Tiny Pirate Bugs Pestering Nebraska

Nebraska entomologists say they’re getting more calls, questions and complaints about a little bug that packs a big bite.

Minute pirate bugs become more noticeable in the fall, when they move from the woods into backyards and parks in search of food.

Jonathan Larson is an entomologist with Nebraska Extension in Omaha. Larson says pirate bugs are less than one-eighth of an inch long but give a surprisingly painful bite.

But he says the bugs aren’t a health risk to humans or animals because they don’t feed on blood or inject venom.

Nebraska Extension in Lincoln entomologist Jody Green says she first saw the bugs take over during the Sept. 30 Market to Market Relay, where swarms of pirate bugs pestered runners in the race.