Subject: Wasp or Hornet?
Location: Truro, MA
July 26, 2014 7:39 am
I live in Truro, MA. This insect sits on the corner of my deck each morning that it is sunny but not when it is cloudy or in the evenings. It is quite large (over an inch), and stays all day making the deck unusable. I can’t get close enough to spray because it immediately flies and appears aggressive. Can you tell me what it is and if it is really aggressive.
This is a solitary wasp known as a Cicada Killer, a species that preys upon Cicadas. This is likely a male, and male wasps are incapable of stinging. He is likely defending territory against other males in the hope of luring a female into mating and digging a nearby burrow. Female Cicada Killers are capable of stinging, but they are not aggressive. We would urge you to abandon your attempts to spray this impressive Cicada Killer. Normally, we get numerous Cicada Killer identification requests each summer, but this summer your submission is the only one we have received.
Thank you Daniel, for your help. I will not spray.