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Orius Predatory Pirate Bug

Orius Predatory Pirate Bug

Regular price $117.70 AUD
Regular price Sale price $117.70 AUD
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Introducing Orius tantillus, the predatory 'pirate bug' that offers an effective biological solution for managing both adult and immature thrips. Supplied in packs of 1,000 adults, these bugs are vital components of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, especially in environments where thrips pose a significant threat.

Direct Shipping for Maximum Effectiveness: To ensure the highest viability and immediate impact upon arrival, Orius tantillus are shipped directly from our supplier.

Description and Biology

Orius tantillus are capable predators that use their syringe-like mouthparts to impale and consume a variety of pests, including adult and immature thrips, aphids, mites, whiteflies, and moth eggs. They are unique among thrips predators for their ability to attack adult thrips effectively. Orius also require pollen as an essential part of their diet, aiding their longevity and effectiveness in various agricultural settings.

These bugs undergo several nymph stages before becoming winged adults, with both adults and nymphs actively feeding on thrips. The development from egg to adult takes 2-4 weeks, depending on temperature, and adults can live for an additional 3-4 weeks, each killing up to 20 thrips per day.

Target Pests

Orius is primarily employed to control:

  • Western flower thrips
  • Onion thrips
  • Melon thrips
  • Tomato thrips
  • Greenhouse whitefly
  • Silverleaf whitefly


  • Highly effective against various thrips stages, including adults
  • Can survive on alternative prey when thrips populations are low
  • Suitable for preventative and curative releases
  • Adults can kill more prey than needed for sustenance, enhancing pest control

Suitable Crop Environments

Orius is particularly effective in crops where pollen is naturally abundant, such as capsicums, eggplants, strawberries, and raspberries. In pollen-scarce environments like cucumbers or harvested flowers (e.g., roses), it is necessary to use pollen-bearing banker plants, such as basil, to support their populations.

Release Rates and Recommendations

For preventative control, 2-3 Orius per square meter are recommended, with follow-up releases every 1-2 weeks. In curative situations, particularly in hotspots, the rate may increase to 5-10 bugs per square meter with similar release intervals.

Release Method

Orius tantillus are mixed with buckwheat hulls and sterilized moth eggs in cardboard tubes for distribution. These should be released as soon as possible after delivery, ideally during cooler hours to maximize survival and establishment. Gently roll the tube before release to evenly distribute the bugs and place them near flowers or known pest hotspots.

Post-Release Monitoring and Maintenance

After release, monitor Orius populations and pest levels using yellow and blue sticky traps and by visually inspecting flowers for nymphs and adults. Top-up releases may be necessary in high-pressure situations or if populations are negatively impacted by pesticide use.

Cultural Practices and Chemical Sensitivity

Create a diverse habitat with flowering species to enhance Orius survival and efficacy. Avoid overuse of harmful pesticides, and always select products that are least harmful to beneficial insects. For optimal results, incorporate basil banker plants into your crop environment to provide a continuous pollen source, aiding the establishment and performance of Orius.

By integrating Orius tantillus into your crop management program, you can effectively reduce thrips and whitefly populations, ensuring healthier crops and reduced reliance on chemical pest control methods.

Download our Orius technical information sheet here

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