Minute pirate bugs are exceptionally small – much smaller than mosquitoes – however, recent influxes in populations in Indiana are proving that the bite of this bug is just as painful and frustrating as the bite of the mosquito.

Anthocoris nemorum (Anthocorinae)

These bugs belong to a group known as “true bugs”. While considered to be a generalist feeder, these bugs often feed on small-sized pests, such as mites, thrips, and whiteflies.

In order to kill their prey, they pierce the body. Then, they use their mouth to suck out the insides. Most often, the shell of their prey is all that remains.

While not commonly a threat to humans, in the fall and winter, when the populations are high, the minute pirate bug may start to bite humans. Currently, this is occurring in Indiana. 

True bugs are identified by their piercing mouthparts that have the capability to suck. While many suck juices that are found in plants, others have the ability to also suck juices from living prey. This is much similar to the mosquito; however, true bugs are not in search of blood.

In fact, it has been determined that these types of bugs really have absolutely no interest in humans.

Orius.bites.day2Unfortunately, as fall sets in and winter draws near, the minute pirate bugs are facing their demise. Typically around the first frost. As populations increase and unfavorable weather conditions set in, these bugs will start probing things with their mouth piercer to determine if it is edible.

This is where people come into play. Now, remember, the populations of minute pirate bugs are increasing at an alarming rate and the cold weather is coming. These little bugs are moving all around to try to find something to feed on – for survival purposes. Unfortunately, humans often get in the way of this endeavor and end up feeling the wrath of that mouth-piercer that minute pirate bugs possess.

Once the bug probes into the skin of a human, it will find it less-than-favorable and move on. Unfortunately, the bite may be very uncomfortable. The true bugs do not carry diseases and they will not poison you, but, the bite may become irritated, may burn, or may experience inflammation.

These types of bugs commonly migrate in very large numbers in the late fall months to engage in the process of overwintering in the litter produced by leaves. They are present in plants, in crop fields, around wooded areas, and similar areas. The bugs commonly bite gardeners and those that work in the outdoors. The minute pirate bug that tends to annoy humans the most is called the “insidious flower bug”. It is black and green. While not as notorious as the mosquito, its bite is just as devastating. If you have minute pirate bugs or other types of true bugs troubling you, contact us today for assistance: http://allpest-thoroughcheck.com/our-services/

Resources:
http://www.indepthinfo.com/beneficial-insects/minute-pirate-bugs.htm
http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mbcn/kyf101.html
https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/true-bugs