Invading by the thousands

Madison Erhardt

An invasive species to Canada is quickly taking over the Okanagan. 

The elm seed bug is native to Europe and the Mediterranean. They were first reported in Kelowna in 2016.

The bugs aren't agricultural pests, but can be a nuisance in high numbers because they enter homes and businesses.

''They do fly, and they will invade along windows and doors – any place there is in an opening – and they usually show up in the summer months, but this year they are a bit early,'' says Bug Master pest control owner Steve Ball. 

''A soon as you get a hot side on a building when it is warm, you will see them, and they usually come out in the thousands,'' Ball says. 

The elm seed bug is six to seven millimetres long, with a black triangle bordered by a rust-coloured rectangle on the back.  

So how do you get rid of them?

''Sealing up your home is the best way. You want to make sure there is no dried foliage around the house. Make sure you are keeping that area clean, and you can spray for them,'' Ball says. 

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