Subject: Flying insect
Location: Franklin, Wv
February 15, 2017 10:26 am
We live in a frame house with redwood siding. It is located in Franklin WV, in the mountains. The inset in the attached photo has shown up during the last two spring seasons. We typically see them between the screen and window in several rooms. It would seem that they must be coming out of the walls somehow, Once there was a swarm of perhaps 100 on the outside of the house under a kitchen window and just above the deck. While is is winter here with many sub-freezing days some of these insect appeared afrer a warm spell when it was 60-65F for a few days.
Signature: Pete Tuckerman


Dear Pete,
These are members of the order Hymenoptera, the insect group that contains Ants, Bees and Wasps, and our initial impression is that they are most likely Parasitoid Wasps that prey on other insects, possibly an Ichneumon or Brachonid, but we would not rule out that they might be grouped with the Symphyta that includes Sawflies, Horntails and Wood Wasps.  We will continue to research this, and we will contact Eric Eaton for his valuable input.

Eric Eaton provides Family identification.
Those are definitely ichneumon wasps.  May have nothing to do with any host living in the redwood siding.  Many species of ichneumons overwinter as adults, often in large numbers, so this is not an unusual phenomenon.  I suspect the wasps are hibernating in the walls, or nooks and crannies in the siding.  They don’t sting, so no worries there, either.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

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Location: Franklin, West Virginia

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