Currently viewing the category: "Wasps and Hornets"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: This is the Stuff of Nightmares
Location: Boquete, Panama
June 1, 2014 8:12 am
Hi Bugman!
I live in Boquete, Panama and found this nest in the tree outside my house. I know that insects are fun and interesting, but the sight of this nest gives me the creeps. Can you tell me what kind of creature builds such a nest and feels that they can hang out by my porch like they own the place?
Signature: ~Cate

Hornet Nest

Hornet Nest

Hi Cate,
This appears to be a Hornet Nest, but we cannot make out individual insects well enough in your image to provide an exact identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Kern River fuzzy bug
Location: Kernville, CA (campsite near kern river)
May 31, 2014 6:30 pm
We saw this little guy in the sand at our campsite at the Kern River today (June 1st, 2014).
We only counted 6 legs at the time.
Signature: Kristen

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Hi Kristen,
This is a Velvet Ant in the genus
Dasymutilla, and we believe it might be Dasymutilla sackenii based on the images posted to BugGuide.  Velvet Ants should be handled with extreme caution since they are actually flightless female wasps reputed to have a very painful sting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this?
Location: NE Ohio Ashtabula county
May 30, 2014 4:06 am
Bugman,
We saw this May 29, 2014 in our back field. It was about 2 inches long, large black wings, one big yellow spot on back. The last segment of each leg was yellow and the antenna were yellow as well. It looks very similar to the digger wasp scolia dubia but it was larger and only one spot on its back. It flew very slowly landed on a leaf and wrapped the two mid legs around the leaf.
Thanks for any help
Signature: Judy

Elm Sawfly

Elm Sawfly

Dear Judy,
Mistaking this Elm Sawfly for a wasp is understandable, since wasps and Sawflies are in the same insect order, but unlike wasps, Sawflies do not sting.  The abdominal markings can vary, but your individual looks very close to this image on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what bug is this
Location: San Diego, California
May 28, 2014 9:19 am
While walking to my car yesterday I came across this huge black bug that had a body like an ant with long legs and mulitcolored wings. It was about 2 1/2 to 3 inches long. It moved VERY fast on the ground and then at one point flew away. What is this???
Signature: Freaked Out In San Diego

Tarantula Hawk

Tarantula Hawk

Dear Freaked Out In San Diego,
This impressive wasp is commonly called a Tarantula Hawk.  Here are some images from our archives of a Tarantula Hawk hunting with its prey.
  The sting of a Tarantula Hawk is reported to be quite painful.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp or Hornet and nest???
Location: western Pennsylvania
May 28, 2014 9:31 am
My son and I watched a wasp or hornet create its intricate nest but are not sure which insect it is, so am seeking your wonderful help as I did so a few years ago with another insect. Thank you for any help you can give us.
Signature: Marge

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Queen Bald Faced Hornet begins nest.

Dear Marge,
My that queen BaldFaced Hornet is building that nest fast.  She will soon have a first generation of sterile female workers who begin hunting for food and enlarging the nest, freeing her to just lay eggs.  Are you able to avoid this part of the house until the first frost?  If not, you should consider more drastic measures and evict her so she finds a more secluded location for her nest because, according to the Penn State University Entomology website:  “In Pennsylvania, a large colony will have upwards of 300 individuals.”  BaldFaced Hornets are capable of stinging repeatedly and they will defend the nest.
  We will be flying into Pittsburgh in the middle of June.

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a Bald Faced Hornet Nest

Thank you Daniel,
You are right, she did build it fast.  I took photos and we watched almost every other hour.  (Few photos attached.)
We “evicted” her–sort of hated to do it, but that spot is on our back “stoop” and between my son cutting our grass and me working on 4 different gardens (I plant for birds, butterflies, etc.) we felt she needed to build her large but intricate nest/home somewhere else and wanted to evict her before she laid many or any eggs and started the process.  I don’t like to kill anything including bugs and their homes, so felt it better to encourage her to build elsewhere before she had a real home/palace : )
Thanks for your help, I did see that my oldest son had a fairly large nest in his backyard last year but it was not near where they were active themselves and we think it was “done” (at the beginning of fall).
Have a safe and joyful flight.
Marge from westernPA

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Beginnings of a BaldFaced Hornet Nest

Hi Marge,
We believe the eviction was a smart move due to the heavy foot traffic at the site.  Because of your thoughtfulness, we are tagging this posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

Bald Faced Hornet builds Nest

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Two different bugs
Location: Upstate SC
May 28, 2014 5:10 am
We went on a little hike in a nearby wetlands area and along our way we found two interesting bugs. One of them looks like a kind of wasp to me, the other one is completely new to me! I’m curious what they are, especially the one with the long stinger for a nose? Thanks for helping out!
Signature: Joyce H.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasp

Dear Joyce,
We have already written back that you submitted images of a Bee Fly and a Paper Wasp.  We are posting your image of the Paper Wasp in the genus
Polistes.  It appears it might be chewing on that weathered wood to make paper pulp for the construction of its nest.  Paper Wasps make nests of chewed wood pulp, creating chambers for raising young.  The nest has a queen and the colony survives for a single season.  Based on its coloring and markings and its resemblance to this image on BugGuide, this might be a Northern Paper Waps, Polistes fuscatus, which despite its common name, ranges as far south as Florida.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination