Ways to avoid the pine seed bug

GARDEN Q&A

Garden Q&A

December 10, 2005|By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI | JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Periodically these very slow-moving gray bugs I call stink bugs (not aggressive or biting) enter my house. Are they breeding in walls? Is my landscaping attracting them?

The leaf-footed pine seed bug looks similar to a stink bug, but their back legs resemble leaves. They feed harmlessly on pine needles and may enter homes looking for areas to overwinter (not breed). There is no control other than sealing windows and doors, caulking cracks and crevices. They can overwinter in plant debris or thick organic mulch, so remove these near walls outside.

Checklist

Chop up fallen leaves with your lawn mower or string trimmer and spread them around on flower and vegetable beds or around shrubs.

Jon Traunfeld, regional specialist, and Ellen Nibali, horticulture consultant, work at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center, which offers Maryland residents free gardening information. Call the center's hotline at 800-342-2507 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.) or e-mail plant and pest questions through the Send a Question feature at hgic.umd.edu.

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