Entomologist discovers invasive tree pest

December 23, 2015 -  By

Photo: Mark VanderWerp

Mark VanderWerp, BCE, manager of education and training at Troy, Mich.-based Rose Pest Solutions, recently captured an invasive species new to Michigan: the elm seed bug (Arocatus melanocephalus).

The insects matched others found by a Rose Pest Solutions technician, and VanderWerp suspected they were elm seed bug, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) later confirmed. The invasive species is native to Europe and has, in the last three years, become established in Oregon, Idaho and Utah. This is believed to be the first confirmed spotting of the elm seed bug east of the Rockies.

While VanderWerp says the bugs aren’t known to do much damage to the elm trees they feed off of, they can invade homes when they look for protected places to spend the winter months. The bugs also release an offensive odor that can be vexing to homeowners, VanderWerp adds.

“We will be watching these bugs closely in 2016 to see what they do,” he says. “As they are brand new to Michigan, we really don’t know how rapidly they will spread and how big of a nuisance they will be for local residents.”

This story was originally covered by our sister publication, Pest Management Professional.

This article is tagged with , , , and posted in Turf+Ornamental Care

Comments are currently closed.