Mating Cicada Killers

Identify hornet please.
My neighbors say it is a hornet and it looks like a big one but I have no idea what kind. My husband says it is a japanese hornet and can be dangerous around the kids. I plant a lot of plants for bees and wasp and they never bother us but the kids are now afraid to play outside because of these. If it is dangerous do I call an exterminator? I would hate to have to put chemicals in my yard. Thanks,
Heidi from Fort Mill, SC

Hi Heidi,
We love your photograph of Mating Cicada Killers, Sphecius speciosus. These large wasps are not aggressive, but they can sting. Tell your children to respect them and they will not be stung. They attack cicadas, not people.

Thank you so much for the information. I enjoyed doing research on my newly identified critter and educating the children on them. I actually take it as a compliment when “porch pets” choose my property so I can add another “porch pet” to my list. It makes sense also since I have been hearing cicada’s around lately. I also found one of these wasps dead across the street and have only seen one flying around since the picture was taken. Thanks again,
Heidi, Ft. Mill, SC

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