Currently viewing the category: "Square Headed Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Shower Wasp?
Location: Dallas, Texas
December 28, 2013 12:46 pm
It’s December in Texas, and this flying bug (and lots of its relatives) has recently shown up in our shower. We see about 2-4 a day. The shower has an exterior wall, but we can’t find any holes around the tile or windows. It doesn’t seem to be aggressive, but it does look like a stinger-type body. Ideas?
Signature: LN

Wasp

Wasp

Ed. Note:
We did not recognize this wasp and we thought the situation was odd, so we contacted Eric Eaton with the following.
Hi Eric,
Happy New Year.
This Wasp is from Dallas Texas.  The person keeps finding them in an  indoor shower with an outside wall.  They find two to four a day.  This does not look like a social wasp to me.  Can you identify at  least family and possibly species?
Thanks
Daniel

Hi, Daniel:
Happy New Year to you, too.
This wasp is not a social wasp, but a solitary one in the family Crabronidae, tribe Larrini.  It *might* be Tachytes or Larropsis for genus, but they are difficult to determine to genus without having the specimen in hand.  Don’t know why they are emerging indoors at this time of year, but they are *not* harmful.
Eric

Dear LN,
We sought some assistance from Eric Eaton with your request and his response is included.  According to BugGuide, the Square Headed Wasps in the subfamily Crabroninae:  “nest in hollow stems or in abandoned galleries in wood, others burrow in the ground. Prey is mostly flies, but some utilize other insects.”
  If you have sash windows, they might have emerged from a nest in the windowframe due to the warmth indoors.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp type bug – drillig holes
Location: North Vancouver, Canada
August 30, 2011 10:15 pm
We recently noticed loads of sawdust on our deck one morning, looked up to find a few little perfect round holes in a wood support beam outside our apartment. Since then we seen quite a few of these wasp like bugs coming and going through the holes. Not sure what they are though??.
Signature: S

Square Headed Wasps

Dear S.,
Many Solitary Bees, both native and introduced, nest in small holes in wood.  Though they are solitary Bees, they often nest in colonies with each female provisioning for her own offspring.  We believe these are Mason or Leaf Cutter Bees in the family Megachilidae, though we are not certain of the species.  We don’t believe the Bees have excavated the holes, but rather, they are utilizing the exit holes of some wood boring insect.  See BugGuide for additional photos and information on these fascinating Bees.  Gardeners who want to encourage native Bees to nest near plants that need to be pollinated might enjoy this informational Make a Bee Hotel web page. 

Square Headed Wasp

Correction Courtesy of Eric Eaton
Daniel:
Ah, well, they are not bees, for one thing!  These are square-headed wasps in the family Crabronidae, subfamily Crabroninae, and tribe Crabronini.  Genus?  Not sure, but Ectemnius and Lestica are both possibilities.  Ectemnius hunt flies, while Lestica hunt moths.
Eric

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Whats this?
Location: Wigan
August 23, 2011 5:56 am
Hi, can you identify what this bug is and if it needs getting rid of? its in my dogs yard and quite near to our front door. I see them coming in and out of the nest frequently.
Signature: Jenny

Square Headed Wasp

Hi Jenny,
As we prepared to post your identification request, we needed to research Wigan since we were uncertain if it was a location or a typographical error.  We did locate a Wikipedia entry that identified Wigan as a town in greater Manchester, England, so we are indicating your location as U.K.  We believe this is a Square Headed Wasp in the subfamily Crabroninae, and we learned on BugGuidethat “Some nest in hollow stems or in abandoned galleries in wood, others burrow in the ground. Prey is mostly flies, but some utilize other insects.”  Assuming that your individual is one that hunts flies, you can determine if you want a predator that reduces the number of flies attracted to your dogs’ feces and potentially entering your front door or not.  These are solitary wasps, and though you may have numerous individuals nesting in the same vicinity, each is excavated by a single female who provisions the nest with flies for her developing larvae.  Solitary Wasps do not defend their nests in the same aggressive manner as social wasps like Yellowjackets.

Square Headed Wasp Nest

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Green eyed insect that made 5 dirt nest under garbage cans
Location:  Utah
July 21, 2010 12:43 pm
I found 5 hills with one entrance in each under my garbage can. Then a wasp/fly/? looking bug appeared. It had long wings and bright green eyes. It seemed to have either a stinger or antennae out the mouth area. We sprayed the hills and took the picture just before it died. I have never seen it before and lived here in Utah for 5+ years. Do you know what it is? Thanks so much for your time and effort. I wish I could just download the picture and that it would match it with the bug.
Sincerely Heidi

Sand Loving Wasp

Dear Heidi,
One of our primary purposes in running What’s That Bug? is to promote tolerance and appreciation of the lower beasts, and to educate the public in an effort to prevent the senseless slaughter of beneficial or benign insects and other arthropods because we know that people fear the unknown, hence the creation of our Unnecessary Carnage section where your letter and photo will be archived.  We were uncertain of the identity of this digging Hymenopteran, so we sought assistance from Eric Eaton who was kind enough to respond:  “
Hi, Daniel:  The insect is a “sand-loving wasp” in the genus Tachytes.  Hard to say more without examining the specimen under a microscope.  EricBugGuide does not have much information on the genus,  however, BugGuide does provide this tidbit of information on the info page of the subfamily to which it belongs, Crabroninae, the Square Headed Wasps:  “Some nest in hollow stems or in abandoned galleries in wood, others burrow in the ground. The principal prey is flies, but some utilize various other types of insects.” We can deduce that the proximity of the underground nests to the garbage cans means that your species feeds upon flies.  Your Sand Loving Wasp would be considered a beneficial insect by most people since it helps to control pestiferous flies that are attracted to garbage and can spread diseases including:  Typhoid fever, Cholera, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Shigellosis, Polio, Diarrhea, Anthrax, Eye inflammation, Tuberculosis, Yaws, Dysentery, Trachoma, Conjunctivitis and even Leprosy.  Were we you, we would welcome Sand Loving Wasps in the vicinity of our garbage cans.  Perhaps our response will cause you to allow any future nests to develop unmolested.  As a postscript, Sand Loving Wasps are not known to sting humans.  They are solitary wasps and solitary wasps do not have the aggressive nest protecting behavior exhibited by social wasps like Yellowjackets and Red Wasps.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination