These insects will often enter your home this time of year, whether invited or not. They aren’t looking to eat anything, just a warm place to hang out until spring. They also provide a distinctive air freshener that we don’t think will be replicated and sold anytime soon (the author of Pacific Northwest Insects describes it as smelling like sour apple candy). Although they are a type of leaf-footed bug they are often mistakenly lumped in with “stink bugs,” a different family of true bugs, for emitting an on odor when disturbed.
They are native to North America west of the Rocky Mountains but their range has expanded into portions of the east and have become an invasive species in Europe. Western conifer seed bugs prefer feeding on sap from developing cones (lodgepole and Douglas-fir), but they will feed on developing seeds and fruits of a wide variety of plants, including dogwood and sumac.
Photo by Chris La Tray on 9/30/20 in Missoula, MT.