What are those tiny black bugs biting me every time I walk outside? Their bite really hurts!
Those insects are called minute pirate bugs. They are 1/5 of an inch long, oval to triangular in shape, and black with whitish marks on the back. Minute pirate bugs are beneficial predators that feed on insect eggs and small insects. They use their sharp needle like mouthparts to suck juices from their prey. During the summer, pirate bugs are found in fields, woodlands, and gardens. As they begin to migrate from these areas during late summer they start biting humans. They are not feeding on our blood, nor do they inject venom or saliva. To protect yourself from getting bitten, you can wear dark colored clothing, long pants and long sleeves. But who wants to do that on a nice warm day? So, we’ll just have to put up with those pesky pirate bugs for a few more weeks until next year!