Do Wood Wasps Sting? Separating Fact from Fiction

folder_openHymenoptera, Insecta
comment159 Comments

Wood wasps bore holes in decaying wood and deposit their eggs inside. They have long, stinger-like appendages. But do wood wasps sting, or is the appendage ineffectual? Let’s find out.

Wood Wasps are large insects that belong to the Siricidae family. They are non-stinging insects but create a buzzing when they fly, which may be annoying to human existence.

Also referred to as horntail wasps, they are usually found around coniferous trees that are freshly cut or burnt. In this article, we talk more about these intriguing creatures.

Do Wood Wasps Sting

What Are Wood Wasps?

Wood wasps belong to the Siricidae family, and there are close to 500 species of these wasps.

They are mostly solitary insects and are usually found near coniferous plantations. They prefer to live in or lay eggs in trees that are freshly cut, recently burnt, or have decaying wood.

Their females lay eggs using a very unique method. They use their needle-like ovipositor to thread the wood until it is completely inside and then lay their eggs.

In fact, one of the parasite wasps, ichneumons, uses the same trick to place their larvae on top of wood wasp larvae. The ichneumon’s larvae then feed on the wood wasp ones.

Most of the time, wood wasps are non-threatening to human beings. They have an ovipositor, not a stinger, so they cannot sting.

Moreover, they spend most of their time in and around trees and woods. However, they may be annoying to some since they create a buzzing sound when they fly.

Wood wasps can be found all across the US, but they are abundant in Oregon, California, and Washington.

What Do They Look Like?

Wood wasps are large insects with bodies that are about half an inch to an inch long. Adult wasps, both male and female, have barrel-shaped bodies.

They are usually colored in dark shades, like black or metallic blue. Sometimes, they exhibit a combination of black, red, and yellow.

The only difference between the male and female wood wasps is that the latter has a stinger or ovipositor, which she uses to lay eggs in the bark of the trees.

The ovipositor is strictly used to lay eggs only and, despite its appearance, does not work as a stinger.

The ovipositor makes the female appear larger than her male counterpart. The female wood wasp looks quite intimidating due to her large size.

One more thing that separates female wood wasps from males is that they have thicker waists.

Great Wood Wasp

Do They Sting?

While many species of wasps sting, wood wasps are different; they cannot sting.

However, they can surely be a nuisance since they may make holes in the wooden exteriors of your home.

Places such as wooden boards, patios, decks, and fences are at risk of a wood wasp attack. If the wood is moist and decaying, the risk goes up even further.

Wood wasps also buzz when they fly, which can seem annoying to many humans.

In case you have a wood wasp living in your house timber, you will be able to recognize this sound from a distance.

Are They Poisonous or Venomous?

Wood wasps are neither poisonous nor venomous. They cannot even sting. Their females have long ovipositors only for dissecting the wood and inserting their eggs in tree bark.

Since wood wasps don’t sting humans, no allergic reactions may happen due to the bite of other parasitic wasps.

Wood Wasp or Horntail

Are They Harmful to Humans?

Unlike bees or paper wasps, wood wasps are wood-boring insects and spend most of their life cycle in and around their nest.

They are usually non-aggressive because they are mostly solitary wasps and don’t have a nesting colony to defend.

However, they may create other types of nuisance, such as damaging the wooden areas of your house.

What Damage Do They Cause?

The holes drilled by the female to lay her eggs can severely damage wooden floors, roofs, fences, and other areas.

Moreover, the adults introduce yeast, bacteria, and fungi to the wood to soften it. This allows the larvae to chew on the softer wood for food, helping it grow quickly.

The chewing habit of the emerging wood wasp may leave even larger holes in the wood’s interior. It is important to keep your wooden surfaces painted, polished and varnished to avoid this damage.

How Do They Enter Homes?

If unused firewood is in your home for a long time, it may have turned into wasp nests. Wood wasps might find it and lay their eggs inside since firewood starts decaying after some time.

It is important to ensure that the wood in your yard is free from wood wasp infestation. You can use a good brand of insect repellent to get rid of larvae or adult wasps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are wood wasps aggressive?

No, wood wasps are non-threatening insects that usually spend their lives in and around dying or burnt trees.
Since these are solitary insects, they don’t have a reason to become aggressive. However, they may cause damage to the wooden items in your homes and, thus, are a nuisance.

What is the most aggressive wasp?

The most aggressive wasps are the yellow jacket wasp, the cicada killer wasp, and the paper wasp.
All of these wasps are territorial and can sting not once but multiple times. Their stings can leave a very painful bite, along with a rash.
People allergic to wasp stings can even go into anaphylactic shock, especially if they get multiple stings. Such people may require immediate medical attention.
It is best to maintain a safe distance from wood wasps.

What time of day are wasps most active?

Most wasp species remain active in the middle of the day. Around this time, they leave their nest and fly around looking for nectar.
They also hunt during this time to get prey for their larvae. They prefer warm weather and return to their nest in the evening.

What are the most painful wasps?

When it comes to the wasp family, even bees sting quite harshly. However, the sting of a
Tarantula Hawk Wasp is described as a blinding electric shock in the Schmidt pain index. This insect gets the highest pain rating of all.

Wrap Up

We hope this article helped you learn a thing or two about wood wasps and how they cannot sting but can still cause trouble for human beings.

Wood wasps are non-threatening and usually live alone, so you might not have to worry too much about them. However, if you find several of them flying around, it’s time to call a pest management professional.

Also, always keep your wooden exterior painted and in good shape because wood wasps can nest in them. Thank you for reading.

Authors

  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

    View all posts
Tags: Wood Wasps

Related Posts

159 Comments. Leave new

  • This giant wood wasp is in Olympia, WA too. Icky bug. My son went camping and brought it home today. I love internet. =D

    Reply
    • Yeah I’m from Tacoma and was camping in the Snoqualmie pass area this summer and one of those things flew into our camp site and freaked everyone out lol.

      Reply
  • tamihangstefer
    August 3, 2010 8:56 pm

    We have these wood wasps in Alaska too. They seem to like to live around the mud.

    Reply
  • paulstewart10
    August 15, 2010 10:11 am

    hi all, was just searching to see if i could recognise a wasp i found and it seems to be a greater woodwasp, i live in just outside Dungannon, in co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. can anyone tel me if theese wasps are native to the UK or is this one that got lost.
    Thanks, Paul

    Reply
  • I found a bug just like that today in a log I split, it was 5″ in and was alive. it looks just like Laurens bug but it has bright yellow legs and a dark green metalic body at an inch and a half long. the thing is spokie looking for sure and I think it would shoot fire at me if I let it out of the jar.

    Reply
  • I’ve been looking for this for years. We had one of these things in our Garden Center (at a DIY store, IN THE UK) back in 2003/4. THE WORST Wasp I’ve ever seen!!.

    Reply
  • I found One of these in Ireland last week 10/08/2012
    We were in Lavally, just outside Tuam North of Galway.
    We were cutting trees in a pine forest when one flew at us I batted it away and that was it so I thought.
    The next day down at the house where we moved the logs to a large was as in the picture was buzzing around, as it was so different I wanted to catch it so I gave it a almighty dose of fly spray. After the third dose I got it into a bottle and asked many locals including farmers and gardeners and no one had seen one before.
    Thanks to the web I now know what we caught.
    How dangerous are they?
    Why in Ireland?
    Thanks for reading my waffle.
    Nick

    Reply
  • Erik Dolgushkin
    April 19, 2013 4:02 pm

    Howdy! as sort of a follow up to this gal, I saw her every now and again all last fall and winter of 2012 laying eggs in every dang Redwood log we had at the mill. Quite a few turned into a bridge so maybe we’ll see some impressive wasp emerging this fall. If I see them I’ll try have a camera on hand. Noting that very long ovipositor, she had to stand on her tiptoes to line it up with the log. Perhaps specifically boring into Redwoods, she has adapted to penetrate their rather thick bark.
    Best to all,
    Erik dolgushkin

    Reply
  • Just found a giant wood in my girls back garden in belfast

    Reply
  • they are in Colfax Washington too I never seen them before. are they deadly if stung

    Reply
  • kris leuzinger
    August 8, 2013 1:06 pm

    hello, unfortunately i believe i killed a pigeon tremex. though in your photos the wings are golden. the one i got the wings where blue black. it does look like the same wasp but not exactly. can you help me figure it out? thanks kris

    Reply
  • Found one of these in my yard in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Had never seen one before and was quite alarmed by it’s size and the size of the apparent stinger?

    Reply
    • It loos like it could give a nasty sting but it is actually a protective cover for its Ovipositor which is how it lays its eggs into decaying wood.
      It leaves little 1/2 mm holes like wood worm, after time I do not know how long the new wasp appears leaving a hole up to 5mm.
      If you go onto you tube you will see films of it laying its eggs, that is why people get so close to take pictures as its attached to the wood for a few minutes.

      Reply
    • It loos like it could give a nasty sting but it is actually a protective cover for its Ovipositor which is how it lays its eggs into decaying wood.
      It leaves little 1/2 mm holes like wood worm, after time I do not know how long the new wasp appears leaving a hole up to 5mm.
      If you go onto you tube you will see films of it laying its eggs, that is why people get so close to take pictures as its attached to the wood for a few minutes.

      Reply
  • I posted last year that we had seen a Giant wood wasp in Ireland last summer 2012

    Well we have been back to Levally Galway Ireland this summer 2013 and have seen more of the Giant Wood wasp.

    The strange thing is when we have shown our pictures or described it to the locals nobody has ever seen one.

    They are big and I have found they are silent in flight.

    I did get a couple of pictures of one and through research on the internet found out that the sting looking thing is part of its abdomen and is there to protect the Ovipositor which it drops down at 90 degrees to its body penetrates the wood and lays it eggs through. It leaves a small hole which looks like wood worm. I believe then after time the new wasp emerges and leaves a hole up to 5MM.

    Amazing to watch as it lays its eggs especially when it pushes itself right up to get the ovipositor out of the wood.

    Have a look on You Tube for other peoples postings, one man actually has one on his hand.

    NIck

    Reply
  • I posted last year that we had seen a Giant wood wasp in Ireland last summer 2012

    Well we have been back to Levally Galway Ireland this summer 2013 and have seen more of the Giant Wood wasp.

    The strange thing is when we have shown our pictures or described it to the locals nobody has ever seen one.

    They are big and I have found they are silent in flight.

    I did get a couple of pictures of one and through research on the internet found out that the sting looking thing is part of its abdomen and is there to protect the Ovipositor which it drops down at 90 degrees to its body penetrates the wood and lays it eggs through. It leaves a small hole which looks like wood worm. I believe then after time the new wasp emerges and leaves a hole up to 5MM.

    Amazing to watch as it lays its eggs especially when it pushes itself right up to get the ovipositor out of the wood.

    Have a look on You Tube for other peoples postings, one man actually has one on his hand.

    NIck

    Reply
  • I have found something very similar. It has yellow legs and antenas. The body have two yellow strips very close together -close to the the stinger. It has the amber wings and stinger plus the long stinger type thing that extends past the stinger. If you find out what this is – please let me know. We live in Chilliwack BC – just north of the Washington border.

    Reply
  • Hi there! Just caught this gi-normous black-bodied, yellow legged/antennaed, amber-winged monster flying around very aggressively. We live in South Central Oregon at 5700 ft in coniferous/aspen woodlands. Couldn’t tell for sure what it was using the Audubon field guide but got close enough to see it was a wood wasp. Then discovered this web site! Fantastic! Thank you!!

    Reply
  • We have a live maple tree in our front yard and it has about 5 to 10 on it all the time. They are in various stages of laying eggs. The interesting thing is that they seem to die when they are drilled into the tree. There are about 4 or 5 dead ones still hanging on the tree with the ovipositor still stuck in the tree. They look like they are standing up against the tree. Right now there are about 3 crawling around on the tree testing it ( I suppose like a soft spot) . They ave been on the tree for the last three to four days. This is in S.W. Minnesota and it is September 11, 2013. They look very mean. This one has about 7 yellow rings on the body. They seem to have 4 wings (2 pair). I have one in a bottle to observe it. I will release it later.

    Reply
  • One of these landed on me yesterday, scared the hee-bee-gee-bees outta me. I’m located near Louisville Ky. Looks like my Irish Ancestors could of told me what it was. Took most of today to find out what it was

    Reply
  • We found a giant wood wasp here in Michigan. It was trying to get in my house.
    Thanks to this website, i now know what it is.

    Reply
  • We found a giant wood wasp here in Michigan. It was trying to get in my house.
    Thanks to this website, i now know what it is.

    Reply
  • We have them in south central Alaska….and they do bite…thru very heavy clothing. And they hurt as badly as their looks indicate.
    They are aggressive up here, and will constantly attack until killed.
    My wife was oiling a deck and I had to stand guard with an electric swatter (like a badminton raquet) and killed a dozen or more in less than 30 minutes.
    Dry summers mean trouble as they multiply very effectively in dry summers.

    Reply
  • We have them in south central Alaska….and they do bite…thru very heavy clothing. And they hurt as badly as their looks indicate.
    They are aggressive up here, and will constantly attack until killed.
    My wife was oiling a deck and I had to stand guard with an electric swatter (like a badminton raquet) and killed a dozen or more in less than 30 minutes.
    Dry summers mean trouble as they multiply very effectively in dry summers.

    Reply
  • Nice to know these dang things can’t sting. First time I saw one was when I was a kid of about 9. Scared the heck out of me then, having that big thing buzz around like it wanted to take off an ear or something. Well, seen one today, and as a grown man of 55, I got the same feeling all over again. I didn’t know until now what they were, exactly. Thank you for enlightening me… Can they bite???

    Reply
    • Since the mandibles are capable of chewing through wood, we imagine they would also be able to nip at a human if given an opportunity.

      Reply
  • Do they build nest or do they borrow into wood and make a nest.?

    How do you tell the difference in a native or one that’s been introduced to Alaska. I had one today that looks like the one in the pictures but much darker and a the back was not as bright as I the pictures.

    Our they safe around animals and family members. Best and safety way to get rid of them

    Reply
  • Do they build nest or do they borrow into wood and make a nest.?

    How do you tell the difference in a native or one that’s been introduced to Alaska. I had one today that looks like the one in the pictures but much darker and a the back was not as bright as I the pictures.

    Our they safe around animals and family members. Best and safety way to get rid of them

    Reply
  • These have been spotted in my garden too, UK!

    Reply
  • Joseph Alberico
    August 9, 2014 6:45 am

    I have one of these wood wasp’s in my yard Mohawk n y

    Reply
  • Found one in north-central Maryland August 2014. First we’d ever seen.

    Reply
  • I have these around my house in Fairbanks Alaska, and they seem to be aggressive. But they do not sting or bite ?? Easy way of killing them ?? Thank you

    Reply
    • We do not provide extermination advice. They are not considered an aggressive species. This is not a venomous creature.

      Reply
  • Have a bunch of these in my backyard. Here in the Bronx in New York . Couldn’t believe how huge the stingers are on these things. Thanks to your site i was finally able to identify what looked like an ancient creature flying around my yard

    Reply
    • What you have mistaken for a stinger is actually the ovipositor of the female. In stinging insects like bees and wasps, the ovipositor is modified into a stinger.

      Reply
  • Have a look at this. More on Youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww8Qu_TlfCg

    Reply
  • Have a look at this. More on Youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww8Qu_TlfCg

    Reply
  • Two days ago my cat was trying to eat a bug ( which i now know to be the California wood wasp), when i saw what it was I stopped him and put it in a container. Why? because i have never seen a bug like this before. i thought for sure that it was an form of hornet, but with a “stinger” on the top of the tail, i was like WOW that looks dangerous.
    i can send you a picture, if you e-mail me back. i live in Hamilton Ontario Canada. about 45 minutes from Buffalo

    Reply
  • Two days ago my cat was trying to eat a bug ( which i now know to be the California wood wasp), when i saw what it was I stopped him and put it in a container. Why? because i have never seen a bug like this before. i thought for sure that it was an form of hornet, but with a “stinger” on the top of the tail, i was like WOW that looks dangerous.
    i can send you a picture, if you e-mail me back. i live in Hamilton Ontario Canada. about 45 minutes from Buffalo

    Reply
  • OOPS, my 9 year old son just corrected me, It was in fact a Pigeon Horntail.

    Reply
  • I found one of these in Ontario, is that normal?

    Reply
  • Intimategems
    June 19, 2015 10:47 pm

    Recently cut down 1/2 a dead maple tree on my property and these things were buried up to 10 inches inside.

    The tree has thousands of holes in it and I found dozens of these at various stages of development.

    They look very intimidating because of their size and appearance. I took some amazing pictures. I also made a few videos showing them buried throughout parts of the tree. I will try to upload some of the images later onto the web.

    I’m in queens, New York

    Reply
    • They do not sting, once the egg is laid it can be 2 years before the wasp comes out.
      People have had them come out of the wood work in their houses due to this.

      Reply
  • Intimategems
    June 19, 2015 10:47 pm

    Recently cut down 1/2 a dead maple tree on my property and these things were buried up to 10 inches inside.

    The tree has thousands of holes in it and I found dozens of these at various stages of development.

    They look very intimidating because of their size and appearance. I took some amazing pictures. I also made a few videos showing them buried throughout parts of the tree. I will try to upload some of the images later onto the web.

    I’m in queens, New York

    Reply
    • They do not sting, once the egg is laid it can be 2 years before the wasp comes out.
      People have had them come out of the wood work in their houses due to this.

      Reply
  • I’ve just found one of these in Cumbernauld, Scotland, but can’t seem to find much info on them. Are they natives to North america only? Or do they range as far as Scotland/the uk?

    Reply
  • We found them in Tuam Galway Ireland.

    Reply
  • Hi Fi
    I live in North Yorkshire and have just been installing 80sqm of decking. I had about 12 of them diving around the wood. They are quite harmless but really do scare the bejibas out of you when they turn up. Ignor them and they’ll soon fly off to a conifer or something.
    Steve

    Reply
  • Hi Fi
    I live in North Yorkshire and have just been installing 80sqm of decking. I had about 12 of them diving around the wood. They are quite harmless but really do scare the bejibas out of you when they turn up. Ignor them and they’ll soon fly off to a conifer or something.
    Steve

    Reply
    • Rochelle Cooper
      July 26, 2016 7:06 am

      Hi, I’ve recently had decking installed and found a wood wasp laying eggs in my decking, actually caught it on video..just curious as to whether this caused any problems with your decking? Thanks

      Reply
  • Just came across a Wood Wasp in Bearsden, Glasgow. We had been cutting trees down and a few days later it appeared as if to survey the area. Huge deep orange in colour but silent. Flew around a cut down tree stump then moves off. First time I had ever came across one!

    Reply
  • We live in Cornwall and I came home with one on my trousers this evening. Needless to say my wife went frantic as it started taking a look around our lounge. But at least we know what it is now.

    Reply
  • I had one of these indoors – about 1.5 inches long – never seen anything like this in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire before. Very angry buzz and a massive sting. I am relieved to read it is not as dangerous as originally appears.

    Reply
  • I found a giant wood wasp , on my allotment in Market Weighton , YO43

    Reply
  • my son found one today, newport in south wales england

    Reply
  • Audrey Watson
    August 24, 2015 10:50 am

    I just found one today, South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland UK.

    Reply
  • Just saw one of these on our giant maple in Massachusetts. Thanks so much for this website! Glad to know that they won’t harm the kids or animals in our neighborhood. Should we be concerned for the trees?

    Reply
    • If the Wood Wasp is interested in your tree, the health of the tree is most likely already compromised. Since you saw it on a maple, it is most likely a Pigeon Horntail because the hosts are deciduous trees while other Wood Wasps go for conifers.

      Reply
  • Found one today in Western Pennsylvania

    Reply
  • Help, I had one today somewhat similar to this but with big back legs and some different markings. It matches nothing I’ve seen online.

    I can figure out how to paste a photo!

    Reply
  • Help, I had one today somewhat similar to this but with big back legs and some different markings. It matches nothing I’ve seen online.

    I can figure out how to paste a photo!

    Reply
  • Yea thanks to this site it was really helpful for my encounter

    Reply
  • One of these very large creatures landed in our back garden today on a conifer tree it was huge and sounded like a helicopter it was without doubt the Giant Wood Wasp in England

    Reply
  • *Shudder* I’d still stay away from it!! Thanks for clearing that up for us

    Reply
  • Nick McLeish
    July 25, 2016 5:52 am

    Where about in England do you live?

    Seen them in the west of Ireland. 40 miles above Galway.

    Reply
    • I saw one today, it landed on a wooden gate I was about to hang, stoke on trent, Staffordshire, gotta be honest, I nearly shit a brick

      Reply
  • Nick McLeish
    July 25, 2016 5:52 am

    Where about in England do you live?

    Seen them in the west of Ireland. 40 miles above Galway.

    Reply
  • Just saw one of these scary wasps struggling in the deer netting of our backyard garden (Potomac, Marlyland, USA) – It freed itself and flew away…

    Reply
  • Hello,
    We are from ontario. just found this wasp on our back yard. It was stepped on. Biggest wasp Ive ever seen.

    Reply
  • Just seen one for the first time this morning while on a walk in my neighborhood . Gross 🙂
    Casper Wyoming

    Reply
  • Just seen one for the first time this morning while on a walk in my neighborhood . Gross 🙂
    Casper Wyoming

    Reply
  • I saw one of these at work and took some good photos of it. I work at a pulp mill in Prince George BC. Canada
    It is intimidating looking for sure. I have seen a couple over the past few years and have always wondered what it is. The yellow spots on its head must be false eyes for defense. I though they were his eyes until I looked at my pictures. Very cool looking to say the least. I am glad they are harmless. I can’t imagine one landing on you and having to do the scary bug dance.

    Reply
  • I saw one of these at work and took some good photos of it. I work at a pulp mill in Prince George BC. Canada
    It is intimidating looking for sure. I have seen a couple over the past few years and have always wondered what it is. The yellow spots on its head must be false eyes for defense. I though they were his eyes until I looked at my pictures. Very cool looking to say the least. I am glad they are harmless. I can’t imagine one landing on you and having to do the scary bug dance.

    Reply
    • Allen, we are also in PG and just found one of these for the first time. Scared the beejezers out of us! My kids were both horrified and fascinated and we spent nearly 2 hours trying to find out what this awful thing was! Crazy nature.

      Reply
  • When peeling logs wasps as long as 4in were flying around us. One landed on my back, I heard the wings fluttering and I ask my friend if there was something on my back. He freaked out, and I started jumping around. I wonder if their aggressive and sting humans. I live in the Yukon flats.

    Reply
  • They have been in Anchorage, Alaska, for years, we thought they were called a royal Coachman. One stung a weiner dog in the side, dog died that night.

    Reply
  • Brian Sigsworth
    July 2, 2017 5:48 am

    July 2nd Gloucestershire….. I thought someone was playing with a drone !!! It landed next to me and I quickly took a pic. Glad to see it is harmless because it disappeared from view and I have no idea as to where it went…..

    Reply
  • Hi, just seen one on pine trees in garden, North Bedfordshire, managed to get photo, Alan

    Reply
  • I live west of Chicago about 30 miles and one of these just landed on my screen door. It has a massive stinger (goldish brown) and was about 1.5 inches long from nose to end of stinger. My wife sent it to heaven.

    Reply
  • Tracey Perry
    July 24, 2017 9:27 am

    I live in Wimborne, Dorset and have just identified one in my back garden. Inquisitive little creatures

    Reply
  • Brian Sigsworth
    July 25, 2017 7:50 am

    Inquisitive?? My main concern was how nasty is that ‘Sting’ going to be !!! LOL…
    Glad to know it is harmless. I hope I see more now.

    Reply
  • Brian Sigsworth
    July 25, 2017 7:50 am

    Inquisitive?? My main concern was how nasty is that ‘Sting’ going to be !!! LOL…
    Glad to know it is harmless. I hope I see more now.

    Reply
  • I found one on the side of my barrow which was water filled. Thinking it was dead l popped it in a white envelope and carefully folded the top over. I wanted to show it to my daughter who is interested in all things natural. However when l went into the kitchen later on l heard its wings vibrating on the paper. I opened the envelope out fully and laid it on the window ledge. She was gone when l checked this morning. Up til now l had never seen one and feel privileged now to have done so.

    Reply
  • f g williams adforton
    July 29, 2017 8:56 am

    great wood wasp found on larch log in adforton south shropshire laying her eggs

    Reply
  • f g williams adforton
    July 29, 2017 8:58 am

    great wood wasp seen on larch log at Adforton Craven Arms shrops

    Reply
  • Fiona Wilson
    August 1, 2017 8:23 am

    Just had one of these beasties in my greenhouse, 8 miles out of Aberdeen, Scotland.

    Reply
  • Saw one of these yesterday and today for the first time in our garden.Had read about them earlier this year, so wasn’t too panicked!!
    We live in Fleet, Hampshire.

    Reply
  • Saw one of these yesterday and today for the first time in our garden.Had read about them earlier this year, so wasn’t too panicked!!
    We live in Fleet, Hampshire.

    Reply
  • Just saw 2 wood wasps on my back fence .Cant beleave how big they are I live in Inverness

    Reply
  • I got the fright of my life as I came out of the shed today and one of these buzzed past my ear. It landed on the trunk of a sycamore close by and I tried to photograph it but could not focus in time before it flew off. Needless to say, I was quite circumspect doing this but relieved when I found out what it was afterwards. We have quite a few small conifers and one large one which died over last winter. There are no others around us in this part of Lanark.

    Reply
  • Ruth Anderson
    August 9, 2017 8:41 pm

    Just found one, fortunately dead, on our garage floor here in Anchorage. Not sure I have ever seen one before but apparently they are not uncommon. Has two fairly wide yellow stripes on black body, two long black thin stinger like things off the back as well as a somewhat shorter one, yet still impressive, that’s yellow. Body & head are 1.25 inches, with stinger it is at least 1.5 inches long. Very interesting looking and glad it was not alive! Must be drilling into our spruce trees – ugh!

    Reply
    • Great you indeed found one dead!!! While weed sacking this summer here in Anch. , one became slightly enraged so I sprayed with Electromotive, about same size as your garage resident. When they are even older, the body bands become blue n yellow, take care!

      Reply
  • Dave Penlington
    August 15, 2017 9:15 am

    Saw one for the first time today in Dursley Gloucestershire. Big and beautifully coloured. It does look a bit intimidating

    Reply
  • Dave Clements
    August 16, 2017 10:07 am

    Pictured one yesterday in Southampton, approx inch and a half long. Sadly it was injured as 2 of its legs were a bit buckled. Left it alone but it had died when I saw it this morning

    Reply
  • Great wood wasp seen in my yard daily, in assuming she has a nest neer. Its huge and very menacing looking, I wish it would stay put of my yard!

    Reply
  • Seen one in work yesterday, actually heard the beat of the wings then I turned, scared the hell out of me .
    Flew of and didn’t see it again

    Reply
  • Seen one in work yesterday, actually heard the beat of the wings then I turned, scared the hell out of me .
    Flew of and didn’t see it again

    Reply
  • Spotted one on my leg in Douglas South lanarkshire…..wonder if they are moving north

    Reply
  • I live near chester on the canal was quite shocked to see two of these critters on my shed. This is made from pallets. Big and quite intimidating it took me the best part of the day to find out what they were.

    Reply
  • Just found one in santa cruz, ca never seen one i hope they aren’t moving in were already having trouble with pine beetles and light brown applemoths we don’t need any more pests damaging or forests

    Reply
  • I spotted one in drimoleague in West Cork ,Ireland. It flew into the back of my truck and I couldn’t do any work until I found out what it was and if it was safe. I was petrified.
    ?

    Reply
  • I spotted one in drimoleague in West Cork ,Ireland. It flew into the back of my truck and I couldn’t do any work until I found out what it was and if it was safe. I was petrified.
    ?

    Reply
  • Saw what looks like the photo with a little bit more yellow. Body about 2″ long with a stinger like appendage about 1″ long. Do these exist in Colorado?

    Reply
  • Just found one in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

    Reply
  • Gerald Mcintyre
    June 20, 2018 11:40 am

    I live in Fort William in N W Highlands…one of these came through window and landed on my shoulder this afternoon. …got massive fright! Never seen or heard of one before.Friend of my son identified it from pic I took.

    Reply
  • I have been searching the internet because I know of two different people saying they got stung, by these horntails. Whether it was a sting or really a bite is unknown..

    Because of this I am very skeptical of the idea that they won’t defend themselves if they need to…. Seeing how we constantly discover things about species we thought we knew everything about, I feel more research is warranted in that regard.

    One friend said his elbow was swollen the size of a grapefruit for days.

    I watched one laying her eggs into a freshly cut log yesterday, on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. But because of these accounts I was cautious to keep a distance. Maybe there are times when they are more prone to defend themselves which may not have been observed officially yet. Maybe they are more aggressive during a laying session?

    Reply
  • hi,
    i was attacked by one of those last week its a horntail it stung me and layed eggs into my thigh bone,
    anyway to cut a long story short they hatched the scraping and movement drove me wild at night ,
    on the Tuesday i was running my fastest to try and catch the bus when my leg snapped in half i crumbled to the floor like felled spruce,
    our katie-bee helped me to keep awake,
    sadly ive lost both legs to these terrors
    be carefull

    Reply
  • hi,
    i was attacked by one of those last week its a horntail it stung me and layed eggs into my thigh bone,
    anyway to cut a long story short they hatched the scraping and movement drove me wild at night ,
    on the Tuesday i was running my fastest to try and catch the bus when my leg snapped in half i crumbled to the floor like felled spruce,
    our katie-bee helped me to keep awake,
    sadly ive lost both legs to these terrors
    be carefull

    Reply
    • Your flight of fancy is quite entertaining. We can’t help but to be reminded of something we heard journalist Connie Schultz, wife of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, say during an interview recently regarding fake news. We are paraphrasing, of course, but she stated that if it is fake, it is not news, and if it is news, it is not fake. We have concluded that your comment is fake and not news. It also appears that poor grammar is rampant in your fake comment.

      Reply
  • Installing decking last month and one of these landed next to me, I legged it as fast as I could as what I thought was a sting looked pretty nasty. I did return and managed to get a photo.Really pleased it was harmless otherwise house was going up for sale !!!

    Reply
  • We had one of these buzzing around our garden yesterday, very interested in the wooden planters we have attached to the fence. I reported it to Defra as i was worried about it being the dreaded Asian Hornet. However, the fact sheet Defra sent me clearly identified it as a Giant Wood Wasp. Like many on here i have never seen one before and we camp regularly in both the Peak and Lake district. We live in South Sheffield close to the Derbyshire border.

    Reply
  • Hello, I eanted to thank you for your site. I just saw for the first time what I believe to be a wood wasp in the greater snoqualmie area, quite a site having never noticed these before!

    Reply
  • I spotted one in our garden in Prince George BC Canada – couldn’t believe the size of it – so beautiful, and the golden coloured wings were amazing. What a lucky day for me!

    Reply
  • Just spent the day in abergele Wales..
    Felt a slight prick on my calf when walking through the woods.
    Thought it was a piece of Holly or nettle and without much notice pulled one of these off my leg..
    I only looked when I could hear and feel it vibrating between my fingers..
    It was massive and was the longer body and wider stripes that I recognise now..
    Glad to say I resisted the urge to stamp on it when it was on the floor..

    Reply
  • Just spent the day in abergele Wales..
    Felt a slight prick on my calf when walking through the woods.
    Thought it was a piece of Holly or nettle and without much notice pulled one of these off my leg..
    I only looked when I could hear and feel it vibrating between my fingers..
    It was massive and was the longer body and wider stripes that I recognise now..
    Glad to say I resisted the urge to stamp on it when it was on the floor..

    Reply
  • I just ‘saw’ one in a garden in East Sussex (Horstead Keynes) Surrounded by mixed woodland (Ashdown Forest) so thought I might have seen these before. I didn’t have a camera to hand, unfortunately. I heard it before seeing it – very intimidating when you don’t know what they are! I’ll have to let the rest of the residents of the house know in case it comes back…

    Reply
  • Saw a couple of these in our local woods. While out with the dog. At least 2 inches long. I was concerned if they was dangerous. So I didn’t sick around Strange it was picking the blackberries off a bush it took 2 then flew away ??

    Reply
  • I saw one for the first time in Monterey county yesterday up in the hills.Had to Google search just what that thing was. Thanks

    Reply
  • I just saw one here this evening!! Scary looking buggers!
    I saw one last year about this time as well. I’m in Royal Oaks, CA

    Reply
  • I just saw one here this evening!! Scary looking buggers!
    I saw one last year about this time as well. I’m in Royal Oaks, CA

    Reply
  • Jan Hodgson
    June 23, 2019 8:10 am

    Just seen a large slim fly with a long spike at the rear end flying in my greenhouse. Never seen one before, had to google it. Didn’t see the yellow colour as it was outlined against the glass roof. This in the York area.

    Reply
  • Just saw one in my conservatory in Stafford, frightens the life out of us so I picked it up in a cup and helped it move into next doors bush

    Reply
  • Carla Hamel
    July 1, 2019 7:48 pm

    found one at lodgepole lake near kamloops bc…ugly bug

    Reply
  • Michele Melio
    July 10, 2019 6:58 pm

    I found the same type of wasp at Lassen Volcanic National Park, but no redwoods there. It was crawling on a fallen log of either a Douglas Fir, Pine or Incense Cedar. Is there more info on this wasp? I have better photos from July 2019.

    Reply
  • William Briggs Constable
    July 15, 2019 7:52 am

    Afternoon,

    found one of these in Fife, Scotland this afternoon caught in a spiders web although it appears to have escaped now. Not seen one before although we have quite a lot of common wasps and various types of bees flying around the farm.

    Reply
  • William Briggs Constable
    July 15, 2019 7:52 am

    Afternoon,

    found one of these in Fife, Scotland this afternoon caught in a spiders web although it appears to have escaped now. Not seen one before although we have quite a lot of common wasps and various types of bees flying around the farm.

    Reply
  • joanne Parry
    July 23, 2019 1:50 pm

    hi, iv just been re searching due to just having one of these come into my garden, iv taken pictures and then googled and it was the giant wood wasp. The only think is we are not by woodland but the garden does back onto a patch of land that had trees on and they where cut down last year but has been left and gone wild now. Im in Blackpool North west England.

    Reply
  • Alex Parker
    July 27, 2019 2:16 am

    July 2019 just seen one at Dyhram Park in Bath….completely freaked us out but what a beauty!!!

    Reply
  • Just saw my first ever giant wood wasp, (Epping , Essex) grandkids in huge panick over the Giant wasp ? was a bit nervous as assumed it was a large hornet.

    Reply
  • I saw one today at Christina Lake Campground in Conklin Alberta. I had no idea what it was! At least 3” in length! I do have a picture but not sure how to put it on here.

    Reply
  • Found 1 of this bug yesterday and 1 today never seen before but does it belong in Norway?

    Reply
  • Relieved to find that we do not have giant wood worm but giant wood wasp in our wood pile. I am told if we put a larch log next to the existing holes they will lay more eggs and it is probable there are more still to hatch which I am looking forward to. We are in Pitlochry Perthshire.

    Reply
  • I have found 2 this year .

    Reply
  • 1. What is the normal size, of just the body as well as the body and appendage (stinger?) of the Wood Wasp as might be found in South Central Alaska, Anchorage area?

    2. Are the aggressive?

    Reply
  • Iain Ramsay
    June 14, 2020 5:45 pm

    Had the fright of my life on sunday cutting up some pallets for a project one of these appeared from nowhere christ it made me jump, if only just found out what it was beautiful insect bloody scary initially but beautiful and ????

    Reply
  • Iain Ramsay
    June 14, 2020 5:45 pm

    Had the fright of my life on sunday cutting up some pallets for a project one of these appeared from nowhere christ it made me jump, if only just found out what it was beautiful insect bloody scary initially but beautiful and ?

    Reply
  • Just had a wood wasp in my kitchen in kent. First sighting of wood wasp was last year, it was constantly going under our decking, but never came near us.
    They look menacing, but they do not appear to be aggressive. Actually quite impressive to look.

    Reply
  • My son had one in his car port today. He lives in Somersham, Cambs. He was installing cedar cladding. Gave him a bit of a scare until I told him what it was!

    Reply
  • Found one yesterday in the Big Horn Mountains Wyoming! I was shocked. Camped there my whole life and never seen one!

    Reply
  • Nevada here…was hosing the truck scale at work when a huge black ‘wasp’ with an enlarged abdomen and enormous stinger landed on the hand railing…it looked like it had red on its back, but now, thanks to your web site, I know those were red wings…this thing was at minimum 3″ long and as big around as a cigar! With tail extension, it approached 4″….was this thing on steroids?
    Let’s put it this way, When it came at me, it was big enough to actually aim the water stream directly at it…not just a must in the general area…thanks for your site.

    Reply
  • one landed on my little dog today, he was v scared and ran in the house, i ran too … glad to know it was harmless as the length of the ‘sting’ scared the life out of us …. we live on the south coast.

    Reply
  • Aonghus OBrien
    August 14, 2022 6:18 am

    Just spotted one in Broadford, Clare in a spot which has Scots pine and Spruce which has been felled recently. Just wondering if they’re native-they’re an impressive sight!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

keyboard_arrow_up