Surviving the Seed Bugs Outbreak
The south West Coast, particularly Arizona and California, are dealing with what appears to be a phenomenon involving millions of pesky little bugs that get in the way of everyday life. They’re known as seed bugs and they’re making life miserable for folks who live in areas with lush vegetation (which these pests prefer to inhabit as well and propagate).
While seed bugs are somewhat common in the area, they’re particularly active this year due to the El Niño phenomenon. They swarm areas where there’s a bit of moisture and do not leave. People just need to deal with them because these pests are not going anywhere, it seems. The millions that die every day through pesticides and other means (swatting is a common practice) appear to be replaced by even more in just a matter of hours.
At a Lone Pine gas station, for instance, the attendants sweep inches of these dead fingernail-sized bugs on a daily basis. You’d think that by the sheer amount of seed bugs that get annihilated every single day since the summer, there’ll be less to deal with by now, but that’s not the reality at all. At times, it appears like the seed bugs that come after a widespread extermination are even more numerous than the original swarm.
Locals are greatly inconvenienced by these bugs; many choose to live in darkness so as not to attract seed bugs to their home. They claim that the temporary reprieve they’ve had so far from these pests only occurred during grass fires. The strong winds and smoke blew away and suffocated some of the seed bugs. Their only hope, for now, is for winter to be really windy and cold so that the bugs would retreat somewhere far away.
For now, pest management specialists advise locals to protect their homes from the invasion of seed bugs by sealing exterior gaps and cracks around windows, doors, eaves, roofs, sidings and other access points. For large infestations of these insects, spraying pyrethroid insecticides such as permethrin to the outside of buildings when the insects appear will also help prevent pest entry. It’s best to use these pesticides because typical home insecticides do not really work.
Meanwhile, some homeowners share that bug zapper lights are immensely helpful, too. The soft light attracts the seed bugs, and the electricity-charged wires surrounding the light electrocute the bugs when they get too close. Investing in a few can direct the bugs’ attention away from the lights inside a house and prevent unwanted entry.