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Downtown Cheyenne ‘buggin’ out,’ as swarms of seed bugs appear overnight

In World
June 08, 2024

Jun. 7—CHEYENNE — An infestation of tiny black bugs invaded downtown Cheyenne in a single night, with swarms of them clinging to the walls of office buildings, churches and homes.

Best Pest Control exterminator Derek Fulfer said he received more than 30 calls on Friday, starting at about 7 a.m., and was booked throughout the day. The calls reported bug infestations inside commercial businesses, car dealerships and even an urgent care medical clinic.

Fulfer said the bugs found at the clinic luckily stayed near the door and didn’t infiltrate the lobby.

“I didn’t get too many calls from outside of town or really many residentials,” Fulfer said. “All of the residential people, they kind of took care of it themselves.”

Insectophobes will be relieved to hear that these infestations are only temporary, according to Steven Trowbridge, manager of the Cheyenne Weed, Pest and Vector Control. Trowbridge said these bugs, commonly known as “seed bugs,” have always been in Cheyenne and are perfectly harmless. They don’t bite humans or animals and typically feed off plant seeds, he said.

If a dog or cat happens to swallow a bug or five, Trowbridge said there’s no need for the owner to panic.

“It’s not going to bother them at all,” Trowbridge said. “If they want eat some of those bugs, then I guess more power to them.”

He speculated these bugs saw a greater reproductive season due to the heavy rain storms last summer, and the recent increase in temperature brought them out of the soil. The bugs are attracted to humidity, he said, but also could be looking for shade, which is why they are found near residential areas and business offices.

As with any insect problem, Trowbridge suggested the use of window screens and making sure doors are properly sealed to keep the bugs out. If they do manage to get inside, they can be swept up in a vacuum cleaner.

“They’re not going to reproduce inside the home,” he said, adding the bugs won’t be a persistent problem. “They really shouldn’t be there for very long.”

Keeping them off plants and trees is as simple as hosing them off with water, Trowbridge added. Fulfer said people also can create a homemade pesticide with a mix of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and water, and spray the wall a foot above the ground, both inside and outside the home.

Trowbridge predicted the cycle of bug swarms will “ebb and flow” throughout the summer. The infestations found Friday were already disseminating by noon, around the time he spoke to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

“I definitely don’t want people to panic or to get too worked up over them,” he said. “They’re not going to hurt anybody.”

Fulfer said similar infestations were reported in Denver a couple of months ago and recently in Fort Collins, Colorado. But he predicted the bugs should be out of Cheyenne by the end of the weekend.

“You don’t have to worry about them harming you, and they don’t carry diseases,” Fulfer said. “They are an inconvenience. They’re almost like moss, maybe a little less dirty.”

Hannah Shields is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s state government reporter. She can be reached at 307-633-3167 or hshields@wyomingnews.com. You can follow her on X @happyfeet004.

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