Beneficial Ensign Wasp Hammered to Death in Florida

Location: Tampa, Florida
September 10, 2016 8:05 pm
Ok, so I am a little freaked out because I keep seeing these bugs suddenly and I have never seen them before. I have lived in Florida all of my life and suddenly in the last month or so, this bug keeps showing up. It doesn’t look so scary in the photo, but I will tell you that these bugs do not kill easily. And what I mean by that, is that I have to use a hammer smashing this bug into the tile floor to kill it. No amount of crushing it will kill it unless I use something like a hammer. That is freaking nuts! So yeah, they look kind of like a mosquito, but this thing is hard as a rock. The photo I am submitting makes this thing look like nothing has really happened to it and this was after using a hammer on it. Please help! I would really like to know what these things are and if I can take any measures to get them out of my house and out of my life!
Signature: Thank you!!!!

Ensign Wasp Carnage
Ensign Wasp Carnage

This is an Ensign Wasp, and we are going to unashamedly tag this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  Ensign Wasps parasitize the oothecae or egg cases of Cockroaches, so we have to include them in the beneficial insects camp.  Large populations of Ensign Wasps in your home means that you must have Cockroaches to support the population.  If you prefer Cockroaches in your house to Ensign Wasps, then by all means, hammer away.

Thank you so much for getting back to me!
So I don’t need to worry about these bugs bitting me or anything?

Though we have always maintained that Ensign Wasps do not sting humans, we believe there is a comment somewhere on our site claiming that a sting occurred.  Suffice to say that they are NOT an aggressive species, though handling one might result in a sting.  They do NOT bite.  According to Owlcation:  “The Ensign Wasp (Evonia appendigaster) looks a bit like a black spider with wings. Many people, upon seeing one, might assume that it will sting, but in fact it is totally harmless.  The Ensign Wasp is actually a beneficial insect because it is a parasite of cockroaches and hunts for their egg-cases, which are known as oothecae. The female wasps lay their eggs in them and the wasp larvae eat the cockroach eggs.”  The Galveston County Master Gardeners website has a nice page devoted to beneficial species and stinging is NOT mentioned.

I can’t tell you how much this means to me to get this info.. It is my goal to live in harmony with the earth and its population, even those bugs that freak me out. I really wanted to call an exterminator, but I am thinking it is best to just leave things be. Is there a way for me to donate to you via paypal? Thank you again!

That is very kind of you Andrea.  There is a Paypal link on our site.

10 thoughts on “Beneficial Ensign Wasp Hammered to Death in Florida”

  1. I saw the other site that you are reffering to, the one with the comment of how that person got stung. But you aren’t acknowledging the other comments about being stung multiple times. I’ve been stung 3 times by this insect and it is Very painful. I placed i EXTREMELY hot wet towel on the stings for a long period of time and it went away after a few days.

  2. My husband was just stung by one of these but I am so glad to know what they are now. Thank you for the identification help!

  3. I caught and released 2 in my apartment. The first one flew by my arm and later I stepped on (but didn’t shmoosh) with my foot. Neither stung me, but they definitely look like flying spiders which is enough for me to get them out fast.

  4. I also live in Florida and these things suddenly started showing up I think three years ago. They are not harmless, one laid eggs in the soft flesh just inside my lower eyelid and I woke up as it was flying away. I was not sure what was going on with my eye [a large bump inside] so I put a qtip dipped in iodine against the bump and about 6 eggs [in the form of a circle]came out of the flesh. While I wholeheartedly approve of parasitical activity on cockroaches, unless they leave when prompted, I will continue to smash them until they are dead if they are uncooperative!


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