Subject: Pirate Bug?
Location: Picton NSW Australia
January 4, 2014 6:41 am
We have an immense amount of these bugs recently inhabit our farm. I can’t pinpoint them down to any host (though they do seem attracted to light). They are everywhere (seemingly doing no harm), although I recently discovered that they also suck the blood of humans (photo 2). I have been researching and the closest photographic identifications I can find is resemble the minute pirate bug or the big eyed bug.
We have a infestation of the Cabbage Whitefly (Aleyrodes proletella), so perhaps they could be a predator of these…..?
Thanks for your help.
Peppercorn Creek Organic Farm
Signature: Scott Bazely
We believe you have correctly identified these True Bugs as being Minute Pirate Bugs in the family Anthocoridae, but we will try to get a second opinion. According to BugGuide, they eat “small arthropods” and “Some species are used as biocontrol agents. Some may be a nuisance: they are known for their irritating bites, mostly after landing on one’s naked arm or neck.” That is very consistent with what you have experienced. Since they are not concentrated on a single plant, we would eliminate the possibility that they are a phytophagous or plant eating pest.