These are usually small wasps that are often black or brown in color. The antenna have 16 segments or more and the females generally have long ovipositors (egg laying organ).
Braconids are a very large group of parasitoid wasps. The difference between “parasitoid” and “parasite” is that parasitoids eventually kill their hosts. Some are generalists while others are very species specific.
Depending on your area, these can be year round!
These tiny wasps can be found everywhere but Antarctica. They are most abundant in tropical regions.
They are not only attracted by potential hosts to lay their eggs, but food for themselves. Most adults feed on nectar.
Make sure to have plenty of “bee and butterfly” friendly plants around your garden. Though honeybees and butterflies are the most recognized pollinators, these wasps also enjoy visiting flowers. Keeping pesticides to a minimum will also help increase your local braconids visitation. Some species of Braconids are available commercially depending on what pests you need to control.
Yes, braconids are wasps but they are harmless to people and do not sting!