Looks like a wasp with striped wings.
July 11, 2010
Would you please help me id this flying insect? Is it friend or foe to my garden. It does fly. It looks like a wasp, has clear wings, 3 yellow bands across its body. I think it likes the color red. For the last 3 mornings I have found it on this red crate.
Michelle Dyer
Knoxville, TN, 37919

Cicada Killer

Hi Michelle,
This is a Cicada Killer, a large Sand Wasp that preys upon Cicadas to feed its brood.  The female Cicada Killer stings and paralyzes Cicadas and buries them in a nest.  Adult Cicada Killers feed on nectar.  Sometimes people become alarmed because though the Cicada Killer is a solitary wasp, they do tend to nest in colonies.  Male Cicada Killers will aggressively defend territory, but males are incapable of stinging.  We have never received an authenticated report of a Cicada Killer stinging a person.  That said, we would consider it a friend in the garden.

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