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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Pair of Dobsonflies!!!
(06/29/2005)
What type of bug is this?
Hi. I was wondering if you could help identify these bugs
for me. I live in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania, about
45 miles west of Scranton. Based on the difference in body
sizes and how the pinchers look I’m guessing that they’re
most likey a male and a female. The one with the long crossed
pinchers is about four inches long (from the end of the wings
to the end of the pinchers), with two inch antennae and one
inch pinchers. The one with the short pinchers is about three
inches long, with one inch antannae and maybe 1/4 inch pinchers.
They’re both very docile and didn’t try to fly away when I
had them in the tupperware with the lid off.
Thanks!
Ben

A Pair of Dobsonflies

A Pair of Dobsonflies

Hi Ben,
We have been getting plenty of Dobsonfly photos lately and
when they are in season, we always try to keep a photo on
our homepage. We currently have several that you would have
seen had you scrolled down a bit. Your photo is exquisite
and will have a permanent spot at the top of our Dobsonfly
page. Your are correct in that they are male and femaLe of
the same species and the male has the long mandibles.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Heat Bug? Strange and Irritating Bug
Hi! I just moved to a region, where in summertime, the air is infiltrated by an extremely loud, buzzing, almost electrical sound. I’ve been told it is called the Heat Bug, as it only comes out in the summer and creates its din on very warm days. I have included photos of what the locals claim to be the insect responsible for this racket!
Hope you can identify it!
Jordan

Dear Jordan,
Your awesome photos are of a Giant Water Bug, Lethocerus americanus, which also goes by the colorful names Electric Light Bug and Toe-Biter. These are aquatic insects which can also fly, and they can deliver a painful bite. They are also the largest True Bugs in North America. They do not make loud noises. I have never heard the name Heat Bug, but I am guessing by your description, that they are probably cicadas. Cicadas make a noise similar to that which you describe. Additionally, this year marks the return of Brood X of the Periodical Cicada or 17 Year Locust which will be appearing in great numbers and making quite a bit of racket. Sadly, Jordan, your letter was one of the last to get through before heavy traffic shut us down, or I would direct you to our cicada page to see photos of what I am guessing are your Heat Bugs. Our site will return in June.
(05/03/2004)

Daniel,
Thank you for such a timely and informative reply! To imagine that I got siting of one of the Biggest Bugs in N.America! Unfortunately, this letter may not reach you until later, however, I do hope to return to your e-page soon. Thanks again and good luck with Brood X Studies.
Jordan.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination