Entomology (Study of Bugs)/ichneumonidae

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Question
ichneumonidae
ichneumonidae  
In a house with old wooden ceilings we keep finding many specimens of ichneumonidae wasps. The biggest among them are about one inch long plus ovipositor. Most members of my family find these bugs repellent and would like to get rid of them. (They sometime drop in our plates while we are having lunch). I read, though, that these insects feed on others and since we also have mosquitoes I was wondering if it wouldn't be wise to keep the wasps. In short I have three questions 1) Might these wasps damage the nice painted wooden ceilings? (apparently they nest or lay their eggs in there)
2) Are they any helpful in controlling mosquitoes population? Or woodlice?
3) If we should decide to get rid of them how can we do that?
Thank you
E.P.

Answer
Hi Eugenia
These wasps look very much like members of the Genus Lissonata but only a specialist in this Family can identify them from a photo. I can tll you that Ichneumons are all parasitic with maggots feeding on the larvae of other insects like beetle grubs and caterpillars Most adults do not eat so hey do not feed on mosquitoes or woodlice. They use the ovipositer to insert eggs into the host larvae
Someplace in your house there must be prey. Do you see any small holes in the wooden ceilings.
They do not cause damage to wood but lay eggs in wood where the prey is found.
I would get rid of them if they drop on food. To do so you will have to locate the source. Are tehre some dead trees outside and a place where they are getting into the house.
Get some boric acid powder and spray it where they congregate. Boric acid is death to wasps but is safe. Let me know

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Walter Hintz

Expertise

I can answer any questions about insects and spiders.

Experience

I have taught science for over 57 years. I am presently teaching biology at the college level. I have done extensive graduate work in entomology.

Publications
Momentum Magazine The Ohio Journal of Science

Education/Credentials
B.S. In Ed Kent State Unuv M.Sc The Ohio State Univ National Science Foundation Fellowships: Electron Microscopy Univ of California Entomology Kent State Univ

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