Ichneumon Wasp

Don’t judge these bugs by their covers: The large ovipositors (specialized organs for depositing eggs) look like stingers, but they’re harmless to people. In fact, ichneumon wasps are just the kind of bugs you want to keep around.

Patrol Route

Numerous species of ichneumon wasps are found throughout North America.

Ichneumon Wasp

Good Deed

Ichneumon wasps lay their eggs inside other host insects, including caterpillars and sawfly and beetle larvae. The wasp larvae develop as parasites and kill the host. Adult females also kill hosts by stinging them and feeding on their body fluids.


Adults are slender, thin-waisted, usually dark-colored wasps, 1?1 0 to 11?2 inches long, with long antennae. Some species have threadlike ovipositors (specialized organs for depositing eggs but sometimes mistaken for stingers) up to 3 inches long. Larvae are white, tapering grubs.

Getting Them on Your Side `

Plant pollen and nectar flowers in gardens. ` Allow flowering weeds such as wild carrot and yarrow to remain in waste areas and hedgerows. ` Grow flowering cover crops in orchards to attract females.