Elm Seed Bugs Invading Heber Valley Homes
A new bug is becoming pervasive in the Heber Valley, due to weather conditions this year.
The elm seed bug is not harmful to people or homes, but people in the area say it is a growing nuisance this summer. The bugs are new to Utah, having first been detected here in 2014.
According to Dan Stead, who owns Nature’s Balance pest service in Midway, they are similar in resemblance to the box elder bug.
Stead said the elm seed bug has more often been the culprit of calls for pest control this year and are difficult to treat once they infest a home.
“They don’t have any natural predators that we’re aware of. They’re smaller, so they can get into smaller cracks or crevices,” he said.
Whereas the bugs are not harmful to humans or homes, he said they can leave an odor and will stain carpet and fabrics if smashed.
He said his company has received a large increase in calls this July compared to last year. Typically, the calls for elm seed and box elder bugs are only heavy during spring fall and spring as the seasons change.
This is a symptom of this year’s weather. Stead explained the mild winter allowed the bugs to hatch more eggs, and now that it is hot outside, they’re seeking cool places.
Though they do appear in Summit County, they’re more common in Wasatch County right now.
According to Stead, prevention is the best strategy for keeping them out of homes.
“There are treatments that can be done to reduce their numbers, but because they are flying insects, even if we were to do a treatment on a home or a business, they could still have new ones fly in and have the same problem all over again. So, there’s no chemical method that’s foolproof that’s going to eliminate them completely,” he said.
Stead advised keeping the bugs out with tight seals around windows and doors, and using caulk to seal gaps and cracks and keeping doors and windows closed.