New Invasive Insects Spotted in Minnesota

Minnesota’s peaceful environment received unexpected visitors recently – two invasive insects. Thanks to observant homeowners, these pests were reported to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Report a Pest service.

Elm Seed Bug: This bug, originally from Europe, made its U.S. debut in 2012 in states like Oregon, Washington, and Utah. Now, it’s here in Minnesota. These bugs, with their distinct dark rusty-red and black appearance.

They feast on various plants, including fruits and vegetables. While grubs target ornamental plant roots, adults eat leaves and flowers. Severe attacks can strip plants of all but their leaf midribs. But mostly feed on elm seeds. They can be nuisances like the box elder bugs, entering homes in large groups.

To manage them, it’s advised to seal cracks and crevices on the exterior of buildings and use specific insecticides.

Asiatic Garden Beetle: A native of Japan and China, this beetle first landed in the U.S. in New Jersey in 1922. It enjoys dining on over 100 plant types, with grubs fancying roots of ornamentals and garden plants. Adults, which are chestnut brown and have a unique sheen, become active at temperatures over 70°F, primarily during the night. Unlike their relatives, the Japanese beetles, these beetles prefer nocturnal feeding.

These insects are new to Minnesota, the MDA is keen on understanding their spread. If you spot them, residents are urged to report through the MDA’s Report a Pest line or call 1-888-545-6684. Including clear photos in online reports can be a great help.