Ensign Wasp escapes becoming Unnecessary Carnage

August 11, 2009
This bug started to appear a few weeks ago, I found the first one on the living room and quickly squashed it. A couple of days later there was another one and killed it too. About a week later AGAIN the same bug (maybe) came back, I even started to think that it was the exactly the same bug I killed before.
Yesterday I killed this bug again and left it in the living room with a Pringles cap on top of it, the insect was moving and it was trapped.
A few minutes later I checked it again and it was gone, it disappeared as my son claims.
I found it again flying like nothing, I believe this bug can seriously take a beating.
I took this picture with a zoom lens because the ceiling is about 20 feet high.
So if you can help me identify this, I dont know if it is dangerous or not, I have killed one with my bare hands.
P.S. Please don’t make my email public.
Father of Two
McAllen, TEXAS

Ensign Wasp
Ensign Wasp

Dear Father of Two,
You do not want to kill Ensign Wasps.  They will not sting you and they are beneficial since they parasitize the eggs of cockroaches.  Allowing the Ensign Wasps to live will reduce the Cockroaches in your area.  Though the wasp in your image is alive, we want to tag your letter as Unnecessary Carnage because it nearly met with a squashing end like its predecessors.  We do not publicize email addresses, but submitting a letter to our website is done with the understanding that we post content to our site.

Photo of author


BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

4 thoughts on “Ensign Wasp escapes becoming Unnecessary Carnage”

  1. I was wondering how big these can get. There was a bug that looked exactly like this in our house but it’s about 1 1/2 inches long (body only – legs much longer) and when I was reading about these they’re smaller. Also, if that’s what we had, does that mean there are cockroaches nearby? We’ve lived here 9 years and I’ve never seen one so this has me worried. Thanks for your help.

  2. Thanks for the info. Caught similar critter in my apt, and was ready to release it outside, but seeing as my multi-unit building has the big black beasties roving about, I’m going to adopt the Ensign, and hope she does her deed on them.

    All of the mentions of this critter show it living in the Southern US. Anyone have an explanation of how it happens to be up here in Chicago?


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