Black Bugs #772625 - Ask Extension


Black Bugs #772625

Asked September 21, 2021, 8:41 PM EDT

Hello, Our property, along with our two neighbors, has become infested with these black bugs, see photos. No one has ever seen these bugs around our houses before. We are curious as to what they may be, where they may have come from, and if there are any ideas for getting rid of them. We have tried exterminators with no luck so far.

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response


The insects are referred to as nuisance seed bugs, more specifically Raglius alboacuminatus. They were accidentally introduced from Europe. They were first identified in Utah in 1999.

The bad news is that these small most commonly arrive in the jillions, just as you and your neighbor have noticed!

But, the good news is that they are only a temporary nuisance and don't bite people or pests, nor do they damage structures or stored products.

If some invade indoor spaces, don't be tempted to use pesticides, because you breathe the same air as they do. Beyond that, pesticides are minimal help against these nuisance bugs.

Instead, indoors use a fly swatter for individuals, a vacuum if they're numerous.
In addition, also repair window screens and caulk around other possible entries such as windows and doors, corner trim, attic vents, and where utility lines enter the structure.

Here are two of the first informative articles issued shortly after these seed bugs were inadvertently imported into the US:

1. "Seed Bugs" - read here. (Note: The pesticide information in this article is out-of-date.)

2. "Exotic Seed Bugs Introduced" - click here to download.

Jean R. Natter Replied September 22, 2021, 3:54 PM EDT
Hello Jean,

Thank you so much for the reply. 

No one around here has ever seen these seed bugs before. Any idea as to why they are now appearing? It also seems to be a very limited area that they have invaded. 

Thanks, Traci Nelson 

On Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:54 PM Ask Extension <> wrote:
Traci Nelson Replied September 22, 2021, 4:35 PM EDT

I wish had a terrific answer to your question of why myriads of small seed bugs are bugging (sorry!) only a small part of your neighborhood and nowhere else.

The reasons encompass numerous factors, among them a readily available food source; appropriate temperatures for the eggs to hatch; a good site to settle down and raise the youngsters; and also a dry, safe shelter for the winter. Then, too, neither native, nor invasive , kinds are evenly distributed throughout a geographic area. 

So, even though it might be useful to ask insects "Why are you here?" and "How can I get you to leave?", answers won't be forthcoming because, as you know, people don't know how to make 'bug talk' nor are insects verbally oriented. People can only theorize -- guess -- about the "why."

So, take heart. Those little black fellows will eventually leave of their own accord. In the meantime, batten down the hatches; patch the screens; and caulk as many entryways as possible.
Jean R. Natter Replied September 22, 2021, 9:18 PM EDT

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