The windows of our cabbage are covered in bugs right now. When Drew asked me what they were, I answered without hesitation.
Growing up, that’s always what I’d heard them called. But once I started researching for this blog entry, I realized my error — the insects on my window aren’t stink bugs at all. Sure, they’re bugs and they stink. But true stink bugs, brown marmorated stink bugs, to be precise, are destructive pests from Asia that eat crops and infest homes.
Luckily for us, the bugs on our window are actually western conifer seed bugs.
Unlike the brown marmorated stink bug, the western conifer seed bug is native to this area. It also doesn’t dine on fruits and vegetables — this little guy’s meal of choice is a nice, tasty pine cone.
So how can you tell the difference between them? It turns out, the easiest way is by looking at the legs. Western conifer seed bugs are leaf footed bugs. That means they have a little flared section on their back leg that kind of looks like a leaf.
The western conifer seed bugs might slow production of the conifers all around us, but that’s not a big deal to us They already need to be thinned out. No, what bugs me is how many of them have made their way inside. The Penn State fact sheet about them says they’re probably trying to find someplace to winter. I say they need to find someplace else! We’ll have to make sure to calk around the window frames when we finish the place.