Parasitic Wasps

The early stages of this common wasp feed on the young of other insects.

Font
  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends

x

All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.

Refresh

Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail

Success!

A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Beneficial Ichneumon Parasitoid Wasp One of hundreds of varieties of parastic wasps, the ichneumon parasitoid wasp is about 1-1/2 inches long.

Parasitic wasps can be either friend or foe. The long black "stinger" on the back end of its body is an ovipositer — a device that allows it to lay eggs in the soft larval body of a variety of insects, including beetles, grubs, flies and pest caterpillars. Its young hatch inside the host's body and eat their way out. The catch is that sometimes it preys on beneficial insects and spiders, such as butterflies and other wasps. Some species lay their eggs in wood.

There are thousands of species in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, and they're found throughout the U.S. Parasitic wasps typically look like skinny wasps with very long antennae. You can usually find them hunting in the garden for prey by day or flying around porch lights in the evening. The adults of most types can sting.

We Recommend...

Beneficial Insect: Braconid Wasps

Beneficial Insect: Braconid Wasps

Inside each of the little white cocoons on this targeted hornworm is a future garden-pest eating machine.

Welcome the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle to Your Garden

Welcome the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle to Your Garden

This member of the ground-beetle family is considered a beneficial insect in the garden.

Keeping Garden Pests at Bay

Keeping Garden Pests at Bay

The biodiversity in your yard and garden will contribute to the pleasure you gain from growing herbs, but some wildlife will be...

(9 photos)
Advertisement

HGTV Outdoors Newsletter

Find out how to make the most of patios, decks and all your outdoor areas, plus tips from master gardeners for beautiful flower beds and bountiful vegetable gardens.