminate or caulk gaps around door and window frames and soffits, and tighten up loose fitting screens, windows or doors.


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