Wasp???

Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:02 pm

Saw some of these in my garden this afternoon. Never seen anything quite like them around here before. They didn't seem to be as aggressive as a normal wasp whihc makes me think they may not sting.
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Part of my garden has been cleared off and tilled with the Howard, and in that area is where there burrows were.
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anyone familiar with them?

Re: Wasp???

Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:14 pm

Those are cicada killers. Usually not very aggressive to humans, but deadly to the cicada. We usually see them around here about this time of year.

Re: Wasp???

Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:08 pm

Been hearing a few cicadas, so I guess they are looking for their next victims. At least I think it is cicadas, could just be tinnitus.

Re: Wasp???

Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:45 pm

John,

From a University of Missouri Extension publication http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G7391

Cicada killer wasps (Sphecius speciosus)

The cicada killer wasp is 1.5 to 2.0 inches long, and is brownish black with yellow markings on the abdomen and face. While their size is intimidating, cicada killers are not aggressive and will sting humans only if pinned against the skin.

The female digs a burrow in the soil. It captures cicadas, paralyzing them by stinging, and places them in the burrow. An egg is deposited on each cicada and that cell is closed off. Cicada killer wasps produce one generation per year, and the larvae spend the winter in the nest cell in the soil.

The only damage these wasps cause is the unsightly dirt piles dug out to create nests. The piles usually disappear with the first rain. Killing individual wasps is virtually impossible unless you spray them in the act of digging or soak the soil to kill developing larvae. Since cicada killers are so beneficial, control efforts are not recommended. If you feel control is necessary, spray the soil where digging activity is observed with a liquid insecticide labeled for wasp control.


Hope this helps.

Bill

Re: Wasp???

Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:13 pm

Thanks Bill! I thought they were some kind of hornet. They have been patrolling around the garage, wondered what they were looking for. Started seeing them last year. Now all the pieces fit. I have iPhone pix but can't make them fit to post.