Elm seed bugs are taking over Utah homes

Jul 12, 2023, 6:17 PM | Updated: Jul 13, 2023, 11:13 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Uninvited guests are crawling into Utahns’ homes, causing headaches for many residents.

Pest control experts like Bryce Bollinger told KSL TV he has gotten an increase in calls to get rid of these buggy invaders.

“I think it does get worse every year,” Bollinger expressed.

Bollinger, a technician and wildlife specialist with Pest Pro Pest Control, said these bugs make themselves comfortable outside walls, doors and windows during the summer to escape the heat.

“When they get too hot, they just curl into the doors, the windows, and that’s really where we start to see people give us calls,” Bollinger explained.

Bryce Bollinger spraying bug spray. (Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)

While people have called him to eliminate boxelder bugs, he said these invading bugs are elm seed bugs. The difference between the two is that boxelders are typically seen in spring and fall and are a bit bigger.

“Elm seed bugs are much smaller, which makes them even more of a pest. They can creep in even smaller gaps in windows,” Bollinger said. “They have kind of a terrible smell. It smells like bitter almonds if you crush them.”

When they do, he said it’s hard to get the tiny insects out of homes, with the permanent siltation being pretty costly.

“The only permanent solution is ripping out any elm trees,” Bollinger said.

Elm seed bugs can often be spotted in the bark, especially when they first start hatching.

“They feed on the elm seeds, and they’re just really good propagating,” Bollinger said.

Besides elm seed bugs, Bollinger is eliminating yellowjackets, wasps and oriental cockroaches in the Salt Lake City area. He blames the long winter and the wet spring for putting the insects in a longer hibernation.

Since most residents can’t remove all their trees and greenery around their homes, Bollinger suggests a solid physical barrier.

“Making sure all of the seals on doors and windows with either weather stripping or good caulking or foam filler, making sure those seals are very, very tight,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live


A bird flies over the Great Salt Lake as seen from Antelope Island at sunset on Monday, June 5, 202...

Dan Rascon and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

West Jordan water district offers locals help amid Great Salt Lake water crisis

Jordan Valley Water Conservative District is working to improve water conservation for cities, developers, and local residents to help improve Utah's water crisis problem, after Salt Lake City's population boom.

1 day ago

In this photo provided by the Soundwatch Boater Education Program the dorsal fin of a young humpbac...

Manuel Valdes, Associated Press

Photographs capture humpback whale’s Seattle visit, breaching in waters in front of Space Needle

Pictures released by a conservation group Soundwatch Boater Education Program show a young humpback whale breaching in front of the Space Needle as it visited the waters off Seattle last week, capturing a rare display of wildlife next to a major city.

1 day ago

A Gondola Works sign that has graffiti on it in is pictured near Little Cottonwood Canyon on Wednes...

Mark Jones

Group opposed to Little Cottonwood gondola project files lawsuit

A group opposing the Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola project has filed a lawsuit, citing environmental concerns.

2 days ago

Overlook of Maze Canyon in Canyonlands National Park. (Kait Thomas/National Park Service)...


Pilots flying tourists over national parks face new rules

Fewer airplanes and helicopters will be flying tourists over Mount Rushmore and other national monuments and parks as new regulations take effect that are intended to protect the serenity of some of the nation's most beloved natural areas.

2 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Mike Anderson

Rising population contributes to Utah’s air pollution, but air quality is improving over the long term

Experts say that despite poor air quality Thursday, pollution is decreasing in Utah over the long term thanks to reduced per-capita emissions.

6 days ago

The inversion as seen from Salt Lake City on Nov. 29, 2023. (Jack Grimm, KSL TV)...


A storm and inversion relief is on its way to Utah

People should be able to breathe a little bit easier this weekend. A major winter storm is expected to dump snow all over Northern Utah and clear out the nasty air.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Elm seed bugs are taking over Utah homes