Invasive insects bugging people in Osoyoos

Elm Seed and Tuxedo bugs are infesting homes in Osoyoos

An infestation of Elm Seed and Tuxedo Bugs has the Mayor of Osoyoos requesting help from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Sue McKortoff said calls started coming into the town’s office about a week ago with one resident coming into the office in person with a large jar filled with the invasive bugs.

(Video from Winfield, B.C. in 2017)

“They are on the (window) sills and they apparently come in the homes through any kind of crack. They don’t bite you, it’s not that. They are just annoying and I’ve had people crying on the phone because they can’t get rid of them and they are infested with them,” she said during a break at Thursday’s Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen meeting.

During a presentation to the board from Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure staff, McKortoff requested crews look into cutting down any Elm trees on provincial road allowances.

MOTI representatives could not comment on the issue at the board meeting and a request for information from media relations for the ministry was not received by press time.

McKortoff noted almost every homeowner on Larkspur Place, which backs onto Highway 97, has contacted the town’s office in the last week. There are several Elm trees on the road allowance there.

“The reason why I have these fellows (MOTI) involved is because the Elm trees are where these bugs feed on the seeds are backing on the properties of the people in the town, and it’s between there and the highway, so it actually is ministry of highway’s property,” she said.

Related: ‘Serious pest’ starting to invade the Okanagan Valley

Tuxedo bugs feed on plants in the mint family (black horehound, lambs ears, white mullein).

Elm Seed and Tuxedo bugs were first spotted in the Okanagan in the Rutland area of Kelowna in 2016 and reports of infestations in homes and business in Kelowna and surrounding communities continued in 2017. The bugs were first detected in the U.S. in Idaho in 2009 and have spread to Oregon, Washington and Utah.

They originate in Europe and the Mediterranean region and can now also be found in parts of China.

Adult Elm Seed bugs are 6.6 millimetres to 7mm in size and have a black triangle shape on their backs bordered by a rusty red triangle.

Tuxedo bugs are about 5mm to 6mm in size, dark brown to black with a triangle outlined in white and a white spot at the tip of the body.

The bugs do not cause damage to fruit or other crops, but are a nuisance to homeowners. Elm seed bugs emit unpleasant odours when crushed and their fecal droppings can be unsightly.

A release from the Ministry of Agriculture suggests tips in dealing with the bugs:

– use shop vacuum with one to two inches of soapy water in the bottom

– remove volunteer Elm trees, or prune to reduce food source

– use sticky traps for trapping bugs around window sills

– inspect firewood for overwintering adults

– treat immature stages of bugs outside the home with a barrier spary

– products containing permethrin, carbaryl and malathion

 

The Tuxedo Bug is infesting homes in Osoyoos. (Ministry of Agriculture)

Just Posted

‘Virtual drugstore’ dealer sentenced in Penticton

A Penticton woman was using the casino as a hub to sell drugs and launder money

Further mediated talks scheduled in casino strike

Gateway and BCGEU schedule talks for July 20-22

Police and GSAR search river near Hedley

Princeton RCMP and ground search and rescue crews are at the Similkameen… Continue reading

Extreme fire danger in the Okanagan-Shuswap

The fire danger rating hits extreme or high in areas of the Okanagan- Shuswap

Heat warning issued for Central, South Okanagan

Environment Canada expects temperatures to exceed 35 degrees Celsius today

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Tailgate Party celebrates Naramata’s early roots

South Okanagan wineries located on the Naramata Bench host their annual party

Emerica tears up Penticton Youth Park

Pro skateboarders make summer afternoon even hotter

Hedge up in flames in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident burning weeds had flames spread to a nearby hedge

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

UPDATE: Wildfire near Lake Country grows to seven hectares

The BC Wildfire Service is responding to a blaze at Dee Lake

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

UPDATE: BC crews respond to two new wildfires

Blazes near Allison and Osoyoos Lakes

Motorcycle driver dies in a head-on collision near Oliver

RCMP said the three vehicle collision, near Road 18, happened around 2:45 p.m. on July 14

Most Read