Two Invasive Insects Found for First Time in Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has identified two invasive insect species in Minnesota originating from Europe and Asia.

Two separate Minnesota homeowners reported two new pests to the MDA’s Report a Pest service in August. The MDA later identified each as the elm seed bug and the Asiatic garden beetle.

Elm Seed Bug

Adult elm seed bugs are about 1/3 inch long and are a dark red and black color. (Credit:

The elm seed bug originates from Europe but was first found in the United States in 2012. Since then, it has established itself in western states like Oregon, Utah and Washington, according to the MDA.

Considered a pest by the MDA, the elm seed bug feeds on elm, linden and oak seeds using piercing sucking mouth parts.

The native box elder bug, active in late summer and fall, also feeds on the same tree seeds as the elm seed bug which are active in mid-June.

Elm seed bugs tend to arrive in large numbers and can be found in homes.

To manage the bug, the MDA recommends sealing cracks and crevices on the outside of buildings and apply appropriate insecticides as a barrier treatment.

Asiatic Garden Beetle

Asiatic garden beetles are about 3/8 inch long and are chestnut brown with an iridescent sheen. (Credit:

Native to Japan and parts of China, the Asiatic garden beetle has been found in the United States since 1922.

The beetle feeds on fruits, vegetables, perennial and annual flowers. The MDA states that they tend to prefer roses, dahlias, asters, chrysanthemums and butterfly bushes. The grubs consume roots of garden plants.

Related to the emerald and copper colored Japanese beetle, Asiatic garden beetles tend to be active when temperatures are above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the MDA.

Residents can report suspected sightings of both insects to the MDA’s Report a Pest line with a clear photo or call 1-888-545-6684.