By Scott Eckert, County Extension Agent,
There are many look-a-likes in the insect world and I would like to share with you one of them.
The leaf-footed pine seed bug feeds on the developing cones and seeds of several species of conifers. The feeding damage from heavy infestations reduces seed production, but does not harm the tree.
The adult leaf-footed pine seed bug is similar in shape and appearance to boxelder and squash bugs. The insect is 3/4 inches long and has a white zigzag line on the forward portion of its back. The most distinguishing characteristic of the adult is the hind leg; which is wide and flat.
Leaf footed bugs share lots of features with Assassin bugs where Kissing bugs belong to (different family), but the main differential feature is that hind leg. It resembles a leaf. Contrary to the Leaf footed bugs, Kissing and Assassin bugs do not have that “leaf”.
The only problem with these bugs is that they like to overwinter in your home. They do not reproduce in the house or cause damage but they can be a nuisance. When you find them in your home, destroy them or vacuum them up.