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Disgusting insect

Posted by ginny12 z5 MA (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 6, 06 at 14:07

Have any of you seen this gross insect? They began appearing in my house about ten days ago but they are definitely some kind of outdoor bug. I see one every couple of days or so, almost always on the white ceiling. They are BIG--an inch or more long. They look a little like a very big fly but aren't flies. They just sort of sit there until I get a chair and wet paper towel to dispose of them. They don't make any effort to escape--cold-shocked, I guess.

The other night, I was just drifting off to sleep when I felt something go plop on the back of my hand, next to my pillow and my face. Did you hear me scream? I turned on the light and one of these things was sitting where my hand had been. Not easy to get to sleep after that.

Sorry for no picture but have any of you encountered these and do you know what they are?


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RE: Disgusting insect

  • Posted by claire z6b MA Coastal (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 6, 06 at 15:18

Maybe the Western Conifer Seed Bug?

According to the latest UMass Landscape Message:

"Western conifer seed bug , which has been feeding mostly on seeds of conifers all summer, will soon seek shelter, often in homes. These bugs are rather large (approximately 3/4"), dark in color and rather slow movers. They emit a foul-smelling odor when handled."

They're considered a nuisance pest; won't hurt you, but you don't want to live with them.

Claire

Here is a link that might be useful: Western Conifer Seed Bug


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You could be right, Claire, but "mine" are definitely bigger than 3/4", at least if you count the waving tentacles. I had killed another just before I saw your post. And your post rang a bell. It seems to me we had a lengthy conversation on this forum about these bugs a year or two ago, but I couldn't find it in a search. I am also wondering if they are long-horn beetles. Guess I should force myself to look longer next time so I can give a more accurate description.


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Ginny, so sorry to hear you are having this problem. I can be easy going with a spider or two, after all they keep the other bug populations down. Ants seem pretty easy to take care of the few times we had them. A couple of bees or a stray moth or two don't get me going, but that is about it. Mosquitoes and flies in the house I just couldn't tolerate. All our screens are in working order to keep that to a minimum. Large bugs, are really crossing the line. I hate to have to deal with them and am thankful that other family members are less bothered by them and more willing to get them out of the house. Yuck! But one falling on me or my bed at night! That would have an effect long after the bug was out of the house. My sympathies. Wish I could help you identify it. I would try capturing one in a bottle/cup and take it to a local nursery to get it IDed maybe? Or take a photo. Do you have any conifers close to the house? Maybe a walk around the outside of the house, might give you some clue to how they are getting in. A little caulk here or there might do the trick? Is there a particular room they keep showing up in?

Good luck and let us know how it goes..
:-)


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Oh, I'm so glad you posted this. I've been meaning to get an ID on this bug. I took this pic a couple of weeks ago and kept putting off posting it. I bet this is the same as yours.

I've never seen it here before. They hang out on the sunny side of the house near the doors and on screens. Every time I open a door, I have to be careful not to let one in. They are sneaky. Other than the fact that these things are gross, it reminds me a bit of lady bugs hanging around on light colored siding at this time of year. Its been going on about a month. I've been waiting for the next Landscape Message to see whats around now, but looks like it was in the last one and I missed it.


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RE: Disgusting pine seed bug

ah-ah! My ladybug analogy was right on! I just found this in an article where it is referred to as the "pine seed bug". I am surrounded by pine trees and this is a year of heavy cone production so it kinda makes sense.

The pine seed bug is a typical accidental invader, similar to the better known attic flies, Asian lady beetle and boxelder bug. The adults wander into houses by mistake in the fall of the year. They are attracted to the exposed south sides of houses where they bask in the warmth of the late summer sunlight

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/pineseedbug.html


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Well, this thread has solved a mystery for me, too. These bugs have been appearing inside the gymnasium where I work, much to the dismay of most of the children, who are convinced it is as dangerous as a rattlesnake! I thought it was a stinkbug, but, from wendyb's link, it's definitely a pine seed bug.
You learn something new every day...!
Emily


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Thanks for the posts. I have become convinced that the Western Conifer Seed Bug is exactly what I have, tho they are bigger than 3/4". I do have a number of our native white pines on my property, and Canadian hemlocks, but no spruces etc. I think with the cold weather they will disappear. I haven't squished one so I haven't smelled the stink...but I think I'll skip that ID test.

We did have a conversation about this a couple of years ago and shame on me for forgetting. It has now dropped off the forum so it must have been two years ago. So when I post this same question in another two years, I hope someone will be all ready with the answer!


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Ginny, do you find that your pine trees fall into an every-other year cycle of cone production? Mine do and I am wondering if that might be related to the bugs appearance here and yours too.

Mine are bigger than 3/4" too.


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Wendy, I have not noticed a cycle of pine cones with my white pines. It seems to me they are not heavy producers, tho healthy and happy. Every so often they put out a heavy crop but not on a regular cycle. They were part of the woods my house was built on and the whole area is full of them. So I can't link the critter to that, tho it may be true anyway and I am just not observant enough. I do know I never saw one before two years ago.

And since I last posted, I got another one. Also on my bed--shriek--tho fortunately I was not in it at the time. I suspect they were coming in thru the window air conditioners, which we removed yesterday. One of these air conditioners was in the bedroom. Hence my "good luck".

You know, I am really not afraid of insects. I can even enjoy them outside in their world. Some are quite beautiful and of course many are beneficial. But inside is my world and I don't feel like sharing.


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Last year we talked about Western Cedar Seed Bugs, this year they are called Western Conifer Seed Bugs. Same large, slow-moving, smelly bug. Personally, I think they give off an odor much like Granny Smith apples. Makes them a lot easier to pick up and move/dispose, if you think that they smell pleasant. I must have rolled over on one when I went to bed last night, because the apple smell suddenly filled the air. Couldnt find it, though, so my dog might have squished one on the floor.

My recommendation last year is my recommendation this year (this is a direct C&P from a post I did in February about Lady Bugs, which was a C&P from a post I did last year) Bug Stop by Spectracide. WalMart sells it. You spray around all your windows (or at least the ones that the LBs congregate on). It leaves a residue that last for months. I am still on the bottle I bought over two years ago. It takes care of LBs, Western Cedar Seed Bugs, cluster flies, hornets (ever have a bunch get in your house in late fall?), crickets, ants, you name it. Yes, it leaves a residue, but it is not tacky, dries clear and does not stain (at least not wood or painted wood). I rank it up there with Liquid Prell as one of the great inventions of the 20th century.

Ginny, heres a story Ill share to let you know I feel your pain and, hopefully, will make you feel a little better.

Years ago I was on a business trip and spending the night at a Holiday Inn in State College, PA. This place clearly had seen many a frat party from nearby Penn State. I was sitting up in bed, reading a large, heavy, technical document for my meeting the next day and was just getting ready to call it a night, turn out the light and go to sleep. All of a sudden, something fell from the ceiling and landed right on my upper chest with a noticeable plop. It was a very large, very orange, very upset centipede, which later measured just under three inches long. I immediately slammed the big tome I was reading onto my chest over and over to kill it. I actually carried bruises from my self-assault for several days afterward. If I had gone to bed five minutes earlier, the centipede would have fallen pretty much right on my face. When I recovered enough to start breathing again, I looked up at the ceiling. It was one of those concrete slab designs with caulking between the slabs, which was missing in many places leaving lots of cracks. I imagined hundreds of centipedes up there, waiting to drop down on me. I kind of slept with one eye open that night. To top it off the next morning there was no hot water, and I had to take a cold shower. When I complained at the front desk (about the cold water, not about the uninvited visitor), they comped me for the night. Of course, this did nothing for me, since it was a business trip and charged to my then employer. Needless to say, I did not stay at that hotel on subsequent visits.

So, when you are about to go to sleep, think about all the creepy-crawlies that can and do climb all over you, while you sleep (Diabolical, pre-Halloween laughter).

narcnh


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Yes, without a doubt this is Western Conifer Seed Bug. It shows up every year at this time and there are always people asking about it. The insects are seeking out warm spots in which to spend the winter. They are harmless, but unnerving to lots of people. They are part of a suborder of insects known as "the true bugs", so even entomologists call them "bugs".

They're native to the Rockies, but they've been migrating east ever since we settled the prairies and started planting trees for windbreaks. Vaccum them up, find the cracks in your siding and holes in your screens and patch them, etc., etc.

(Yes, they can be larger the 3/4", but not by leaps and bounds. If you see something 2" long that's way too big and probably something else.)


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Narcnh--scorpions in Pennsylvania!! Who knew? That is truly the worst story I've heard in awhile. Since the brown recluse spider in the boot story someone told me...but yours had a happier ending. You're a gutsy guy.


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Gutsy my butt! I had no choice in the matter. Now, if you want to talk about when I had pet tarantulas and used to let them walk up my arm, around my neck and back down the other arm, okay, I'll accept the description. No, wait, I think the proper term for that would be 'stupid.'

narcnh

p.s. Also had scorpions, hissing cockaroaches, and a very large, very mean Vietnamese centipede (12 inches long, orange with purple legs). Never let that one crawl up my arm. These days, I satisfy my entomological cravings by keeping honeybees.


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I can deal with snakes, most insects, and arachnids fairly well. But I'd definitely draw the line at 12" centipede!

I'm OUT!

:)


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I think a 12" centipede might be fairly neat...as a pet...not wandering around the house.
But then I've kept snapping turtles in my bathroom and lived with snakes in West Africa....
What bothers me most? ants. I lost my shoe (when I was 8) in an anthill at the top of a mountain.. groan....


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I (thankfully) don't have personal experience with the group of centipedes with species that large, but I've been told by professional acquaintances who do that when they get that big they can be dangerous to humans. Once they're that big the venom packs a wallop.


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The Vietnamese centipede was one critter that I most definitely did not let out. It looked mean, it attacked with a vengeance, and, as york rose pointed out, it was large enough that a bite would cause some serious damage, up to and including necrosis and loss of a hand and, possibly, a limb. It used to look out the side of its tank at me, while I was working on the computer (had all the tanks on shelves beside my computer desk), and I knew it was thinking "meal".

It is a little scary that all these critters, including some highly venomous scorpions, are available over the Internet without any requirement for proof of age. Someday, some kid is going to order a fat tail scorpion and stick it in his sibling's bed to get even for some stupid thing, and then a tragedy will bring about legislation banning the sale of all insects, including preying mantis egg cases, nematodes and honeybees, through the mail and/or over the Internet.

Stepping down from my soapbox, I remain,

narcnh


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RE: Disgusting insect

it might comfort you to know that they are also known as Assassin bugs ;)


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(Actually, while I mean no disrepect, assassin bugs are in a different family from this one. "Assassin bug" is the common name for any insect in the family Reduviidae, while "seed bug" is the common name for any insect in the superfamily Lygaeoidea. Assassin bugs are predatory on other animals (usually insects), while seed bugs generally feed on developing plant seeds.

Here's a picture of one assassin bug found in eastern North America, the wheel bug:

http://www.ipm.uiuc.edu/cropsci270/syllabus/images/reduviidae.jpg

It's similar in size & color to the western conifer seed bug, but the "beak" is shorter, and it rests in a groove between the insect's front legs. Seed bugs lack that groove.)


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Those are the bugs I hear people call stink bugs! I wondered why until one landed on me and when I panicked and grabbed it to get it off me I found out why! They must spray when they get scared because my hand sure did stink after! I told my husband and had him grab one to prove it and the crazy man said ooh that smells good! Lol! I also find that they like to sneak in the house, it's like they hang out by the door and as soon as you open it in they go! I have a hard time killing anything unless it's going to do me harm (or in the case of grubs, my plants) so now I just grab them with a paper towel and throw them outside!


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Among entomologists there's a whole insect family known as "stink bugs" and they have much wider bodies than this one does, however, it's true that this one has scent glands and that it releases a very smelly liquid through those glands when handled. That odor helps keep them from being eaten (since many animals that would otherwise do so find the smell just as objectionable as you do). "Stink bugs" do the same.


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Ginny, are you still seeing these things? I am and I am sick of them!!! Two (that I know about) snuck into the house last week. I see a couple in every window between the screen and the window. A couple of dead ones seen on the window sill.
Wendy


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I have only seen one in the house since window-washing day two weeks ago when several snuck in. The storms are now down and there is one that has been in the space between window and storm window for two weeks. I think he is alive as he is never in the same spot. I haven't looked carefully at all the other windows but I think I'm pretty locked down for the winter now. It's getting colder; they can't last much longer. You have my sympathy!


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I've had a few WCSBs in this year, but not as many as last year. I kept getting them in my office at work and I could tell when I accidently ran over them with my chair by the smell. I don't find it too offensive-kinda like fresh cut grass. Maybe that is along the same line as people who hate the taste of cilantro, which is some kind of genetic thing (which I also have-cilantro YUK!)


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Hi Everyone. My boyfriend sent me the link to this thread. I recently changed job locations from Boston, MA to North Reading, MA - about 20 miles north. Now I am surrounded by pine trees and thought I hit the jackpot of work locations until...THESE BUGS STARTED TO APPEAR, EVERYWHERE, EVERYDAY! I am NOT a bug person, at all, and honestly I haven't been taking seeing them very well, lol. There are two managers that are not here too often and one offered to have an exterminator come. I was relived, thinking he would get rid of them. You already know where this story is going. He said they were "assassin bugs" and that there wasn't anything he could do. My nightmare continued.. Finally today one of these bugs landed on my finger and I freaked! After telling my boyfriend about my latest bug breakdown he found this tread and sent it to me. Thanks to these posts I have found some sort of comfort. One, the exterminator was wrong, for they are not assassin bugs but the same WCSBs that the previous posts here referred to. The only thing I haven't noticed is the smell when killed and believe me (and sorry bug enthusiasts!) I have killed every one of these bugs that I have seen, but never smelled any odor. Anyways, I wanted to especially thank narcnh - for I've already called Walmart to confirm they have Bug Stop! I'm spraying everything, maybe even myself, lol..just joking.
Renee


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Geez..................soon as I search and found this I thought I had my answer; but Bloody NOT! The critters I saw here in my house are light brown/ stand on their legs and seem about a good inch high in that stance. They actually take the pose of an iguana when it is in a stand still look around pose spying a meal. Anyone? The one thing I could think of is maybe they come in when I open cardboard boxes that are shipped from elsewhere. YUK is not as good an adjective as disgusting, but they are scary looking the way they just stand there and also just sit still with their antenna up in the air !


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Post a clear close-up picture and I will most likely at least be able to give you an insect family, although I make no guarantees about a genus & species name. I identify exotic insects for a living, but domestic ones, especially from a region of the country I've never lived in, are foreign to me.


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Oh dear, we may continue to see them. I was thinking once it was over when winter set in, that would be the end until maybe next fall. But I saw one in my basement the other day and look what I just saw in the March Landscape Message:

Western Conifer Seedbug: This house invader may start to appear in the living areas of homes now that the sun is getting higher in the sky, warming roofs and siding. These insects may have been dormant in homes all winter. Now that spring is arriving, they become active and seek a route to the outdoors. However, oftentimes they take a wrong turn and end up in the living room, sometimes in great numbers. Although relatively large insects (about 3/4"), they do not bite or sting. They can be vacuumed up and released outdoors, or the bag containing them can be destroyed.


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A couple of weeks ago, I was in church when the person behind me started swatting the back of my coat. (It was someone I knew.) Needless to say, I was startled til he said, "There's a big bug on you." When he got it off, I saw that it was one of my little friends, the western conifer seed bug. Don't know if I brought him from home or if they're at church too. This was at the depth of the cold spell. Looks like they are with us for good.


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Oh, they are for sure! They've steadily been spreading east ever since we planted enough trees on the prairie for them to move away from the Rockies. It's only just now that we're seeing them here. They arrived in the Midwest decades ago.


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I don't believe that the prairies have been overrun by newly planted conifers and that seems like a most unlikely method of transmission. Much more likely are trucks, cars, trains, and trees and shrubs sold by West Coast nurseries, to name a few. It's a global economy and the spread of pests and diseases is one of the negative aspects of that phenomenon.


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You may be right. In any case it's native to the Rockies and was in Illinois and the Midwest well over 30 years ago, where it also was not native.


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Oddly, I haven't seen one of these this year--2007--after several years of plenty of them. Did the drought affect them? Were they a short-lived phenomenon? Did predators find them? Has anyone seen these insects this year where you live?


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Happy to say, I haven't seen one of these ever, ginny. As a matter of fact, my yard was fairly bug free this year. Some earwigs, more spiders than usual. Toward the end of the season a glut of bumblebees which made me very happy to see and the largest amount of butterflies I have ever had in my yard. The red lily leaf beetle was in fair amounts and of course, the winter moths didn't miss a beat last spring, the usual ants but that was about it. Barely a mosquito from June on.

We don't have a lot of pines in my neighborhood...2 that I can think of..that is about it.

pm2


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I happily haven't seen any either. And hardly any pine cones this year either. I do think there's a correlation. Although drought could be playing into it also.


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We have had assassin bugs which I had thought were blood sucking cone-noses, come into our house in the fall when it gets cold.
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2082.html
Here is a page about those. They are bigger than your 3/4" bug, and they have a wicked looking proboscis folded up under their necks. What creeps us out is we always find them stalking us---sneaking up on us when we are sitting on the couch, or creeping up on the cats, who hiss & spit at them.
CHAPTER 17 THE BEST CONTROL FOR KISSING/CONENOSE BUGS If you google that & open it, it is a pdf which gives descriptions of several species, ones which bite humans & ones which do not, but more imortant to the people with these bugs coming inside, it has good recommendations for how to deter their entry. Mostly involving sealing up the house & removing plant&other debris from near the house.


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ohhh, i know these western conifer seed bugs well. i saw two these year. but it doesn't COMPARE to my 1st experience w/ them.

funny story now, but it wasn't at the time....

about 5 years ago, the hubbie & i were renting a house in acton, ma. the house had a 3-season enclosed porch, which served as the back entrance to the house. one night in the fall i got home from work after dark. as i entered the enclosed porch, i hit the light switch to turn on the porch light.

what i saw literally froze me in place for a few moments. the windows and ceiling of our porch was COVERED in these things. they were EVERYWHERE!

AWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

i dashed into the house making sure none had landed on me (2 had, in fact). grabbed the phone & frantically called my husband, who was out grocery shopping.

that poor man. i made him abandon his shopping cart in the middle of the store and come home immediately! as i described it to him...."OUR HOUSE IS UNDER ATTACK BY AN ARMY OF GIGANTIC BUGS!!! GET HOME NOW!!!!" (yes, i know...a bit of an exaggeration on my part. but at the time, i swear those things looked ENORMOUS)

he spent the next 2 hrs on the porch, w/ our wet/dry vac, removing those critters.

i can deal with snakes & rodents. but bugs? especially what i deem a swarm of big bugs? not so much. 1st time i saw a centipede (collage) i spent a good 10 minutes as far off the floor as i could get until my trusty roommate "removed" the problem.

those 12 inch centipede's discussed in this post? i ever saw that coming at me and, so help me, i'd have a heart attack on the spot.


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Very funny. Sounds just like me! But I didn't have a one this year. The deer, on the other hand.....


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just an observation that I had virtually no pine cone production this year and none of these bugs either.

Yesterday I was cleaning up downed pine branches from recent storm, and I encountered many branches with immature cones. All I could think was, "yea! 30 less pine cones to pick up off the lawn next year!" It reminded me of this issue so I thought I would record '08 activity (lack of) for future.


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None here either--cones or bugs. Thanks for bringing up this old thread and letting us keep a record.


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Hmmm..Pine Cones, Acorns, and dependant bugs I wonder what else is mia this year in New England.


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so I see we didn't write anything last year. I guess I had no bugs last year. I don't remember the pine cone situation.

But this year, yes on both. Tons and tons and tons of pine cones raked in the spring (were they last year's growth fell during the winter?) and even a good amount throughout the summer after every windstorm.

The past week I have these critters back. Just a few. (so far?) Around doors and windows. just like before.

I wonder if some insect spray around the doors and windows might repel them a bit. If they stay outside, fine, but stay outta my house!!!!!!!!!


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Yes, it is odd. I have seen one or two small ones in the house in the last week. But it was just 2006 that was really awful--have seen few or none the last few years, I think. Hopefully, one of those short-term phenomena.

As for pine trees, I am in the process of removing all enormous trees near my house or my neighbors. Since the ice storm of December 2008, trees and branches continue to fall suddenly, or break in half, on quiet, calm days. So I am preemptively removing any that present danger. Hence, I can't comment on the pine cone harvest.


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Ditto Ditto Ditto pine tree problems since ice storm... I hate it!!! These are adjacent to my property making a huge mess for me:

My semi-researched diagnosis is that the broken tops from the '08 ice storm put the trees in stress which attracts the Pine Sawyer Beetle (I found one and ID'd it). THe beetle is not fatal all by itself (like ALB), but the combination of factors can kill a tree.

The pic above was taken July 09. There is more damage now.

THe town owns the land and they have agreed to remove the dead trees when winter sets in and the ground is frozen. I am worried about the potential damage to my stuff just from removing such huge trees. I have an expensive evergreen mixed border right there.

The pine problem is spreading and eventually it will probably affect trees on my property, although for the most part my property line is just inside the tree line on that bad side. I have two other sides though that are all mine. So far, they look healthy.

I surely have come to despise pine trees while living here!


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I had one of those bugs show up in my house this fall. It looked just like the photo above in the thread. First time I've had that. Very few pine trees around my neighborhood. One in yards on either side of me but none in a position to do damage to anything on our property. One tree is hidden behind our large Maple tree and it was planted way too close, so the tree is half dead anyway. I can't see it and don't have to look at it, but when I go by that side of the property, which isn't often, I've seen broken branches in the winter.

Isn't it odd, that pine trees grow in the coldest parts of the country where there are ice storms but they are so vulnerable to breakage.

Sorry to hear about the tree problems ladies. It's so expensive to have tree work done. Our son, just took down a 15ft Amelanchier tree for us with a chain saw and ropes. It was multiple trunk and the diameter of one was not more than 3 or 4 inches. It was having some kind of disease process going on for years. That was as large a tree as I would feel comfortable for him to do himself though. He didn't have to climb in the tree or anything.

Lots of trees in general are having issues. Glad I don't have an Ash tree to worry about. It makes me think I should keep planting new trees to always have a few coming along. Placement is not easy though if you suspect a tree might be coming down in the future.


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I usually don't like killing anything that didn't hurt me 1st but I saw this ugly bug w only 1 leg. I watched it off an on all day soon I made the decision i couldn't watch it struggle any more so I squashed it. That's when I looked up this site an mourned its death haha its the truth they can loose limbs juz makes it harder 2 get around or they juz keep going around!


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Very glad to see this post and identify my invaders. They must be getting lost on their way to outside, now that it's finally warm out.

But it's ridiculous; I only find them in my bedroom on one or both of the windows. Every morning when I open the venetian blinds, there's a new one right there. I kill it, and then after I've closed the blinds for the night and reopened them the next morning, there's a new one waiting for me to destroy it (I use a copy of Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs" as my weapon, if you were wondering).

I can't quite tell though - are they coming in at night? The windows are casement, and one side of one of them doesn't have a very tight seal. I'll try and patch that up, but in the meantime, is there anything I can spray on the sides?


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Just to note... big year for these bugs this year here in N. Middlesex county. None last year as I recall. I wonder where they are when they don't come around.

I just had to give up opening windows for fresh air -- which is such a shame with these nice days. They seem to be very good at getting inside screens.

They mostly get in hijacking on door frames. Every time I open a door I have to examine all the edges really well.


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