I live in southeastern Frederick Co. I have numerous ground hornets in my...

Asked July 27, 2013, 12:36 PM EDT

I live in southeastern Frederick Co. I have numerous ground hornets in my garden area. I could not get a good closeup picture with my camera. They have 3 yellow bands on their tail sections, wings, 1 to 1-1/2" in length, and they have drilled many small holes in the ground between raspberry rows. What are they (?) and what is a way that I can get rid of them?

Frederick County Maryland insect identification

3 Responses

These are not hornets. They are cicada killer wasps. Cicada killers nest in sandy areas, digging burrows about 6 inches deep. Cicada killers are active during July and August when they attack, sting and paralyze cicadas and other insects and drag them back to their nest. Although females are capable of stinging, they are rarely aggressive towards people or animals. Males are not capable of stinging. LW

Even if they turned out to be a beneficial insect,My wife has broncial asthma and is extremely sensitive to bee stings and more than once in recent years has been taken by ambulance from Mount Airy to Frederick Memorial Hospital with hives, temporary blindness, and inability to breathe. She is afraid of them and I'm not too fond of them myself. Therefore I am concerned about how to eliminate them from our garden area. I've received advice from several people and a couple of businesses suggesting that pouring gas into their holes after dark will kill them. Please advise on how to proceed.

There are several aerosols and powders that are labeld for ground bees. They are available from your local garden centers. For more information, you may refer to the following link: LW http://www.hgic.umd.edu/_media/documents/hg104_000.pdf