Weird Wasps Making Mounds In Our Lawn

Q: Suddenly, we have about a dozen closely spaced mounds of red dirt in our lawn. We see very mean-looking black and yellow wasps dragging caterpillars down into the mounds. It’s a very threatening situation. It would help if we could at least name the critter. 

A: I feel certain they are cicada killer wasps. Despite their threatening looks, they are completely harmless. The male wasps fly around and buzz you … but they don’t have a stinger, so they can’t hurt you. The females are up in the trees, looking for caterpillars and cicadas, which they bring down to the temporary nest hole to provision it for when their eggs hatch in a few days. The only time they could possibly hurt you is if you swat a female who is carrying her prey to the nest. But now that you know what is going on, you can stand back and watch the female wasps work tirelessly each day to bring home their babies’ first meals.

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