Palm Springs, CA
A bug infestation has hit several Palm Springs neighborhoods and residents are at a loss for what to do about it. The tiny bugs are showing up in big numbers and are coming out full force due to the record amount of rainfall this past winter.
They’re scientifically known as Melacoryphus Lateralis but more commonly known as "Red Seed" or "Charcoal Seed Bugs" and they are being accompanied in some areas by their cousins, the Boxelder Bug.
"Thousands and thousands. Our garage is full," said Palm Springs resident Mark Anton.
"They have become such a nuisance. And we have cleaned up, and cleaned up after them and there have been thousands," said Palm Springs resident Sherri Sidney.
Experts say seeds in the ground from the heavy rainfall have attracted the bugs. Since the seeds have now dried, the insects are desperately looking for food. Once the last seed is consumed, the Red Seed bugs will eventually die off. This could take another couple of weeks.
"There was probably an inch thick of them all over the floor in the furnace room," said Anton.
In past years, a visit from the exterminator solved the problem.
"But this year the first treatment took care of them, for the most part, and then all of a sudden they came back even worse," said Palm Springs resident Leda Pontente.
Although they are a pain to clean up, the bugs are not harmful to humans. Experts say they are attracted to light and heat, and suggest turning off patio lights at night to keep the insects at bay.
"We have two white globes in the front of our yard and every morning it’s covered solidly with bugs," said Potente. "We don’t want too harsh of a pesticide. But something has to be done," Potente said.