Western Conifer Seed Bugs
Many owners have commented on the unusually large number of insects in Fairmont over the last year. Recent Autumns and Winters have been particularly mild and had the effect of substantially increasing the insect population. Of particular concern to some owners are Western Conifer Seed Bugs (Leptoglossus occidentalis). Adult seed bugs are large, long legged, robust insects: 15-18 mm long, of reddish brown to grey coloring with a distinctive zigzag on the fore-wings. Adults are strong, loudly buzzing flyers and in flight may be mistaken for bumblebees or large wasps. They do not bite, and are harmless to people, but when touched, the bug gives off a strong semi-sweet odor (smells like pine trees) that attracts others to their location. They also appear unintelligent as they fly into people!
We have conducted a significant amount of research into the seed bugs. Their life cycle is highly cyclic and follows the abundance or otherwise of pine cones as they feed on the pine cone seeds, The climatic conditions we have recently experienced have certainly increased the number of pine cones and consequently exacerbated the seed bug problem.
Although your management company always strives to provide the five star service which we are all so proud (and spends up to $3000.00 a year in pest control) owners will appreciate that we cannot influence the behavior of the wildlife that also calls Fairmont home. We have discussed our situation with the BC Ministry of Forests. Unfortunately, other than to continue our regular pest control procedures and hope for a cold winter, there is little we can do to minimize the seed bug problem that is now a Canada-wide issue that poses a major challenge to forest insect pest management.
Please rest assured that your management company will do everything it can to minimize the number of seed bugs. We ask for owners assistance in keeping the insects out of the villas and recreation centre by ensuring that screen doors are kept closed and window screens are firmly in place. If you encounter a seed bug in your villa please use a piece of paper to move the insect ourtside. Thank you!
David A Dupont