Notorious Bugs

As I see it, we have three bugs with some minor local notoriety: the Wood Tick, the Mosquito, and the Western Conifer Seed Bug. I have examples of each below.

The Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) is what locals know it as the stink bug—owing to the strong smell it emits when squeezed—or the cedar bug—owing to the nature of that smell. This bug owes its notoriety to an odd life cycle; most bugs overwinter as eggs or nymphs, but this one does it as an adult. Consequently, as fall approaches, adults seek shelter in warm places, often finding it in buildings located near conifers. So, come September, we all find a few of these mildly annoying creatures in our homes. Mind you, these bugs don't bite, they don't raid your food, and they are easy to evict—just pick them up by the antennae and throw them outside. But, don't squeeze them.

The local noxious tick is the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick (Dermacentor andersoni). Which isn't to say that there aren’t many other species of ticks around, but the others ignore humans. The tick presented below is almost certainly one of those other species, but for the moment, it will have to represent the them all.

The mosquito is clearly a local pest of the summertime, but one whose provenance is quite variable.

western conifer seed bugBy the time the Western Conifer Seed Bug seeks refuge in your home in the fall, it has done its job: it sucks nutrients out of the cones of pines, Douglas-fir and grand fir. This does not damage these trees, but it does inhibit their propagation.

western conifer seed bugThe Western Conifer Seed Bug is also known as leaf-footed bug as a result of a flattened section of it rear legs. If you reach from one side to grab an antenna, it will turn away, but you can reach from both sides simultaneously and pick it up by the antennae and carry it outdoors.

tickTicks, like spiders, are not insects: they have eight legs. All ticks suck the blood of mammals, but of the two dozen species of ticks in British Columbia, only three attach humans, and only one, the Wood Tick is found around the Lake. This little fellow is not a Wood Tick, but it is not clear what it is.

tickThis is probably a male tick.

mosquitoI have no idea which species of mosquito this is; but it was unquestionably looking to for blood as it explored a jacket.

Fraser tartan