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State Officials Confirm Sightings of Two New Invasive Insects in Minnesota
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/15/2023

State agriculture officials announced Wednesday that they’ve confirmed two new invasive insects in Minnesota.

The elm seed bug and the Asiatic garden beetle were discovered in August by homeowners in the Twin Cities who reported them to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Report a Pest program.

State officials described the elm seed bug as mostly a “nuisance pest” like box elder bugs. Meanwhile, they said Asiatic garden beetles can feed on and defoliate more than 100 kinds of plants.

The Department of Agriculture is asking people to report suspected sightings of the two insects, so officials can gain a better understanding of where they may be in the state.

Elm seed bug

This invasive insect — native to Europe and first confirmed in the U.S. in 2012 — has “piercing sucking mouth parts and primarily feeds on elm seeds but can also feed on linden and oak,” the Department of Agriculture reported.

The bugs can enter homes in large numbers like box elder bugs — but while box elder bugs are active in late summer and fall, elm seed bugs tend to be active in mid-June. The first confirmed sighting in Minnesota was in Minneapolis.

The Department of Agriculture described them as one-third of an inch long. They’re “a dark rusty-red and black color. The underside of the insect is red. On the back behind the head, there is an upside-down black triangle set inside two rusty-red triangles. Next to the edges of the wings where the abdomen is exposed are alternating white and rusty red-black patches.”

The best management approach, officials said, is to seal cracks and gaps on the exterior of buildings so the insects can’t get inside.

Source: mprnews.org

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