Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Ichneumon Wasp

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Question
We have found several black and yellow Ichneumon wasps lately in our yard.  I am allergic to wasps.  Like, I have 20 minutes to live, allergic.  Would I also be allergic to these?

Answer
Bobbe:

I am hesitant to agree with you that they are ichneumon wasps, without seeing specimens or at least an image.  Many wasps look alike.

Most ichneumon wasps do not sting, and since they are solitary, the only way you *could* get stung is to grab one, or have one trapped in clothing.

Anyone with hypersensitivity to insect venoms should indeed be careful and take precautions, but I would not be overly concerned about solitary wasps.  Yellowjackets, paper wasps, and of course honey bees should be your concern.  Those are social insects that have large groups of vulnerable eggs, larvae, and pupae to defend.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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