Millions of bugs invade Plano neighborhood




Posted on September 12, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 13 at 7:27 PM

PLANO - A Plano neighborhood has been overrun by millions of tiny black bugs. 

The bugs are coming from a vacant field at the northwest corner of Plano Parkway and Independence Parkway. Homeowners say they have never seen anything like it before.

“They keep coming from the field," said Pete Adame, whose back yard is infested. "It's just like a flood of insects. So, we need to stop it at the field."

The invasion started just a few days ago. The tiny black bugs crawled from the parched field, across the alley and into the neighborhood. Residents say they have gotten into their homes.
“I’ve been sweeping my kitchen floor," said Maria Bortel, one homeowner. "I've been vacuuming my rugs. I spray the garage; I sweep the garage, and they're back there in the morning."
Bortel has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years. She found hordes of unstoppable insects on her eaves, windows and in her swimming pool.
"We've been spraying, doing can after can, and they're just not dying," she said.
Desperate for help, the homeowners contacted the Plano Health Department. 
The city's health director wrote back saying the city is not allowed to treat private properties with insecticides. Now, residents are trying to contact the landowners, hoping they will halt the invasion.
Texas A&M entomologist Dr. Mike Merchant identified the insects as harmless "seed" bugs that feed on seed from grass and other plants. While Merchant called it “a temporary nuisance," that hasn't eased the frustration of the homeowners, who said the bugs just keep coming and coming, like tiny terminators. 
“There are a lot of them," Adame said. "It's just an infestation that has never hit us before."
The A&M entomologist says it's likely the mating season for the seed bugs. He called them “typical outdoor insects who are on the move.”