Man and Dog Attacked by... Hummingbird-Sized Wasp?

Oct 13, 2017

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. It sounds like a tabloid headline – man and dog frantically escape from huge flying wasp! But it’s a true story—I got an email from a gentleman saying that he and his dog was dive bombed by a hummingbird sized wasp that sent them fleeing into the safety of their house. It was a cicada killer wasp – probably a male, defending the underground burrow constructed by a solitary female member of this species – it is the structures she excavates, fills with adult cicadas whom she has paralyzed with her sting, and which she uses as a fresh food source for her larva to eat. As for danger, the male doesn’t even have a stinger and the female is not aggressive at all – these are solitary wasps who aren’t defending a colony. They reduce the cicada population and are considered beneficial insects.