What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

what is THIS bug !?
I’m in Pennsylvania and we’ve never seen one of these before. Thanks
Rob

Hi Rob,
We have a sneaky suspicion that these relatively harmless Cicada Killers did not die of natural causes nor of old age, which is why we will be placing them in the Unnecessary Carnage section. We say relatively harmless because over the years we have gotten two reports of someone being stung by a Cicada Killer. Only the female stings, but she is so busy trying to provision her nest with Cicadas, that she can’t really be bothered trying to sting people. In the very unlikely event that a person is stung by a female Cicada Killer, the sting is reported to be quite painful. The male, who does no hunting, is the more aggressive appearing sex since he is territorial and will try to chase intruders, regardless of their size, from the prospective nest site he has staked out. He wants to mate and he is being protective of his territory, but he cannot sting. Though they are solitary wasps, Cicada Killers do tend to nest in proximity to one another, and when “swarms” appear, they can be quite daunting. We also just received the following letter without a photo, and posting it provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how knowledge is power, just as your letter demonstrates the extreme measures that can result from an unrational fear of the unknown.

Update: (08/03/2008) Cicada Killers in Dayton Ohio
Hello Bugman…
No fancy photos from Ohio, but rest assured we have gained great knowledge from your site. After spending the entire day researching these “hornets” in our back yard….I have concluded they are, in fact, Cicada Killers. Imagine my delight when I was able to impress my husband with my new found knowledge when as soon as we stepped into the back yard and I was describing what they were……One flew right past with cicada in tow!!! I am still a little creeped out and won’t go out there much….*wink*…..but I am not terrified and wondering what “Curse of biblical proportion was being thrust upon us”, She said with tongue very much in cheek. Great site…thank you, thank you!!!
E.M.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

One Response to Cicada Killer Carnage X4 and Rebuttal letter

  1. kim says:

    I am a walking letter carrier and i have been indeed stung by one of these.I’ve always just walked through them without worrying about being stung,until a couple of years ago.now i try to slow down and stay calm hoping to not get stung again.It felt like I’d been shot in the calf!!

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