Wood-boring large insect, possibly wasp?

Asked September 12, 2018, 9:18 PM EDT

Hi. My daughter noticed a series of small holes on our tree, and one hole had a little head poking out. My husband and I used tweezers to pull it out, and it was a large (1.5 inches) insect. It has yellow legs and bright yellow markings on its underbelly. It has a large stinger-like tube coming out of its abdomen. It looks a bit like a wasp. I’m curious if this is an invasive species or if we should be worried about our maple trees. There are about 100 holes like the one we pulled this guy out of. I will attach some photos.

Baltimore County Maryland insect or spider id

1 Response

This is a type of horntail wasp. The females of this species seek trees that are dead, dying, or weakened. Maples and beeches are their preferred host trees. They lay eggs in the bark of weakened trees and the larvae develop inside, feeding on heartwood and sapwood. Unfortunately, they are a sign that the tree is in poor health. If this tree is near property where it could become a hazard, think about removal and replacement.