Black bug with orange spot on each wing?

Question: I have a stinging insect that I cannot identify. It looks like a cross between a butterfly and a fly. It has a stinger on its mouth. It is black with one orange spot on each wing. Can you help me identify this insect?

 

ANSWER: From your description, my best guess is that it could be a corsair assassin bug (Rasahus hamatus). These bugs will bite and look like a large wasp-like fly. This insect will bite if provoked, and it is said that the bite is a bit more painful than that of a honey bee. This particular assassin bug also has the orange spots you describe in your question. However, without a specimen it is very difficult to properly identify the insect.

These are beneficial garden predators that will often kill damaging insects. When undisturbed, they will not pose a threat to humans, but, yes, their bite is painful. Your best course of action is to make sure you keep doors and screens closed to prevent them from entering your home. You could also replace your outdoor lighting with the yellow spectrum “bug lights.”

While we do not wish to eliminate beneficial predators from our gardens, an Orkin Pest Specialist can conduct an inspection of the inside and outside of your home and recommend ways to eliminate entry points, and if necessary recommend a Perimeter Service to control insects around the home. Call your local Orkin branch to set up the inspection.


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