Currently viewing the tag: "unnecessary carnage"
Insects are prone to unnecessary slaughter, be it from an overzealous homemaker who doesn't want to see bugs, or from a strapping he-man who is a closet arachnophobe, or from a youngster who likes to torture. At any rate, we get a goodly amount of photos of poor arthropods whose lives ended prematurely. In an effort to educate, we present Unnecessary Carnage. This page is not intended for the squeemish.

Subject: Furry large fly?
Location: Washington state
May 18, 2017 6:34 pm
This bug circles people really fast, especially hiking in Seattle area, spring through summer. No interest in dog or horse. Hasn’t tried to bite me just circles like crazy. Really loud buzzing, size of a nickel. Sometimes the body is yellow instead of orange. Super fuzzy body. What attracts it, seems like scented deodorants? Hair shampoo? I just want it to let me be.
Signature: Make it stop!

Bumble Bee Carnage

Dear Make it stop!,
We cannot, but you obviously did.  This appears to be a beneficial native Bumble Bee, perhaps the Hunt’s Bumble Bee that is pictured on BugGuide, and it appears to be very dead.  By your own admission, it does not bother dogs nor horses, and it seems the worst thing you can accuse it of is of buzzing really loud and flying in circles.  We have no choice but to tag this as Unnecessary Carnage and we would strongly urge you to refrain from hiking if you can’t deal with the wildlife.

Facebook Comment from Cindy
This might very well be a troll. Even if it isn’t, yes that’s a horrible thing to do. Poor Bee. 🙁

Facebook Comment from Heather
What kind of a**hole kills a bumblebee?

Subject: Fearsome bug in Cambodia
Location: Sihanoukville, Cambodia
April 30, 2017 9:06 pm
I have seen this bug in my bathroom (both times it was I the bathroom)) acouple of times in my home in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The time of year is March and April. As it looks fearsome, I would like to know anything I can about it.
Signature: Al


Dear Al,
Despite its fearsome appearance, this Whipscorpion is harmless since it has no venom, however its mandibles might have been capable of biting prior to its untimely demise, which is why we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.  Whipscorpions are shy, nocturnal hunters that will help keep your bathroom and other rooms free of Cockroaches, Spider and Scorpions, and other unwanted visitors, which is why they are frequently tolerated in tropical countries.

Subject: Is this an ichneumon wasp?
Location: Austin, TX
April 30, 2017 8:49 am
What is this bug? Finding them inside the house this spring trying to get out…hanging around the windows…do they sting/bite? Any house structure damage concerns?
Signature: Stephen

Grass Carrying Wasp

Dear Stephen,
Based on BugGuide images, we are pretty confident that this is a Grass Carrying Wasp,
Isodontia mexicana.  According to BugGuide:  “Taken from the Internet Reference below (Penn State): The adult wasps emerge from their cocoons in early summer, mate, and the females locate a suitable nest site. She collects blades of grass and grass and hay stems to line the nest cavity. The wasp can be seen flying through the air with the blades trailing beneath her. She lands at the hole and enters, pulling the blade in behind her. After the nest is prepared, she hunts for tree crickets (i.e., Oecanthus sp.), captures and paralyses them with her sting, and transports them to the nest. She deposits eggs in the nest and the emerging larvae will feed on the living, but immobile crickets. When the larvae reach the appropriate size (in 4–6 days at 70–75° F.), they spin a cocoon and pupate. The adult wasps emerge in 2–3 weeks. In Pennsylvania, Isodontia mexicana typically produce two generations per year.  Remarks These wasps commonly make their nest in the narrow track found above outer windows.”  We have many more images in our archives of the nests of Grass Carrying Wasps because they are so frequently found in window tracks.  Solitary wasps are generally not aggressive, and rarely sting humans, though that possibility does exist.  Since they are harmless, and since it appears one individual in the images you attached might be dead from unnatural causes, we are tagging this submission as Unnecessary Carnage.  Because Grass Carrying Wasps are emerging from nests formed in window tracks now that spring has arrived, and because we suspect other homemakers might be experiencing similar sightings, we are tagging this posting as the Bug of the Month for May 2017.

Grass Carrying Wasp

Update:  Grass Carrying Wasps reported from France
Subject: Grass carrying wasp
July 25, 2017 5:29 am
Looking at your excellent site, I think you may have resolved two mysteries for me.
We have noticed recently a number of ‘grass carrying wasps’ around our dining table on the terrace. They have been disappearing into the metal frame taking their blades of grass with them. However, without taking the table apart we have been unable to tack where they are going.
I assumed them to be carrying the grass for nesting material and your site confirms this.
What you may have also answered is the reason why over the past couple of weeks, we have been finding a number small, bright green crickets on the chairs and the terrace around the table. Anything from 1 to about a dozen or so at any one time.
We assumed them to be dead but your item on the  g.c.w. suggest that may not in fact be the case.
If I may ask a question – we live in the south-west of France which is a long way from you folks. Can you confirm if these wasps are the same i.mexicana as you have or another entirely different insect altogether.
Many thanks for creating and maintaining the website. I use it often.
Have a nice day y’all.
PS – If I can get a decent photograph I will send it to you.
Signature: Robin Nichols

Dear Robin,
We sometimes have a hard time with French sightings as there are not many comprehensive insect websites devoted to French species, however, folks in the UK seem to really like their bugs.  According to the Bee Keepers Garden:  ” A new to Britain wasp,
Isodontia mexicana (de Saussure), known as the Grass-carrying wasp, has been discovered at Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park. …  Researcher David Notton of the Natural History Museum said the wasp is pretty docile and a solitary species, so does not form large nests. ‘It’s quite unlike the better known and aggressive yellow/black social wasps with which people may be familiar.  We don’t know how it got to the UK, and although it’s a non-native invasive species there’s no evidence to suggest it’s a threat to UK fauna.'”  Since the Grass Carrying Wasp has been reported in the UK, it might have also been introduced to France.  According to Encyclopedia of Life:  “Isodontia mexicana, the grass-carrying wasp, is one of the thread-waisted wasps belonging to the family Sphecidae. It is native to North America, found east of the Rockies and through Central America, but has recently been introduced into France, where its population is slowly spreading through Europe.” 

Good morning Daniel,
Many thanks for your reply regarding the grass carrying wasp. I have since looked on the internet for information regarding the existence of the insect in France.
According to a (French) Wikipedia entry the wasp arrived in southern France sometime during the 1960’s, since which time it has spread throughout the Midi region (effectively the southern half of France) and is now present in Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
Helped, it is believed, by the long, countrywide heatwave in 2003, it managed to traverse the Massif Central into more northerly parts of France and is gradually spreading further north – presumably as global temperatures rise. I
As you say, it has now also been found in the UK.
Kind regards

Subject: Milkweed bug?
Location: Roma, Queensland
February 7, 2017 6:45 am
Hi, im working in australia at the moment and this guy got into my boilersuit and bit my leg! The closest thing i could find on google was a large milkweed bug but it doesnt look exactly like the pictures, and google says they dont bite? Unfortunately my colleague stepped on him before i could take a picture of him and take him outside. I also seen a spider that one of the locals told me is a red back spider, but again it doesnt look like the pictures on google. Just curious as we dont have any of these guys back home and wouldnt want to tell people its the wrong bug!
Signature: Jon

Assassin Bug

Dear Jon,
We feel confident that this is a male Ground Assassin Bug in the genus
Ectomocoris, but the Brisbane Insect site only has images of wingless females and we only have images of wingless females in our archive.  We located a thumbnail of a male Ground Assassin Bug on the Atlas of Living Australia, but we cannot find the page with the full sized image.  We also located these images of mounted specimens on the Swedish Museum of Natural History.  The Spider is NOT a Redback

Subject: What kind of bug is this
Location: North Carolina
January 21, 2017 9:41 pm
Found this bug in my bedroom in North Carolina
Signature: Reggie

House Centipede Carnage

Dear Reggie,
This is a beneficial House Centipede, and though they are considered harmless, they can be quite frightening looking to folks that are predisposed to fear insects and other lower beasts.  We probably get more House Centipede carnage images submitted to our site than any other creature, though if Cicada Killers were found year round, they might take the lead in that unenviable position.

Subject: Unidentifiable beetle
Location: Rotonda, FL. 33947
January 28, 2017 10:03 am
Found this in my screened front entryway. Killed it with bug spray as we’re new to FL and unsure what bugs are good and what are not. Cannot find anything similar in searches. No identifying features except large carapace and brush-like front legs. Thank you for any information.
Signature: Deb Svirtunas

Mole Cricket Carnage

Dear Deb,
This is a harmless, subterranean Mole Cricket.  We hope the next individual you encounter lives.

Thank you very much, Daniel, for your prompt and informative response! We will ensure that any future encounters will be harmless removal outside where he/she may continue their job as God intended.  Have a great afternoon and Go Patriots!!  Deb