Elm seed bug population explodes in Albuquerque’s North Valley

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A little bug is causing a big stink in Albuquerque’s North Valley. Neighbors say a type of stink bug is invading their homes — inside and out. 

“They are around the window sills, they are on the carpet, they are on the windows inside, and I just keep on having to kill them, and they keep on showing up,” North Valley resident Mark Medley said. 

Medley explains these little bugs started showing up inside his house about three weeks ago. And it was unpleasant trying to get rid of them. 

“What I found is if you kill them by squishing them they have an odor to them, kind of a sour musty smell. So I stopped doing that,” Medley said. 

After he gave up on squishing the stink bugs, he’s tried other ways to get rid of them. 

“Sweeping, vacuuming, on the outside what I have been doing is spraying Raid around the doorways,” Medley said. 

But nothing seems to keep the bugs at bay. 

“This is the first time I’ve noticed these little bugs, and I’ve lived here since 1999,” said Medley.  

So we asked an exterminator what could cause the change. 

“They are very common around water. So since we have had a lot more snow and rain, that may be a part of the problem where we are seeing more of these bugs around,” said Chase Wilson, owner of Essential Pest Management.

More importantly, Wilson shared tips on how to keep them away.

“Any type of pesticide will help deter those bugs or kill them. More of a natural way of doing it would be spraying soapy water directly on the bugs themselves will kill the bugs,” Wilson said. 

Wilson added these bugs like elm trees and mulberry bushes. So trimming back those plants and raking up any leaves, or fruit that has fallen will help prevent the bugs from coming back next summer.