Subject: Torymid infestation
January 25, 2013 1:06 pm
NOTE: RESUBMITTED WITH ACTUAL PHOTO – SORRY, NO MACRO LENS
We started noticing these small insects in a few windows around our house. They looked much like flying ants but had an ovipositor about 2/3 the length of their body. After some research the only thing that seemed to matched their size (1-3mm) and description were torymid wasps.
The strange thing is that it’s the dead of winter here and I have no idea where these originated or keep coming from. We’ve probably seen 50-100 typically located around windows.
My thoughts are they may have come from a very warm day a few weeks ago (60 deg F). The other options would be coming in on something or from our live Christmas tree this year.
Any thoughts and ideas for getting rid of them would be appreciated. I don’t care nearly as much as my wife does. She’s not excited when outnumbered by critters.
We agree that this looks very much like the images of Torymids that are pictured on BugGuide. Torymids are considered Parasitic Hymenopterans and they are classified with the Chalcid Wasps. We did some research and we believe we might have found the source of the “invasion” and we believe it will most likely end soon. According to the USDA Agricultural Research Service website page on Torymids: “Torymids have a wide host range with both plant and insect eating species.” The site also states: “Megastigmine torymids, in the New World, are entirely phytophagous, mostly within rosaceous and coniferous seeds. The major plant genera known to host these wasps are Abies, Cedrus, Chamaecyparis, Ilex, Juniperus, Larix, Picea, Pseudotsuga, Tsuga, Amelanchier, Rosa, and Pistacia (an introduced species) (Milliron 1949, Grissell 1989).” The first mentions genus Abies is comprised of fir trees according to the Free Online Dictionary, and fir trees are common Christmas trees. We believe you were correct in suspecting this Torymid invasion is related to the Christmas tree.