Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.
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 oothicae 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: Can you ID these and their nest
Location: Northern Texas
April 11, 2014 8:02 pm
I found some of these nymph stage bugs on my Live Oak tree last year and then this year i found several of their nests on my trees and house. The 1st picture is from this year, one up close to the eaves of my house on the bricks as they were hatching out. The 2nd picture is of them on my tree last year. I could not find anyone to ID them so sadly, I did spray them. The 3rd one is the bugs I collected off the tree after I sprayed them. (Sorry for that but I thought it would be better to err than have destructive bugs around. ) I just need to know what they are and if harmful or helpful. It looks like there are about 100 or so per nest. Hopefully the pictures are useful. If you use a viewer that can zoom in they looked good on my PC. Thanks for your help.
Signature: Dan in Texas

Wheel Bug Hatchlings

Wheel Bug Hatchlings

Dear Dan,
We hope our response this year prevents a similar carnage to that from last year.  These are beneficial, predatory Wheel Bug hatchlings, and they will help keep your trees and garden free of unwanted insect pests, eliminating the need to use pesticides.  Wheel Bugs are Assassin Bugs, and most are beneficial, and exception being the Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs.  Some other Assassin Bugs are prone to biting humans, and though the bite is painful and may cause local swelling, it is not considered dangerous, again the exception being the Blood Sucking Conenose Bugs.  We very rarely get reports of Wheel Bugs biting.  Adult Wheel Bugs are large, somewhat prehistoric looking creatures with a coglike “wheel” on the thorax. 

Wheel Bug Nymph Carnage

Wheel Bug Nymph Carnage

Daniel,
Thank you so much for the information and education.  I have seen a lot of the adult versions of these “armored wonders” around the house but never saw them in their early stages.  I must have found about 8 or 10 of these nests around, some already empty and I assure you now that I know what they are will not do them harm in the future.  I had contacted my agriculture agent about the adults I saw around and he informed me that they were beneficial insects but he could not identify the nest and nymph stages.
Thank you again for all your time and help.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird bug in Maine
Location: Northeastern USA,Maine
March 29, 2014 9:15 pm
Hi bugman. We just got our first semi nice day here in Maine and all the birds and bugs are coming out,quite beautiful. But,we had some clothes out on the clothesline and we shook them out good then we saw this bug tonight. Not sure if its from outside from the clothes or from our basement? Our neighbor just did get back from Florida,too. It has my mother freaked! lol
Signature: Jacob from Maine

Masked Hunter

Masked Hunter

Hi Jacob,
It is quite apparent from your images that this Masked Hunter met with an untimely end, perhaps at the hand of your “freaked” mother.  The Masked Hunter is a local species for you, and it is a species that has adapted to living in close proximity to humans.  Masked Hunters are predators that when they are immature, like your individual, have a sticky surface that attracts dust and debris, effectively masking them, effective camouflage in their environment.  Masked Hunters feed on Bed Bugs and other undesirable creatures in the home, so they are beneficial, though they might bite if carelessly handled.  We would urge you to be more tolerant if you encounter additional Masked Hunters in the future, and we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

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: Florida insect
Location: Orlando, FL
February 20, 2014 11:07 am
Hi, bugman. I’ve noticed these critters around my house in Orlando for a while now. I hate to kill anything unless I have to, so I left them alone. This morning, though, I noticed that there were dozens of them, and that they were hanging around the birdhouse the previous tenant had left (I’ve lived here about a year). The birdhouse is on a pole attached to the deck and is not in use right now, which I’m grateful for, since I have a cat. There’s an old nest in the birdhouse, and I think the bugs were living in it. I’m planning to take the birdhouse apart and remove the next soon, then put the birdhouse somewhere cats can’t get it. Anyway, there were so many bugs that I was horrified and sprayed them all with bug spray. I took this photo a week or so ago. Obviously, the bugs are mating. So what are they, and what do they do?
Signature: Karen in Orlando

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Mating Red Shouldered Bugs

Dear Karen,
These mating Red-Shouldered Bugs are actually quite benign, however they may become a nuisance if they are plentiful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Harbinger of Armageddon?
Location: Shenandoah Valley Virginia
October 28, 2013 6:28 pm
Hi Bugman!
This recently deceased trespasser found its way into my garage where it met a swift end. I was wondering what it was as the internet has been of no help!
He was about 1.5” long. Was very slow moving. His back was quite shiny. It is October and we live in Virginia.
Thanks
Signature: Considered burning my house down after finding this.

Lost Female Banded Argiope

Lost Female Banded Argiope

Dear Considered burning my house down after finding this,
You are overreacting. This was a mature, female Banded Argiope, a harmless orbweaver that only survives a single season. They do not stray from their webs so something must have caused her to scuttle clumsily along the ground and right into your broom.  Banded Argiopes are capable of biting a human, but they are reluctant to do so. Should a human happen to get bitten, the reaction would be similar to a bee with local swelling and sensitivity. When Armageddon arrives, it will have nothing to do with this luckless Banded Argiope, nor any of her relatives.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination