Under Siege in NE Portland -- Elm Seed Bug / Arocatus melanocephalus

Asked June 20, 2018, 12:06 PM EDT

Dear Sir / Madam, For several years now, we have been invaded by Elm Seed Bugs for a 2-3 week period in June when the first long stint of warm weather arrives in Portland. This year, the problem seems to have spread like wildfire and many of our neighbors are under seige as well. We live in a street in Northeast Portland with two very large elm trees that drop copious amounts of seeds (at our house alone, we FILLED more than five green yard debris bins with seeds this year and they continue to fall). I am writing both to report the problem and to ask for any possible controls you recommend. From what I can gather, this is a relatively new pest from Europe and controls are still undetermined. I welcome ANY suggestions you have. We all feel under seige in our own homes. Best regards. Laura Baughman 412 NE Laurelhurst PL Portland, OR 97232 (503) 752-9438 laurapricebaughman@gmail.com

Multnomah County Oregon insect issues

1 Response

Hello,

I am afraid I do not have any specific recommendation for you. I checked our Pacific Northwest Insect Handbook (https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect) and I do not see it listed there. I also checked the Oregon Department of Ag (https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/IPPM/InsectsSpiders/Pages/PestAlerts.aspx) and I cannot find it there either. I sent an emai to ODA to get more information. In the meantime, I can tell you for what i know about this pest, that they do not vector diseases and they are a nuisances as you can experience. Many seed bug come in large number from trees around, debris, so control is noneffective because if you control them they can move easily from your neighbor. Life cycle is short so they will disappear soon. Make sure doors and windows have screens and vacuum them at this point is a sensible way to reduce population. As soon as I hear back from my colleagues I will seek other options.

https://extension.usu.edu/news_sections/agriculture_and_natural_resources/elm-seed-bug

https://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Elm-Seed-Bug