Parasitic Wasps

The early stages of this common wasp feed on the young of other insects.
Beneficial Ichneumon Parasitoid Wasp

Beneficial Ichneumon Parasitoid Wasp

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

One of hundreds of varieties of parastic wasps, the ichneumon parasitoid wasp is about 1-1/2 inches long.
Related To:

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.

Next Up

Beneficial Insect: Braconid Wasps

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

How to Garden in Just 15 Minutes a Day

No time to garden? Learn 10 easy tricks to multiply minutes in the garden.

Decipher Plant Descriptions

Confused on what those gardening catalog words mean? Learn how to decipher plant descriptions.

9 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Garden Naked

Before you celebrate World Naked Gardening Day, consider the consequences. 

All About Sunflowers

Take a new look at sunflowers, including some exciting and unexpected varieties.

In the Zone: Understand Climate and Hardiness

Knowing the local climate is the first step in understanding hardiness and hardiness zones.

Community Gardens: What are the Rules of the Rows?

Community gardens can be great ways to grow food and improve your community. But certain behavior is expected. Learn more about community garden etiquette.

Walnut Caterpillar

In some southern states, this hairy critter is a hazard to pecan, walnut and hickory trees.

Golden Silk Spider

The golden silk spider (also called banana spider, golden orb weaver) is so named not for the color of its body but for the color of its web.

Firefly (Lightning Bug)

Their flashing lights can turn a summer evening into a time of magic. Here's the insect that's responsible.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

What's New in Outdoors

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.