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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Help, what are these things? (bug question)

   
Author Topic: Help, what are these things? (bug question)
DaisyMae
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A few days ago I noticed this insect flying around my back patio and thought, "that is the hugest flying bug I have ever seen." Now there are at least three hovering around and it seems they are building a little pile of dirt in the crack of my patio. I don't know what they plan to do with this pile, but they seem to be congregating and I DON'T LIKE IT. Anyway, I'm afraid they might sting because they are stripy like bees. But I've never seen these before. Can anyone help me identify them?

All I can tell you is that they are humongous, very fat and very long with a pointy end. Their bodies are not segmented like a wasp. Their wings, as far as I can tell, are translucent, but have kind of a rusty hue, which makes them not look like a bee. They have black and yellow stripes, but don't look hairy like a bumblebee. I don't know how to get rid of them and I don't want to go out there unless I know whether they sting or not.

I live in Eastern Nebraska, if that helps.

Any ideas?

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Dagonee
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Is it this?
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DaisyMae
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no, it's longer and fatter than that. It sort of resembles a short cigar with a pointy butt and wings.

Thanks for trying though.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Is it this?

That was my guess as well. Let me see what I can dig up. Where is that darn Insect Advocate!?

What county are you in?

Daisy: Was Dag's guess only wrong by virtue of size and slight shape variation? Were the colors/wings and general look right?

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DaisyMae
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Oh crap, I think they're copulating!! That's probably what the pile of dirt is for.

I just examined them some more, and one landed long enough for me to give more description.
First, I kind of exaggerated about the cigar. Make it a cigarette. The bands of black and yellow are not even and the majority of butt (the part that tapers into the point) is all black. Also, they have very long antennae.

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DaisyMae
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And, from what i can tell, two sets of wings.
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DaisyMae
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In examining the yellow jacket picture, the biggest differences are that they don't seem to be quite so shiny (not so beetle looking) and their heads aren't as distinct and they don't hold their wings so close to their bodies when they aren't in motion. But they do this weird butt thrust thing when they are landed which reminds me of making babies. PLEASE DON'T LET THEM MAKE BABIES IN MY PATIO!
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DaisyMae
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Just kidding, more examination reveals it really is just one set of wings and the bodies are kind of shiny, but I still don't think they're yellow jackets. It's been hard to get a good look when I'm not willing to actually go outside.
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aspectre
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Sounds like one of the bumblebee or carpenter bee varieties.
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DaisyMae
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Okay, I really think it's this

Yuck!!
Just looking at these pictures triggers my gag reflex.

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Tante Shvester
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Cool! I want one!
quote:
Upon capturing a cicada, the female stings it injecting venom. Then, she carries the cicada back to the burrow, where she lays an egg on its living, but paralyzed body. Within two weeks, the egg hatches into a larva, eats the cicada, and develops into a pre-pupa
Neat trick!
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Farmgirl
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quote:
Although visually alarming, these wasps pose little threat. Cicada killers control cicada populations, which may otherwise harm new growth on trees.
Why do they bother you so badly?
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DaisyMae
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I've got serious bug issues bordering on phobia. The bigger the freakier. I wasn't keen on the whole "males divebombing people's heads" thing, stinging or not.

The fact that they are taking up residence three feet from my back door bothers me. I have informed my husband that he shall be taking action.

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ketchupqueen
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It says you should make them a better place to live.

Personally I'd call an exterminator. If HE wanted to make them a better place to live, well and good. If not, though, I'd turn away and let him go about his business. I don't like any buggies right near my door, either.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Males often display territorial behavior and will dive-bomb people’s heads
[Eek!]

quote:
however, they have no sting and pose no real threat.
I dunno, I think I'd rather worry about being stung then having a freakin bug dive bomb my head.

Go get a blowtorch or some Raid DaisyMae, get them while their numbers are few. Or else just ignore em, though I personally like cicadas and if I had a species of wasp that exists purely to eat them, I'd obliterate them from my land.

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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I dunno, I think I'd rather worry about being stung then having a freakin bug dive bomb my head.

Really? Why on earth?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I dunno, I think I'd rather worry about being stung then having a freakin bug dive bomb my head.

Really? Why on earth?
Probably because I've been stung before, I don't know what it would be like to have a wasp buzzing angrily and banging into the top my head. If a wasp wants to sting you, you can see it coming for you and swat at it, if it dive bombs your head you can't see it coming. Also its quite a bit harder to get away if you have to keep looking up at the wasp buzzing angrily overhead and occasionaly making a dive for your face.
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Noemon
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Huh. For me, the fact that the stinging would result in at least a minimal level of pain, while the dive bombing would just be an irritant (and for me, something that I could completely tune out once I knew that the the insect was all bark and no bite), makes the dive bombing to be the more preferable of the two.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
Huh. For me, the fact that the stinging would result in at least a minimal level of pain, while the dive bombing would just be an irritant (and for me, something that I could completely tune out once I knew that the the insect was all bark and no bite), makes the dive bombing to be the more preferable of the two.

Perhaps, but have YOU been dive bombed before? [Wink]
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MidnightBlue
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I know you can pour boiling water on ants' nests if you want to destroy the nest, kill the ants, and not have to worry about dangerous chemicals and such. Is the nest actually on the porch (and is it and indoor-type porch) or on the ground next to it? If it's just next to it I would try boiling water. Unless that might anger them.
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Noemon
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quote:
Perhaps, but have YOU been dive bombed before?
Sure, plenty of times. But I haven't been stung*. Maybe we're both just afraid of the unknown! [Smile]


*Which is kind of surprising, given how often I've been around bees and wasps.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Perhaps, but have YOU been dive bombed before?
Sure, plenty of times. But I haven't been stung*. Maybe we're both just afraid of the unknown! [Smile]


*Which is kind of surprising, given how often I've been around bees and wasps.

Could be.

Since you're a sting virgin let me offer you some advise. When they say, "Just leave them alone and they will leave you alone," yeah, completely wrong.

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steven
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Wasps are so uncool.
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Noemon
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Since you're a sting virgin let me offer you some advise. When they say, "Just leave them alone and they will leave you alone," yeah, completely wrong.

I actually used to play with bees when I was a kid, and more than once have been in circumstances where people were shocked that I didn't get stung (and in which I was the only person who didn't get stung). I suspect that a large part of the reason that I wasn't stung was that I wasn't afraid of them, and didn't bear them any ill will.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Since you're a sting virgin let me offer you some advise. When they say, "Just leave them alone and they will leave you alone," yeah, completely wrong.

I actually used to play with bees when I was a kid, and more than once have been in circumstances where people were shocked that I didn't get stung (and in which I was the only person who didn't get stung). I suspect that a large part of the reason that I wasn't stung was that I wasn't afraid of them, and didn't bear them any ill will.
Pretty cool.

The first time I got stung I was just sitting on the sidewalk talking to a cousin and after about 10 minutes I was suddenly stung on the neck. If I didn't know the bee was going to die I would have felt angry. I still don't get what I could have done to deserve it.

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Noemon
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quote:
I still don't get what I could have done to deserve it.
I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Noemon:
quote:
I still don't get what I could have done to deserve it.
I do not mean to pry, but you don't by any chance happen to have six fingers on your right hand?
lol 'fraid not.

You don't happen to have some sort of pheromone emission gland that coerces bees to do your bidding do you? If so please stay away from any sort of radiation that might augment this ability or possibly expand it.

[ July 13, 2007, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Liz B
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Two summers ago I got stung (on the butt!) by a wasp just for walking into my own backyard. (Later that day, incidentally, I fell down and sprained my ankle. That was a super day.)

Leave them alone, hah.

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Sterling
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quote:
Males often display territorial behavior and will dive-bomb people’s heads; however, they have no sting and pose no real threat.
Hmm. I know some people like that.

Frankly, having been dive-bombed by a crow, I have no great fear of a stingerless bug.

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