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Purple Power

Beneficial bug: Pirate Bugs

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Pirate Bugs

 

 

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Tiny (1/20 inch long) bugs that feed on almost any small insect or mite, including thrips, aphids, mites and their eggs, scales, whiteflies, insect eggs , corn borers, potato leafhopper nymphs, grasshoppers, beetles, larvae of moths, psyllid (plant lice), small caterpillars. and soft-bodied arthropods, but are particularly attracted to thrips in spring. Each adult pirate bug can consume as many as 20 thrips larvae each day. When prey is hard to find, the minute pirate bug will eat pollen as will as plant juices. In the outdoor environment, they leave and find a spot with prey. Using beneficial insect food is a good idea for these.

 

Often the first beneficial insects to appear in spring, minute pirate bugs. They are usually less than one-fifth inch long. Don't let their small size fool you, they can move quick and are very predatory. They are black or dark purple with white markings at the tips of their wings so that they appear to have white bands when the wings are closed. Nymphs are generally between a yellow-orange color and brown and are shaped like a teardrop.

A beneficial pirate bug feeds by inserting its mouthparts into its prey and sucking out the body fluids. Both the nymphs and the adults feed in this way. They sometimes feed on tender plants as well by sucking sap from the leaves, but the damage they leave behind is minimal. Occasionally they will nip a human, but the bite is only a temporary irritation.

 

 

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The minute pirate bug life cycle is brief, lasting as little as three weeks from egg to adult. Adults overwinter in garden debris, such as leaf litter. They emerge in early spring and the females lay eggs inside leaf tissue. You won’t see the eggs since they are inside the leaves. The orange larvae that hatch from the eggs go through several stages, called instars, before becoming adults.
 

Usually shipped as nymphs near hatching or adults ready to use.

Application: Use 100-2000 Pirate Bugs per acre, depending on rate of infestation. Although somewhat expensive, they're good for infestations when other controls alone aren't adequate

 

You can attract them by growing yarrow, goldenrod, marigold, cosmos, daisies, caraway, spearmint, fennel or alfalfa

 

 

 

The link below will take you to "An Intro to benefical bugs and beneficial insect food" it has a list (been worked on) to pests and beneficial insects

 

http://freemygreenpdx.com/topic/14334-an-intro-to-benefical-bugs-and-beneficial-insect-food/?p=124257


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Classy, sassy, and a bit of a smart assy

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The best way to control these bugs is to keep them out of your garden to begin with by using some good pesticides that can keep the bugs away, but you need to make sure they are safe to use because there are some sprays that can be harmful to the health of other animals and possibly to small children. Another way to get rid with bug is to hire a professional who can help you to get rid with your bugs. Last month my brother had hired a best bed bug Exterminator NYC specialist who had experience and expertise to exterminate any kind of pest problem. I think you should hire a pest control expert or you can buy a spray.

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Not all bugs are bad. Pirate bugs are beneficial insects for us by eating the pests we don't want. Pirate bugs are a general type of beneficial insects that like a ladybug eats lots of different types of pest.  I've brought these little hungry guys and put them in my gardens and have released pirate bugs as well as other beneficial insects outside many times over the years. They do return when there is food/pest problem. An example, several years ago my veggie garden was being attacked by aphids that were being farmed by ants. My tomatoes were being attacked worse then my pepper plants and all were fruiting. Since the aphids were being brought in by the ants, I put out some DE around my garden. I didn't address the aphids since several lady bugs had already showed up and were eating and laying eggs. As the eggs hatched and the aphids population dwindled, the adult lady bug flew away. It didn't take long for the problem to be resolved and a whole new generation of ladybugs were out looking for more pests to dine on. Some stayed, most left once they got there wings.

 

There are times in our plant's life cycle where we can't use chemicals like in flower and I prefer not to use chemicals for my veggie or herb gardens. I highly doubt anyone would want a stranger in their grow area. IMO this is an invite to dealing with police if they report it (its more of a hassle for medical patients/growers), and an unknown number of people knowing of where the grow is and at least in the short term what stage its in, this is an invite to rippers/home invasions. If you spray your plants, you can't do it during flower....unless you don't mind the pesticides in your medicine. The last time I spray my plants is in the tail end of of the veg stage, like BT and Avid (by the time harvest rolls around there 1/2 half are done and safe for us to use). After that they only thing that can be used is beneficial insects.


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