What’s this bug??
August 10, 2009
I’m wondering what kind of bug this is. My parents have them burrowing in the sand/dirt on between the sections of their cement driveway. This is the first they’ve seen these bugs and we’re all very curious to what it is. The look like a huge wasp. Unfortunately the bug in this picture is dead, we have a family member that is deathly allergic to wasps.
The photo was taken on August 9th. Sorry the second picture is blurred, but its to show size comparison next to a quarter.
Just Curious
North-Central Illinois

Cicada Killer:  dead because of perceived threat

Cicada Killer: dead because of perceived threat

Dear Just Curious,
This is a Cicada Killer.  The wasp in your photo appears to be a female, and only the females of the species will sting.  Males have no stinger but are the more aggressive sex, as they defend territory.  We have never received a substantiated report of anyone being stung by a female Cicada Killer as they are not an aggressive wasp.  Most solitary wasps are very reluctant to sting.  The female Cicada Killer saves her stings for paralyzing Cicadas which she drags to her underground burrow to provide food for her young.  We consider this an example of Unnecessary Carnage and we hope our response has educated you as to the nonthreatening nature of Cicada Killers.  We hope this will prevent any further Unnecessary Carnage.

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