Infestation of insects

Asked July 3, 2019, 8:16 PM EDT

I live in Albuquerque NM. Last week some very tiny insects were all over my house. I’m not sure where they are coming from. Bug spray only works on contact. I find them on the sidewalk, under the roofline, all over the stucco. They seem to crawl and not fly. Any help is appreciated.

Bernalillo County New Mexico

1 Response

Very briefly, you have what many people throughout New Mexico have---or have had---'false chinch bugs.' (Hemiptera, Lygaeidae, Nysius sp.) These are native to NM and probably much of the Southwest. They overwinter almost exclusively on mustards of various species that germinated in the fall. You won't see this infestation because both bugs and mustard plants are small, easily overlooked---and because the bugs live on the roots and feed on their sap. When the mustards resume growth in spring, they send up flower stalks (remember the golden yellow hills this spring? And ditch banks, yards, vacant lots, etc. were involved, too.

When the weeds 'went to seed' they died, leaving the bugs hungry and homeless. Adults and immatures came out of the soil, formed massive 'herds' that went on the hunt for food and shelter. People all over the state have had the same experiences.

Despite their numbers, they are more annoying than anything else. All over your outside belongings, the side of the house, your landscape plants, etc.......Spray them with any insecticide and see no difference in their numbers. You probably do kill thousands of these insects but there are many more thousands that take their place.

The best recommendation is to be patient and forgiving. The herd will move on, somewhere else. They don't have any particular host plant(s) that they are seeking but may settle for something (their choice) along the way. Still, your choice of insecticide is based on what is labeled for that crop; they won't be listed on the label.

I hope this helps..