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

Subject: Please help me identify this bug.
Location: South Florida
April 12, 2014 7:44 pm
I live in South Florida and I keep noticing these bugs inside of our apartment. It just started happening around February. They have wings although I’ve never seen them fly. We get sprayed by the exterminator in our apartment so I think I’m seeing them after they have been poisoned. They also have long back legs. Please help! I have an infant and a two year old this worries me. Thanks !
Signature: Concerned Mom

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear Concerned Mom,
You should be concerned, but not because of this insect.  This is a beneficial Ensign Wasp, a species that lays eggs on the oothecae or egg cases of Cockroaches.  Developing Ensign Wasp larvae eat Cockroach Eggs and unhatched nymphs, helping to control the Cockroach population naturally, without the use of pesticides.  These dead Ensign Wasps are either the result of collateral damage due to spraying for Cockroaches, or they are the result of bug phobia.  Some folks believe any bug in the home is a problem, resulting in unnecessary spraying of potentially, environmentally toxic chemicals.  We believe that the use of pesticides in the home is much more harmful to infants and toddlers than an encounter with a beneficial Ensign Wasp which is not capable of stinging nor biting a human.

Thanks so much for your reply. When we first moved into our apartment we found out it was infested with cockroaches. They tried several different sprays and treatments finally the apartments pest control sprayed a bed bug spray that was extremely strong smelling all through the house. I don’t see cockroaches anymore except dead on occasion, but I see these often. Does it mean I still have a cockroach problem too? Is this something I should consider breaking my lease for because of my children? Thanks again for your reply.

Hi again Concerned Mom,
We do not want to provide any advice regarding relocation, but we can provide you with additional information that might help you make up your own mind.  There are several studies that link Cockroach infestations to asthma in humans.  According to the American Lung Association website:  “Cockroaches, those unpleasant and unsightly pests, are not just a problem to look at. They also produce substances, or allergens, that aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to those substances. The allergens produced by cockroaches are likely concentrated in their fecal matter and in fragments of their body parts. These tiny particles can become airborne and contaminate the air in your home.”  The site has much more information on the relationship between Cockroaches and asthma.  The pesticides versus the cockroach infestation seems like a choice between the lesser of two evils, and there are probably differing opinions on which is worse.  The Ensign Wasp continuing to manifest its appearance in your apartment is a good indication that the Cockroaches are still present, albeit unseen.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange fly – Accra Ghana
Location: Accra Ghana
February 25, 2014 9:53 am
Hi,
Live in Ghana, west Africa, these bugs keep appearing in my bedroom, never seen them before anywhere else. I’ve lived in the US before and never saw them there either. My biggest concern is if it is harmful, like carry some disease. Please help! Thanks
Signature: ND

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear ND,
This is a Wasp, not a Fly, and it does not carry disease.  We are surmising that once we tell you that this is a beneficial Ensign Wasp that parasitizes the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches, helping to reduce their populations, that no additional individuals will fall victim to Unnecessary Carnage.

Dear Daniel,
I really appreciate the information and advice, especially knowing how much you have to work on each day.
I also want to assure you that these wasps will no longer suffer at my hands.
Best Regards
Nukunu

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: My new roommates!
Location: St. Thomas, USVI
January 30, 2014 6:53 pm
Hi bugman,
As I’ve been traveling around the US for the past year, I’ve been able to identify quite a lot of my “new roommates” through your great web resource here. (Thanks!) It’s been a fun and comforting challenge to observe, document, and identify each diverse creature that I’ve come across. Currently, I’m in the Virgin Islands (so, although it is winter season, the temperatures still range from about 74-84 degrees right now). This little guy appears to be a thread-waisted wasp to me, but just wanted to seek your expert opinion.
I’m new to the area, but I’ve seen a few of them in my apartment over the past couple days, and I definitely didn’t think it was a wasp at first just because they are a much smaller size than I usually associate with wasps. I also have quite a funny group of case-bearing cloth larva living here as well, and I see the signs of termites here, but have yet to spot any individual termites. So, there are lots of friends! :)
Signature: Rachel

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Hi Rachel,
This Ensign Wasp really is your friend.  The female Ensign Wasp lays her eggs on the ootheca or egg case of a Cockroach, and the larval wasp eats the eggs and developing nymphs of the Cockroach, helping to control the Cockroach populations in homes.  The abdomen of the Ensign Wasp bobs up and down as it moves about, much like the action of signalling with a flag, hence the common name.

Daniel, thank you! Very nice news to hear about the ensign wasp helping to control the cockroach population. I appreciate your help in identifying it! :) Have a great February!
Rachel

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: black long legs big head beetle?
Location: Miami Florida
November 14, 2013 9:26 pm
Dear whats that bug,
I just found this visitor in our bathroom in the morning in November in Miami Florida.
Is not as beautiful as other bugs that i see in this website but I am just move by curiosity.
I could not found any picture online exactly as this guy . I think is a beetle
I took the pic with my cell phone and the animal was very high in the wall so i couldn’t get closer.
Thank you in advance
Signature: vlad

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear Vlad,
This is an Ensign Wasp, and you should probably welcome it into your home.  The female Ensign Wasp parasitizes the ootheca or egg case of a Cockroach, and the developing Ensign Wasp larva feeds upon the eggs and developing Cockroaches, helping to control the population of an insect that very few people, even the most tolerant, will relish having in their homes.

Dear Daniel Marlos,
Thank you for your fast reply. I need to work in my id skills! Good that I leave it alone as I normally do with insects (with the exception of cockroaches).
Vlad

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Grasshopper Like Fly
Location: Brewton, Alabama
October 14, 2013 12:28 pm
I’ve never seen this type of bug before it’s like a cross between a grasshopper, a fly, and a wasp all at the same time. Can you please tell me what this is?
Signature: Erica C.

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear Erica,
We guessed correctly from your subject line that you were inquiring about an Ensign Wasp.  Ensign Wasps are parasitic and they prey upon the ootheca of Cockroaches, which means they are a natural means of controlling the household pests.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this?
Location: North of Iran (Khazar sea)
July 27, 2013 12:43 am
It’s tail actually moving and it’s prickle is too painful. Please look at it’s photos.
Signature: ?

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Your Ensign Wasp is a beneficial creature that parasitizes the ootheca or egg case of Cockroaches, helping to control the populations of that household marauder.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination