Seattle, with its vibrant landscapes and diverse ecosystems, has long been home to a fascinating array of insects. However, as our environment evolves, so does the insect population. In recent years, several intriguing species have made their debut in the Seattle area, captivating the curiosity of entomologists and nature enthusiasts alike. Join us as we embark on an informative journey to discover some of the insects that have recently expanded their range to the Pacific Northwest and learn more about their unique characteristics.
- Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys)
Originally from Asia, the brown marmorated stink bug has found its way to the Seattle area. Recognizable by its shield-shaped body and marbled brown coloring, this insect emits a pungent odor when threatened. While not harmful to humans, it can become a nuisance when it seeks shelter indoors during colder months. Vigilance in sealing entry points and promptly removing them from indoor spaces can help manage their presence.
- European Crane Fly (Tipula paludosa)
Native to Europe, the European crane fly has established itself in the Seattle area. Resembling an oversized mosquito, this insect has a slender body and long, fragile legs. The larvae of the crane fly, known as “leatherjackets,” feed on grass roots, potentially causing damage to lawns. While they are not harmful to humans, their presence may require additional lawn care measures to maintain healthy grass.
- Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
Originally introduced as a biological control agent, the Asian lady beetle has become a common sight in the Seattle area. While it closely resembles native ladybugs, this species can exhibit more aggressive behavior and may seek shelter indoors during the cooler months. Although they are beneficial in controlling garden pests, large numbers of Asian lady beetles indoors can be an annoyance. Sealing entry points and using screens on windows can help prevent their intrusion.
- Elm Seed Bug (Arocatus melanocephalus)
Hailing from Europe and the Mediterranean, the elm seed bug has recently made its appearance in the Seattle area. These insects are attracted to elm trees and can become household pests when seeking shelter indoors during autumn and winter. Elm seed bugs are harmless to humans but can create nuisance infestations. Sealing cracks and crevices and removing them manually can help manage their presence indoors.
- Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis)
Native to the western United States, the western conifer seed bug has expanded its range to include the Seattle area. With its long, narrow body and distinct leaf-shaped hind wings, this insect can be easily identified. While harmless to humans, it may seek shelter indoors during the colder months, leading to occasional encounters inside homes. Implementing measures to seal entry points and removing them manually can minimize their presence.
- Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)
While not an insect, the Mediterranean house gecko deserves mention for its recent sightings in the Seattle area. Originating from the Mediterranean region, this small lizard has adapted well to urban environments. Beneficial in controlling insect populations, these geckos are harmless to humans and can be observed climbing walls and hunting insects around exterior lights during warmer months.
As the environment evolves, so does the insect population in the Seattle area. The arrival of new species brings both excitement and challenges. While some insects may become nuisances, it’s important to remember that many/most are harmless to the health of humans and their furry friends. By staying informed about these newcomers, we can better appreciate the dynamic nature of our surroundings and take appropriate measures to manage their impact.
Contact us today if you want a natural solution to pest control.