Have you been outside recently and experienced a painful bite, only to find a barely visible, tiny black bug on your skin? The culprit was most likely the “insidious flower bug.” The bug is present throughout the warm season and is actually considered beneficial, using their straw like mouth to suck fluids from their prey, usually small soft-bodied insects like aphids. With the cooler temperatures leading to a decline of aphids and other similar insects, the insidious flower bug is looking for its final meals before winter. The good news is that these bugs aren’t literally biting you, or sucking blood, or injecting toxins, rather it is more of a “poke.” The bad news is, those with sensitive skin may get a welt where they are poked, and it can be somewhat painful. In terms of controlling these pests, repellents are an option but are sometimes reported as ineffective and insecticides aren’t practical since it’s difficult to pinpoint where the bug is coming from. It seems wearing long sleeves and pants may be your best bet. Fortunately, this pest should disappear following our first freeze.