Subject: Random bug sighting in backyard.
Location: Anchorage, alaska USA
July 1, 2017 2:03 am
Dear big man. This bug was about as big as my thumb. (An inch or so long) he flew onto an old plywood fish smoker. He (I’m going to assume gender) went on to make a weird noise, almost as though he was nibbled the wood.
Signature: Dog lady, not bug lady.
Dear Dog Lady,
This is a Bald Faced Hornet, and we first wanted to establish that they are reported from Alaska. BugGuide has no reports from Alaska, but they are reported from across Canada, so we can deduce they are probably found in Alaska, but we confirmed that since they are listed on Insect Identification: Bees, Ants, Wasps and Similar Insects of Alaska. Your gender assumption is wrong. Only female Bald Faced Hornets construct nests and care for young. You are correct that she was nibbling wood. Bald Faced Hornets chew wood into pulp that they use to construct a paper nest. Bald Faced Hornets are social wasps that construct a nest that they will defend. They are not normally aggressive toward humans, but anyone attempting to disturb a nest can probably count on getting stung.