What kind. Of hornet is this?

Asked July 10, 2019, 12:43 PM EDT

I think I have some Asian hornets along my driveway in front of my garage. Please help me figure out what this is. We also have some yellow jackets/ bees.

Howard County Maryland insect or spider id cicada killer wasps pest insects and mites beneficial insects and pollinators

1 Response

This is a cicada killer wasp. Although they are large and look similar to yellow jackets, they are not aggressive to humans. We do not have giant Asian hornets here.

Cicada killers are solitary wasps (they do not have colonial nests like honeybees), although you are likely to find several “nests” or galleries in the ground in the same area. Nests are common in areas where soils are dry and somewhat sandy, and turf is often thin with bare spots. There are a number of chemicals that are available that can be used to “dust” around the holes of the cicada killers. However, it is the texture, exposure, and drainage of your soil and thickness of your lawn that attracts a new crop of cicada-killers to your lawn each year. If you have the optimal habitat they will continue to come. A more long-term management strategy is to alter the habitat to make it less favorable for cicada killer wasps such as improving the density of your turfgrass. Keeping the soil moist will discourage females from building nests in these sites.

Refer to the links below for more information.

https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cicada-killer-wasps-lawns

https://entomology.ces.ncsu.edu/2015/07/cicada-killers-are-on-the-wing/

https://forsyth.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/07/watch-out-for-the-cicada-killer/

Yellowjackets are beneficial insects but they can get aggressive in late summer/fall. Please see our webpage for information on what you can do to manage them if they become a problem. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/yellowjackets

Christa