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Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Posted by redding (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 28, 11 at 17:42

I went out to water my poor wilted strawberry and melon patch when I got back fro the Drs office, and soon after that I spotted what appeared to be a giant economy-sized hornet that had come in to get a drink. The thing was as big around as, and more than half the length of, my index finger. It appeared to be mostly black, with a yellow-orange stripe. I've never seen one on the property before. Can anyone tell me what it is? What sort of a nest does it have, and what do I need to watch out for?
It did not look terribly friendly and I'd rather not think about what its sting could do.

Pat


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

It sounds like a Cicada Killer. They are indeed economy sized! They don't make nests I don't believe, rather they have holes in the ground and they stalk cicada's and drag them down into their holes. If I remember right, and someone can correct me if I'm wrong, they lay their eggs on them and then when the babies hatch out, they have food... I might be confusing that part with some other insect.

Anyway, I have never heard of anyone being stung by one. They do indeed look very scary and that's probably all te defense they need from us humans.

E


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Pat - it could be a ground hornet; I've not looked at one long enough to really know what they look like, but they are active this time of year, and they are not friendly. Apparently they are nesting this time of year and become belligerent in their search for nesting spots and food for the young. They create a round hole in the ground, and all the excavated soil is thrown behind the hole in a narrow pile. The hole and excavated soil is very distinctive. They catch and paralyze some kind of beetle and leave the poor thing in the hole along with the eggs, where the beetle is eaten alive by the emerging larva. Nice, huh. When I find a hole - which I did last week - I boil a quart of water, add a squirt of dish soap, and pour the mess down the hole. Supposedly the boiling, soapy water is enough to kill anything in the hole, but I have no proof of it.

Good luck!
Carol


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

I think a lot of people call cicada killers ground hornets here in Oklahoma, but here is a quick link that you can read a blurb. They are bigger than the pic, I think but pics never tell the truth anyway, do they. Anyway, here u go.

http://sites.lafayette.edu/hollidac/research/biology-of-cicada-killer-wasps/


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

I have had a TON of cicada killers in my garden this year. It is awesome to see them flying around with a cicada in their grasp.


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

I think a lot of people call cicada killers ground hornets here in Oklahoma, but here is a quick link that you can read a blurb. They are bigger than the pic, I think but pics never tell the truth anyway, do they. Anyway, here u go.

http://sites.lafayette.edu/hollidac/research/biology-of-cicada-killer-wasps/


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Well, color me scolded! Followed some links from Erod's url, and I will no longer douse my 'ground hornet' nests with boiling water. If they just wouldn't nest outside my basement door!

Here is a link that might be useful: cicado killer info


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Well, its appearance is certainly all the defense it needs from me, that's for sure!
If it's after cicadas, it's more than welcome to any and all it can find. I heard them buzzing near my corkscrew willow this morning, and they need to keep their greedy mouths off of it.

Pat


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Carol, I agree. I'll be leaving them alone and hoping they're eating a lot of cicadas. I must admit to a very large sigh of relief when I read that they don't sting. We do have a variety of some sort of ground hornet here that is not nearly as agreeable. Those suckers will gang up and chase you the length of the pasture, until you can manage to duck into a car or building. And sting??!! Holy cow, can they ever sting!!

Pat


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

The female cicada killer can sting, the male cannot.
Normally the female will not sting unless you really aggrivate it.


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

That's very good news. I'll just leave them alone if I see any more of them.

Does anyone know what those terrible ground hornets are? They are vicious! All we need to do is mistakenly get near a nest and the chase is on. They call in all their friends and relatives to attack and help chase down the invader, and they sting like crazy. I think they may be all black, but we've been so busy running away that I've never stopped to take a good look.

Pat


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Several years ago, while I was weed wacking at the bottom of an incline, I suddenly felt something sting me on my leg. Within seconds I was stung all over my legs and torso. As I backed up and started to run I saw the little buggers boiling out of a hole in the ground. You'd be amazed at how fast a 285 lb. geezer can run. All toll I was stung 21 times before I could get away. The bees that stung me looked alot like honey bees and their sting felt like a scorpion sting. The sting felt like a cross between someone burning you with a cigarette and someone pinching you really hard. About 10 min. later I began to feel sick. I was in misery so we called the doctor and he prescribed some pain pills and I coated the stings with aloe, which helped. The pain slowly subsided by evening but was sore for several days. A day or two later I waited till about dark to make sure they all were back in the nest and poured charcoal lighter fluid down the hole and burned them out.


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

Telow, those would be yellow jackets.


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

That's sounds very similar to yellowjackets, except that my daughter said she has never seen them here. The ones we have are larger than yellowjackets, but still black and yellow and building nests in the ground.
It isn't even good policy to swat one of them, because all its relatives immediately come to the funeral. It was explained to me that the dying insect secretes a sort of pheromone that draws in all the others to defend it. Sheeesh. Now they tell me! And YJs are unique in the fact that they can both sting and bite. Since they are meat-eaters that feed on garbage, their bites are particularly nasty.

I don't know if what we have are in the same family as the YJs or not, but there is one unlikely predator for the YJ nests, and it's skunks. They will dig up a jacket nest at night and destroy it, devouring the nasty little critters. We found a hole in the yard one morning that was the size of a football, where a skunk had raided a nest. Other than hoping a skunk might come wandering past in search of a meal, the only thing that can be done is what you did. Go out at night or very early in the morning, before they're moving around, and pour something truly nasty down the hole. My parents used to run a medical lab, and more than once we've poured xylene down a hole to kill them.
I think we may only have one nest of ground hornets here now, but no-one is brave enough to go around the back of the chicken pens and stomp around to find it. Once they know there's someone around, they come boiling out of the nest and the chase is on. You can't even swat them away, because they'll stick to your hands and arms and sting whatever they can touch. If you happen to be allergic or super-reactive, as I am, that's not an attractive proposition. I know that a lot of the insects have a job to do in nature, but there are just certain ones that need to do it a very long ways away from me!

Pat


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

I've looked up multiple pictures of yellow jackets and they were not what stung me. The closest photo to what stung me was a honey bee. If they were some type of honey bee their sting was loaded with kryptonite. I've been stung by honey bees before and I;ve had biting flies hurt worse. While painting on my house afew years ago I was stung by 2 large orange wasps. Their sting (pain wise) died down after afew hours. The stings from those small bees, not one third the size of a red wasp hurt for days.


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RE: Aaaacckkkkk! Hornets!

No, what we have are definitely not yellowjackets. I know what those are and I'm more than familiar with them. I have never seen a yellow jacket on the property. In fact, I'm not even sure I've seen one since I moved to OK. We do seem to have a tiny little bee sort of thing that looks like a mini-yellowjacket, but none of us have ever been stung by one of them.

These are something different entirely. The only similarity is that they also live in the ground. The ones we have are larger than a yellowjacket, at least the size of a bee or a bit larger, darker in color, and they are vicious!.

Pat


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