Currently viewing the category: "Ensign Wasps"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Wasp, fly, cricket combo
Location: Houston ,TX
February 18, 2011 3:35 pm
Every spring and summer these little buggers end up in our bathrooms. This has happened in every house we have lived in and I cannot figure out what they are or how they get in. They sting and usually only come in one at a time, but we get a new one every few days for months on end.
Signature: Kelly Peyton

Ensign Wasp

I just found out what it is after searching “Houston” on your site…It’s an ensign wasp and I guess although they look like they sting they don’t? They sure have a BIG stinger!

Hi Kelly,
We are happy to hear you identified your Ensign Wasp using our archives.  We are surprised that you are reporting that they sting.  We believe the stinger is actually an ovipositor but in some insects, the ovipositor also serves as a stinger.  We hope you still consider the Ensign Wasp to be beneficial since the female parasitizes the ootheca or egg case of Cockroaches.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this bug??
Location: Sydney, Australia
February 20, 2011 1:21 am
Hi bugman,
We had two of these bug’s in the house today. We live in Sydney, Australia, it’s Summer and it’s a humid day around 30 degrees. What is it?
Signature: Sophie

Ensign Wasp

Hi Sophie,
This is a beneficial Ensign Wasp.  The female parasitizes the ootheca or egg case of cockroaches helping to keep the cockroach population in check.

Hi,
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly and thank you for the answer. That makes sense – we have a huge cockroach population inside our house at the moment, it’s out of control.
Regards,
Sophie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Just moved to Florida from Oregon
Location:  North Palm Beach, Fla.
October 2, 2010 4:53 pm
What the HECK is this? The first time I saw this bug was in the bathroom of my new place. It was fast, moved very strangely and quickly, but didn’t appear to have wings.
I saw another today on my living room wall, captured it and froze it to snap a pic. I’ve searched your site and all over online with no luck IDing it.
Very long back legs, it’s last body segment it rapidly bobs up and down constantly. Tiny wings are almost invisible. It seems to be a cross between an ant and a wasp. My home is next to a pond and there are mangroves all around, and I’m very near the intracoastal waterway.
Any ideas? Does it sting?
Signature:  THANK YOU! — Scott

Ensign Wasp

Dear Scott,
The Ensign Wasp does not sting, however it will help to control the Cockroach population since it parasitizes the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Axe shaped rear end
Location:  Fort Worth, TX
September 30, 2010 6:59 pm
I have seen quite a few of these in and outside the house. Have no idea what it may be but the rear end tends to swing/chop up and down when it is landed, just like an axe swing. The wings are fly-like, clear and are the length of the body. The head and antennae look like an ant. The six legs are similiar to a cricket or such. Long thicker back legs with the other four like a fly or such.
Body aprox 3/8 inch; 3/4 inch overall length from head to extended legs.
Signature:  Thanks, David

Ensign Wasp

Hi David,
The Ensign Wasp gets its common name because of its habit of bobbing its abdomen up and down while hunting.  They are also known as Hatchet Wasps or Flag Wasps according to the Australian Museum website.  Ensign Wasps are a beneficial species and their presence should be encouraged because they parasitize the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches.

Daniel,
Thank you!  I have looked and looked until my eyes are bleary to try and match the bug to something on the web, but to no avail.
I thank you again!
David Bryan

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Swirly butt bug
Location:  Saint Petersburg, FL
July 30, 2010 1:47 am
We’ve been trying for years to figure out what kind of bug this is. We call them swirly butt bugs because many of the ones we see look to have something protruding from their rear side that seems to move in a circular motion. I can’t tell from this picture if this one had it or not. We have to get them out of the house all the time, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen one outside. Again, I can’t tell if it’s obvious from the picture, but he does fly. I don’t think they much care what season it is. Please tell me what kind of bug this is.
Brittany in Florida

Ensign Wasp

Hi Brittany,
We just posted another identification request for the Ensign Wasp that has a much clearer photo than the one you submitted, but what we really like about your request is the colorful way you described the behavior of the Ensign Wasp.  It waves its abdomen about like a flag.  Ensign Wasps parasitize the ootheca or egg cases of cockroaches, and the increased number of reports we are receiving of Ensign Wasps spells bad news for cockroaches.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Ant Looking Fly
Location:  Houston, TX
July 30, 2010 3:13 pm
I caught this fly in my house. I’ve noticed a couple within the last week. Can you identify the fly? The ’odd’ behavior is the antenna’s and abdomen are constantly moving
Location: Houston, TX; Season: summer
Curious George

Ensign Wasp

Dear Curious George,
This Ensign Wasp gets its name from the way it carries its abdomen aloft and waves it about.  Ensign Wasps are parasitic on the ootheca or egg cases of Cockroaches.  We have been getting regular requests to identify Ensign Wasps so it appears their numbers are increasing, which is bad news for cockroaches.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination