By Sabrina Messaoudi
The Charcoal Seed Bugs that invaded the Coachella Valley over the summer are slowly leaving. Due to the higher rainfall this past year, the insects came in an abundance looking for food. “They have peaked out now, but should be slowly disappearing,”Professor of Entomology and Natural Resources Kurt Leuschner said.
The past rainfall had a great influence on agriculture here in the valley, which was also beneficial to the Charcoal Seed Bug. “This is a natural occurrence. They are around every year but only in great numbers if the rainfall produces a large crop of seeds,” Leuschner says.
The bugs pose no harm to humans according to Leuschner. “They might accidentally bite a human if they are seeking moisture but the bite is not harmful. So no need to worry.”
COD student Milegly Milanovich says she sees the bugs constantly; “I see them mostly when I go swimming, [because] they are always by the pool. They always crawl on me and my kid so we just throw water at them to keep them away.” She has also seen the bugs around campus: “I have seen them over by the middle center fountain, they are always walking around there,” thus Milanovich.
Other COD students do not notice the insects as much. Liam Akers lives in Indio and says he has seen them but not as often. “I’ve seen the bugs outside on a few occasions at my visits to local parks but I haven’t seen any of them at the College of the Desert campus,” Liam says.
The insects are more common in the foothills and canyons closer to the mountains, but we might also see them around COD. They are attracted to light. To avoid them, it is suggested to keep your doors closed and outdoor lights off.