Currently viewing the category: "Ensign Wasps"

Subject:  A bug with a red round thing
Geographic location of the bug:  Nazareth, Israel
Date: 11/15/2017
Time: 10:18 AM EDT
Sorry for the not so great picture, I took it around the house with my phone and the bug was too quick and tiny. I would love to know what’s the name of this insect (if it’s clear enough!) and was wondering what is that red round thing attached to it?
I don’t know much about insects so I tried googling a variety of words to do with this that could lead me to similar pictures and maybe more info but no luck.
Thanks in advance for your help!
How you want your letter signed:  Shico

Possibly Ensign Wasp

Dear Shico,
There are enough physical similarities for us to comfortably state that this reminds us of a parasitoid Ensign Wasp in the family Evaniidae,
like the one pictured on BugGuide.  Ensign Wasps prey upon the eggs of Cockroaches.  We have never seen images of an Ensign Wasp with a red abdomen, and the antennae and hind legs also look different than those of a typical Ensign Wasp.  This might be some other closely related parasitoid Wasp.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you very much for the information. Sounds like a useful bug to keep around the house! I’m just surprised I never seen it before, or just probably missed it since it’s tiny.
Thank you again for your help, glad I found the “Whatsthatbug” website.
Have a great day,
Charbel (Aka Shico)

Subject:  Bug identification
Geographic location of the bug:  lebanon
Date: 10/18/2017
Time: 10:05 AM EDT
I just need to know the bug so I can tell my pest control company
How you want your letter signed:  I don’t

Ensign Wasp

This is an Ensign Wasp, a species that parasitizes the ootheca or egg sac of Cockroaches, helping to control their populations.

Subject: New Bug
Location: South Florida, USA
July 22, 2017 1:53 pm
I live in Miami Florida and have lived in my current house for six years. In the last two months I have started to see this type of bug dead around my house. Probably about ten of them in various places dead on the floor. Yesterday I saw what I thought was a dead one and when I went to push it aside to pick up later it started running around very quickly, not flying. Upon closer look it has wings which I was very surprised about. I haven’t seen it fly, just dead ones and this one running. It is summer here and I do not have pets. What is it please, thank you!
Signature: Marc

Ensign Wasp

Dear Marc,
This is a beneficial Ensign Wasp.  They are parasitoids that lay eggs on the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches, helping to control Cockroach populations.  If you are finding them dead, we suspect some pesticide is being used in your home to control unwanted insect populations.

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.

Subject: What kind of bug is this?
Location: Coral Springs, Florida
December 28, 2015 11:44 am
I have found several of these, of various size, inside my house. You may not be able to see in this picture, but they do have wings. The sightings are sporadic with maybe a few weeks in between. We live in South Florida.
Signature: Michele Myers

Ensign Wasp

Ensign Wasp

Dear Michele,
If you are finding similar creatures in different sizes, you may be dealing with more than one species, but the insect in the attached image is a beneficial Ensign Wasp.  Ensign Wasps parasitize the oothecae or egg cases of Cockroaches, helping to control populations of what many folks consider to be household pests.

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.