Biocontrol Agent Profile

Minute pirate bug
Orius insidiosus


The favorite prey of minute pirate bugs are thrips, but they will prey on many other small, soft-bodied insects such as aphids and mites.  Adults are attracted to flowers and like to feed on pollen.  Eggs are inserted into plant tissues and there can be preferences for particular plant species.  Some crops such as soybean and sorghum tend to be attacked by thrips in seedling stages.  When Orius adults arrive to feed on thrips, they oviposit on the plants, producing a generation of nymphs that may contribute to control of later-arriving pests such as aphids.

Pirate bug nymph
Pirate bug adult