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6 Common Spring Pests in Seattle

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Spring is here and with it comes a variety of bugs, some harmful, some beneficial. Pest control in Auburn and other areas can be useful for getting rid of some of the springtime nuisance bugs. Here are six common spring pests for you to watch for.

Buffalo Treehoppers

Buffalo treehoppers can be found throughout the United States, including Washington state. They are identified easily by their appearance. Buffalo treehoppers have green bodies, with yellow spots on the side. They get the first half of their name from their large heads, similar to that of buffalo. They have ridges on their backs that come to a pointed tail.

Buffalo treehoppers are related to cicadas, although you wouldn’t know it based on their appearance. Similar to the cicada, buffalo treehoppers live in trees, primarily oaks. Unfortunately, they are also often harmful to these trees. Buffalo treehoppers lay their eggs inside stems or under leaves. When the nymphs hatch, they feed on the leaves until the leaf dies, damaging the trees.

Because they do damage trees, buffalo treehoppers are not a pest that you want to have around. Using an insecticide will help to kill the eggs and keep these pests off your property.

Stump Stabber Wasp

The stump stabber wasp is a long, frightening looking wasp found in many regions of the United States. These wasps average two inches in length and have black and orange stripes on their body. They are known for having what looks like a long stinger that they stab into trees. This stinger is not actually a stinger at all — it is an ovipositor used by the females for depositing eggs into dead wood.

Stump stabber wasps look scary, but are not harmful to humans in any way. In fact, getting stung by a stump stabber wasp is extremely rare.


Snakeflies are appropriately named based on their appearance. They have heads that are similar to a snake head and long wings. They do not have stingers, although like the stump stabber wasp, the female has an ovipositor that looks like a stinger. Snakeflies pupate in the spring, so you will begin to see them more in the late spring and early summer.

Despite their frightening name and appearance, snakeflies are beneficial for your home. These are predatory pests that feast on the grubs that eat your plant, flower, and grass roots. If you see a snakefly around your home, you can thank it instead of killing it.

Water Strider

Water striders are native to areas with a vast abundance of water, making Washington state the perfect home for them. Water striders are only half an inch long but are easily identified by their three sets of legs and that they’re walking on water. Yes, water striders do actually walk on water, they don’t fly across it. In fact, only a few species of water strider have developed wings, and these are the ones found primarily in warm climates where they have to fly from one water source to another.

Water striders are able to walk on water because of their specially designed legs. These legs have thousands of tiny hairs on them with grooves that trap air. The combination of the trapped air and tiny hairs makes their legs water resistant. Water striders are so good at resisting water that scientists are studying them to learn how to make better water resistant materials for humans.

Not only are water striders fascinating to watch, they are also beneficial to humans. Because they live on water, they primarily eat mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, along with other insects.


Mayflies can be harder to identify because of their generic appearance. They average about an inch in length and have long wings. They can be found in many regions across the world and the United States. However, mayflies typically lay their eggs on water surfaces, so they are more common in wet regions, like Seattle.

Mayflies don’t bring any direct harm to humans or vegetation. However, they are considered a nuisance pest and their infestations can be quite severe. Some areas have reported such heavy mayfly populations that roads become covered in mayflies, make them hazardous to drive on.

The Devil’s Coach Horse Beetle

The devil’s coach horse beetle is a black, inch long beetle typically found in the western United States and Europe. It has short, rarely used wings and mandibles.

This beetle got its name from British folklore. When the devil’s coach horse beetle feels threatened, it will curl its tail up and emit an odor as a deterrent for predators. Locals believed that if one of these beetles curled its tail at you, you would be cursed by the devil.

The devil’s coach horse beetle does not typically bother humans, although it will react with a painful bite if it is bothered. This beetle is typically beneficial because it feeds on slugs, worms, spiders, and other pests.

Most of these pests are good for your yard and can help you control infestations of more harmful bugs. For those you don’t want to have around, contact Edge for pest control in Puyallup and the surrounding area.

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