Exotic tree pest called elm seed bug found in Michigan

Photo - WDIV-TV

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A smelly insect has found its way to Michigan.

The state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the elm seed bug has been discovered in Oakland County. A native of south-central Europe, it uses needle-like mouth parts to penetrate seeds and extract nutrients.

It feeds primarily on elm.

The bug is not a significant tree pest but can be a household nuisance. Large numbers take refuge in buildings during winter. When crushed, their scent glands produce a foul stench.

Michigan is already dealing with similar exotic household insect pests, including the Asian lady beetle and brown marmorated stink bug.

Officials say homeowners can guard against the elm seed bug by sealing areas around baseboards and openings for windows, doors, electrical outlets and fixtures, and vents for heating and cooling.

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