Ichneumon wasps are veryÂ largeÂ and are beneficial insects. They are long (4-5cm) black or other assorted colours, with very long antennae.Â
Adult Ichneumon Wasp-T. C. Nature
Description & DietÂ
They have a thin waist and can be found in many different parts of the world. There are several different species, however they all have the long tail so you cannot make a mistake identifying. They lay their eggs on wood host larvae and other soft bodied pests. To do this she must use her long ‘tail’ called an ovipositor to bore down into the wood…..up to 5 cm. The young eat the larvae and eventually kill it before it can reach adulthood. This wasp is scary looking but they don’t sting unless they feal threatened. This is a solitary insect unlike the social wasps that build nests en masse. Expect to see them alone.
Wood wasps, horntail wasps (sawflies), bollworms, armyworms, wood borers, beetle larvae and moth larvae. Each species of wasp has a particular host that they use. Your local Green Guru will know which one you will need.
Where To Find/Acquire Them
If you don’t have any in your neighbourhood then you can get them from any nursery, greenhouse or mail order place selling beneficial insects. Whatever you do…don’t kill them, and be sure if you buy them that they are native to your area.