Room invader

Recently I was working on my laptop in my room when I heard a loud buzzing sound followed by a sound of something bumping into the wall. Of course I got up to see what caused the noise. To my surprise, it wasn’t a bee or wasp as I thought it was from the buzzing I heard. Instead it appeared to be a true bug (or ‘wants’ in Dutch). A small internet search revealed that it was in fact the Western conifer seed bug, which is also known as the leaf-footed bug (their hind legs kind of resemble a leaf). The scientific name is Leptoglossus occidentalis (occidentalis means western).

Remarkably, this species is an invasive species (this particular fellow sure invaded my room!) in Europe and normally they are found in America, where they are considered a minor pest. They love to suck the sap out of innocent conifer trees, so the damage to conifer plantations can be substantial. In 1999 the bugs were first signaled in Europe (Italy to be precise) after which they spread out across the continent. Here, they are not seen as pests yet.

But what was this critter doing in my room? In September-October the bugs are on a move to find warm places to hide for the winter. Perhaps it thought that my room would be a lovely place to stay. Unfortunately for it though I made it go outside to find another place to hibernate, of course after I made some pics of it!

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Can’t get enough of them? Check out this Youtube movie (not made by me): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9GOc4AI_7o

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