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

Subject:  are those eastern Yellow Jackets queens?
Geographic location of the bug:  Malvern, PA 19355 – USA
Date: 11/11/2017
Time: 03:19 PM EDT
I found 3 of those inside my house, on inital research it points that they are eastern yellow jackets and with the dots, they are queens, but what are the odds of finding 3 queens in 3 days?
How you want your letter signed:  Thiago Lopes

Yellowjacket Queens

Dear Thiago,
We believe the markings on these Yellowjackets are a closer match to the introduced German Yellowjacket Queen pictured on BugGuide.  Each fall, a nest of Yellowjackets produces multiple queens that mate and find a place to hibernate over the winter.  If your house was the nearest possible location for hibernation, and if it was especially inviting as well as providing an entrance for them, it is very possible that more than one queen would seek out your house as a potential site for hibernation.

Yellowjacket Queen

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Is this a hornet?
Geographic location of the bug:  Richmond, va
Date: 10/30/2017
Time: 04:18 PM EDT
On my doorknob. Won’t move. I don’t wanna mess with it. Please identify.
How you want your letter signed:  Frantzis

European Hornet

Dear Frantzis,
This is a non-native European Hornet.  We suspect, because of the season, that this might be a new queen that is searching for a good place to hibernate.  According to the Penn State Department of Entomology:  “The overwintering queens are somewhat larger – up to 35 mm” and “Each fall, the colony produces males and females that mate, and the females become next year’s queens. Only the overwintering queens survive in protected sites such as under loose bark, in tree cavities, and in wall voids of buildings. All other colony members produced in the current year will perish.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Huge wasp out at night! What is it?
Geographic location of the bug:  Northeastern Pennsylvania
Date: 10/23/2017
Time: 10:50 PM EDT
Hello, For the last two months or so we have been seeing one or two of these massive wasps out at night, hanging around our porch light. Once or twice one has come at me when I am in the back yard with the flashlight. They are at least 1.5 inches long.
I can’t figure out what it is because all of my searches yield people insisting they are giant Asian hornets, which they obviously are not. Can you ID this? Do you know why it is active at night? (My guess is they are hunting the bugs around our porch light, but is that normal?) Are they aggressive?
How you want your letter signed:  Laura Recene

European Hornet

Dear Laura,
This is an introduced European Hornet, and your report is not the first we have received of them being attracted to lights at night.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults come to lights.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Hornet eating strange bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Portland, Oregon
Date: 09/11/2017
Time: 05:27 PM EDT
I was curious what bug is being eaten, I’ve never seen one before.
How you want your letter signed:  Heather lux

Yellow Jacket preys upon Bot Fly

Dear Heather,
The prey in your image is a Rodent Bot Fly, and the predator appears to be a Yellowjacket, a close relative of Hornets.  Adult Yellowjackets prey upon various insects, especially caterpillars, to feed to larvae that are developing in the paper nest they build.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cicada Killer Wasp?
Geographic location of the bug:  Thurmont, MD
August 26, 2017 7:21 AM
We have a large number of very large bees hanging around our lilac tree. I think they might be cicada killers, but I’m not positive. They also seem to be eating/drinking something from the branches of the tree. Maybe sap? I just wanted to be sure they are the nonaggressive wasps and not something we should worry about right next to our front porch. Also, will they kill the tree?
Signature:  Joan Hertel

European Hornet gathering bark

Dear Joan,
This is NOT a Cicada Killer, but a European Hornet.  We have gotten reports in the past of European Hornets stripping bark off lilac bushes.  European Hornets are social wasps that construct a nest from paper pulp that they manufacture by chewing bark.  According to BugGuide the habitat is:  “Woodlands. Paper nest is built in hollow trees, or in human structures such as attics. Adults come to lights” and “Predatory on other insects, used to feed young. Also girdle twigs to drink sap.”  Social Wasps will defend a nest by stinging, but to the best of our knowledge, European Hornets are not considered aggressive.

European Hornet

Daniel,
Thank you so much for the quick reply! I’m glad I asked you as my husband mows under that bush and has disturbed them, but no stings so far. Is there something we could use on the lilac to discourage them from stripping the bark? I don’t want to kill them as long as they aren’t in my attic, but I’d like them to leave my lilac alive and uninjured.
Thank you!
Joan
Sorry Joan,

We do not know how to discourage them from stripping bark from your lilac, but we don’t believe their actions will have a lasting negative effect on the health of the plant.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tell me what this is please
Location: East Sussex UK
August 19, 2017 2:01 pm
I have a big wasp like bug but it has a furry body. Can you tell me what it is please? It was in a jar of jam three day ago.
Signature: Kind regards?

Hornet Mimic Hover Fly and Yellowjackets

Unlike the surrounding Yellowjackets that are able to sting to defend themselves or their nest, the Hornet Mimic Hover Fly in the middle of your image neither stings nor bites, so it depends upon its protective mimicry to keep it safe from predators.  Many Hover Flies or Flower Flies in the family Syrphidae mimic stinging wasps and bees for protection.  You can compare your individual to this image on the British Hoverflies site to verify our identification.  We suspect these critters were accidentally attracted to the jam jar when it was unintentionally left uncovered.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination