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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects Toplef10The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects 1zd3ho10

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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects

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The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects Empty The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects

Post  OhioGardener 7/4/2023, 11:34 am

I always love to have beneficial insects visit the gardens, and grow plants such as Sweet Alyssum to attract them.  However, there are sometimes downsides with the beneficial insects. One such critter is the Minute Pirate Bug, which feeds on smaller insects, larva and eggs, such as aphids, spider mites, thrips, jumping plant lice, white fly, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects. Very beneficial in the gardens, and are commercially sold to greenhouses for pest control.


However, right now we have a mass invasion of the Minute Pirate Bugs, and not much food source for them. None of our plants right now have aphids or spider mites for them to feed on.  So what do the Pirate Bugs do, they attack us humans! Bite, bite, bite! And, to add insult to injury, scented but repellents do not repel them at all - they are totally oblivious to the sprays.  We had a lot of them last summer, but we already have more of them now than we had then.



So, the Minute Pirate Bug is very Good, until it goes Bad by going after us humans, and then it gets UglyShocked



How to Avoid Minute Pirate Bugs: They're Tiny but Pack a Big Bite

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Post  sanderson 7/4/2023, 10:44 pm

Oh, my goodness. You want them around until you don't want them around. Never heard of them.

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Post  has55 7/15/2023, 1:37 am

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects Minute10
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Post  Scorpio Rising 7/15/2023, 5:48 pm

Hard core!
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Post  OhioGardener 8/3/2023, 9:46 am

I previously posted about the problem we were having this spring with the Minute Pirate Bug being everywhere and bothering us by piercing our skin with their straw-like mouth, but now I have seen the other side - the beneficial side - of them.  Last evening I was picking beans and there were swarms of the Minute Pirate Bug everywhere. They were landing on my arms, hands, face & neck, and everywhere, but they were not biting as they had in the past. Very surprising.

As I continued picking beans I noticed that there were a lot of Bean Beetle Larvae, but there was very little damage to the bean leaves. After looking closer I noticed that every larvae was covered with the Minute Pirate Bugs that were sucking the juice out of the larvae. That explained why the ones that were lighting on me were not biting - they were well fed from feeding on the bean beetle larvae. Now I have seen the "good" part, the beneficial side, of this insect, and I will have to remember that when they become pesky again like they were in the spring when there was very little food for them.   Very Happy

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Post  Scorpio Rising 8/3/2023, 9:47 pm

That is very!  Not sure, but glad you were spared, and the pests weren’t!
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Post  sanderson 8/5/2023, 3:35 pm

OG,  That was a good read on your experience with the Minute Pirate Bug eating the Bean Beetle Larvae.  Yet, not hurting you.

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Post  has55 8/6/2023, 4:27 pm

sanderson wrote:OG,  That was a good read on your experience with the Minute Pirate Bug eating the Bean Beetle Larvae.  Yet, not hurting you.
yes, very good.
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Post  OhioGardener 8/11/2023, 8:25 pm

The good part of the Minute Pirate Bugs must have done their job. While picking the beans I did not find a single live Bean Beetle or a larvae. The last time I picked beans the Pirate Bugs were attacking the larvae, and this time there were no live ones. Apparently the beneficial bugs won. The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Beneficial Insects 3170584802

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