Minute pirate bugs are 1/16-inch long, black-and-white insects with triangular heads and oval bodies. Their very active, pear-shaped nymphs are orange to amber and wingless.
Minute pirate bugs overwinter as adults and reproduce faster than any other common predatory insect. They can develop from egg to adult in as few as 15 days, producing several generations each summer.
Both adults and nymphs suck body fluids from spider mites, thrips, small aphids, white flies, caterpillars, and insect eggs. They are often the first beneficial predators to appear in spring and can destroy 30 or more spider mites each day.