Predatory Bugs

Order: Hemiptera


Many species of true bugs are predators of insects and mites. All feed by piercing the prey with their narrow mouthparts and sucking out body fluids. Common predators in this order include:

  • Predatory stink bugs
  • Damsel/nabid bugs, Nabis spp.
  • Minute pirate bug, Orius insidiosus (most common)
  • Ambush bug, Phymata sp. 
  • Assassin bug
Common damsel bug

Joseph Berger, 
Common damsel bug, Nabis americoferus

Assassin bug

Louis Tedders, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 
Assassin bug, Zelus exsanguis.

Minute pirate bug.

John Ruberson, Kansas State University, 
Minute priate bug, Orius insidiosus.

Predatory stink bug

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, 
Predatory stink bug, Podisus placidus mating pair.

Ambush bug

David Cappaert, 
Ambush bug, Phymata sp.

Quick Facts

  • Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the yard and garden.
  • These beneficial bugs can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.
  • Common insect parasitoids include flies and small wasps. 
  • When insecticides are needed, choose ones that are selective and less likely to harm beneficial insects and mites.