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Minute Pirate Bug

FAST FACTS - MINUTE PIRATE BUGS
by Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian

SIGNS

  • Tiny insect, 1/12 to 1/5 inch long, oval with a triangular head, black to purplish with white markings at the base of the front wings giving a band-like appearance across the body when wings are at rest
  • Pear-shaped and yellowish or reddish brown nymphs with red eyes

    SYMPTOMS

  • None

    CAUSE

  • Minute pirate bug, Orius spp. and Anthocoris spp

    OPTIMAL CONDITIONS

  • Insect predators in many crops including alfalfa, corn, small grains, cotton, soybeans, and tomatoes
  • Also found on ornamental plants and in landscapes
  • Feed on insect eggs and small insects such as psyllids, thrips, mites, aphids, whiteflies and small caterpillars
  • Adults overwinter in protected habitats such as leaf litter

    TREATMENT

    Prevention:

  • None – you want to encourage this guy into the garden
  • Prevent getting bitten by this bug by wearing dark, protective clothes in late summer

    Elimination:

  • None

    GOOD GUY / BAD GUY?

  • This is a very good garden guy – while not very large, they are fierce predators!
  • Their bite is surprisingly painful and people differ in their response to the bites - some swell up like a mosquito bite, some turn red and for others there is no reaction at all; if you react to their bite, they’re probably a bad guy


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    Last Modified: 08/06/2013