What’s Bugging Me?

A few weeks ago, during our first cold snap, I was remarking that I had pulled down the storm windows on our double-hung windows.  My walking partner was absolutely appalled that I still had such an old-fashioned thing at my house–apparently she’s upgraded all her windows to newer thermopanes.

We’ve upgraded a lot of our windows too and you know what?  I’ll take my old-fashioned double hung windows with the storm windows any day of the week!  They keep a lot of the cold air that radiates off the glass from getting into the house.

Better yet, they seem to keep a lot of these Western Seed  Conifer Bugs out of the house.  I see a lot of them walking between the outside storm window and the inner screen–but they don’t get into the house.  That’s fine with me.

Interestingly enough, I wonder what this means.  Two year ago I had a lot of these in the house.  I was carrying them out on a regular basis.  Last year I had almost none–maybe one or two.  Was it too cold?  Was it too hot and dry in the summer?

This year looks like it will be another banner year for an “invasion.”  And that being the case, I thought I would post about it so folks could see what these bugs look like–and so that they would know that they don’t have the brown marmorated stink bug invading (which hasn’t yet made it to our region thankfully, and which is shorter, plumper and does a lot more damage).

 

Here is the Western Seed Conifer Bug, courtesy of Bugguide, whose images are better than mine.

Notice the lovely shields on either part of the body–this is the part of the bug that causes it to be confused with the brown marmorated stink bug.

Now this is the brown marmorated stink bug, again from Bugguide.  You’ll notice those same little shields at the bach of the body, but notice that the body is much plumper.

If you’re a true bug aficionado, you’ll notice that there are no protrusions on the hind legs–the Western seed conifer bug is a “leaf-footed” bug, meaning that it has protrusions that are shaped like little leaves on its rear legs.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Connecticut has not yet felt the brunt of the invasion by these pests.  I hope it never does because they have been a scourge to farmers and home growers alike.  They are indiscriminate feeders that make Japanese beetles look finicky in their tastes.  Let’s hope we find some means of control before they head north!

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