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: Shiny beetle found in my garden
Location: Galveston county, Texas
July 10, 2016 2:34 pm
I was watering my garden and this bug came out of the mud/dirt. It reminds me of a Japanese beetle and a grasshopper mixed together. I’ve seen two of the same kind of bug very close to my tomatoes and in no other part of my garden. Both times it was about mid-day (summer time) near Galveston, Tx. I just want to know what it is and if it’s bad.
Signature: All my thanks, Morgan

Pan American Big Headed Tiger Beetle Carnage

Pan American Big Headed Tiger Beetle Carnage

Dear Morgan,
Not only is it beautiful, this Tiger Beetle is a beneficial predator that will help control the number of insects in your garden naturally.  We believe we have correctly identified this beauty as a Pan American Big Headed Tiger Beetle or Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle,
Tetracha carolina, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Sandbanks of rivers, pastures, open, disturbed areas. Often found near water. Nocturnal, found under boards, rocks, trash, etc. during day.”  We hope you will tolerate this gorgeous predator in the future, but for now we have to tag your submission as Unnecessary Carnage.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Wasp ID
Location: Southeastern Washington State
July 9, 2016 12:32 pm
First time these 2″ monsters in South Eastern Washington State. Attracted to all bushes and trees, with or without fruit or flowers. attracted to water also
Signature: Tracey- Washington State

Western Cicada Killer Carnage

Western Cicada Killer Carnage

Dear Tracey,
No insect winds up on our Unnecessary Carnage page more than the Eastern Cicada Killer, because these solitary wasps are large and frightening looking, however they are not aggressive, and though a female is capable of stinging, they do not seem at all interested in stinging people.  You have submitted an image of the Eastern Cicada Killer’s western cousin, the Western Cicada Killer, and we don’t generally get Unnecessary Carnage images of the Western Cicada Killer because we just get far fewer images of them.  Like the eastern cousin, the Western Cicada Killer is a solitary wasp and it is not aggressive.  It was likely searching your trees and bushes for Cicadas because female Cicada Killers sting and paralyze Cicadas, and then drag them back to the nest they have constructed underground.  The female lays an egg on the paralyzed Cicada which then acts as food for the developing larva.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: But found in Ohio
Location: Northwest Ohio
July 4, 2016 7:26 pm
Not sure what this bug is and any info about it.
Signature: GMyers

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle Carnage

Reddish Brown Stag Beetle Carnage

Dear GMyers,
This is a male Reddish Brown Stag Beetle and it appears to be dead prematurely at the hands of a human, something we here at What’s That Bug? consider to be Unnecessary Carnage.  Stag Beetles pose no threat to humans and we encourage our readership to respect and tolerate the Lower Beasts.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this a cicada killer?
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
July 2, 2016 1:02 pm
Started off with one in the wall by my driveway and now there are dozens flying around. It is a duck wall with dirt. They dig into the wall and hang out around the wall during the day”fighting” eachother. What are they? Yellow jackets, hornets, some other singing bug?
Thanks, want to get rid of them if they attack since have small kids who miss riding their bikes in the driveway.
Signature: Jenngi

Cicada Killer Carnage

Cicada Killer Carnage

Dear Jenngi,
Though male Cicada Killer wasps are quite territorial, they are incapable of stinging. They are very specific about preying upon Cicadas. Female Cicada Killer wasps are not aggressive, and we have yet to receive a report from someone being stung by a Cicada Killer.  In our opinion, they do not pose a threat to your children.  This is our first reported Cicada Killer sighting of the year and we are saddened that it is a dead individual.  We would urge you to educate your children about the natural world around them so that they can appreciate and respect the lower beasts.

Thank you for your quick reply. Now we can watch these awesome creatures, have about 15 now, without the fear of multiple settings. It is a relief to hear that these are not aggressive stinging wasps or hornets and will not be creating a nest of thousands so close to our entry into the house and where we play. The kids love and respect all creatures big and small. We strive to live in peace with creatures. Thank you again for the reply.

Thanks for getting back to us Jenngi.  As further clarification, only social wasps like hornets, yellow jackets and paper wasps will defend a nest by stinging.  Solitary wasps like Cicada Killers do not defend the nest.  Though they sometimes nest in colonies where soil conditions and hunting prospects are ideal, Cicada Killers are solitary wasps.  Again, male Cicada Killers will defend territory, especially against other male Cicada Killers, but only females have a stinger which is used to paralyze Cicadas to act as food for the developing young.  Cicada Killers appear in the summer and the larvae that are developing in the subterranean nest will not emerge until the subsequent summer.  Cicada Killers females are capable of stinging, but we believe this will only occur if they are handled.

Subject: Cicada Killer life
July 2, 2016 6:44 pm
How long are cicada killers active? First one appeared about a week ago and now there are about 15-20 in the wall right by my driveway. Are they out  all summer? Also do they kill bumblebees too?
Signature: Jenngi

Cicada Killers do NOT prey on Bumble Bees.  You should expect activity for about four to six weeks, during which time females will hunt Cicadas to provision the nest for the developing young.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kissing bug?
Location: Windsor, Ontario
June 21, 2016 4:28 pm
Hello,
I have found a few of these in my apartment. I am afraid they might be kissing bugs (triatomine bug) but I can’t be sure. I have taken the best pictures I could with the equipment at hand. I would be very thankful if you could help me identify them.
Best,
Signature: Odissei

Black Corsairs

Black Corsairs

Dear Odissei,
Though they resemble Kissing Bugs as well as being classified in the same family Reduviidae, the Assassin Bugs, as Kissing Bugs, these Black Corsairs,
Melanolestes abdominalis, are not considered a dangerous species.  According to BugGuide:  “Can inflict a painful bite but does not feed on blood and does not transmit diseases.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Females often flightless, tend to live under logs, stones, etc. Adults overwinter under logs, in piles of weeds, etc. Males seen in open in spring. During mating, males use spongy pads on legs to mount females. Female stridulates with beak during mating. Eggs laid singly into soil beneath rocks. Males come to lights in summer.”

Black Corsair

Black Corsair

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this
Location: Virginia
June 9, 2016 1:19 pm
I have killed 3 of these so far
Signature: Betty

Wheel Bug Nymph

Wheel Bug Nymph

Dear Betty,
This is a Wheel Bug nymph, a beneficial predator.  When they hatch in the spring, Wheel Bug nymphs often arouse attention as they look somewhat like spiders as they cluster around their distinctive grouping of eggs.  They soon set out as solitary hunters, taking small prey like Aphids, a scourge to any home gardener.  It actually appears that the individual in your image is feeding off a small insect, possibly an Aphid.  Mature Wheel Bugs have a distinctive “cog” along the upper surface of the thorax that makes them very distinctive looking.  Mature Wheel Bugs are able to take much larger prey, and they help eliminate many unwanted insects in the garden.  Wheel Bugs are also quite large and they are probably the largest members of the Assassin Bug family in North America.  All Assassin Bugs might bite if carelessly handled, but we almost never receive reports from folks who have been bitten by a Wheel Bug.  If it occurs, a bite may cause temporary local sensitivity and swelling, but it will have no lasting effect.  We hope we have convinced you to refrain from future Unnecessary Carnage of Wheel Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination