Have you noticed a lot of small, brown bugs hanging around birch trees this fall? We get a lot of complaints for insects that congregate in large groups, like this one: the birch catkin bug (hover over image and Click to enlarge). Not only are they a nuisance, but they actually stink. The bad odour they give off is likely a defense mechanism for predators. They will collect around birch trees but we notice them because they fly around and sometimes land on us when we are out in the garden.
Fear not, they do not significantly injure birch trees, they just feed on the seeds. They are gathering to overwinter together. And why not? It’s probably going to be a long one 🙂