Guess the Pest! Week #3 Answer: Minute Pirate Bug or Insidious Flower Bug

Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management;

Congratulations to John Comegys for correctly identifying the insect as a minute pirate bug or insidious flower bug and for being selected to be entered into the end of season raffle for $100 not once but five times. Everyone else who guessed correctly will also have their name entered into the raffle. Click on the Guess the Pest logo to participate in this week’s Guess the Pest challenge!

All bugs suck, but not all bugs are bad.

The minute pirate bug or insidious flower bug may look like a beetle but it is actually a “bug” meaning it has piercing-sucking mouth parts. This insect is usually considered a beneficial insect and not a pest but has been known to bite humans, inflicting a sharp and painful bite. It is commonly observed in greenhouses preying on thrips, various insect eggs, and other small, soft bodied arthropods.

The larger than life photo is also misleading and the adult is actually small, only about 1/16” in length. The immature bugs called nymphs resemble the adults in shape but lack wings and are a reddish – orange color. The nymphs, similar to the adults are also predators and feed on small arthropods.