Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Identify this bug

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Question
unkown pest
unkown pest  
We have this flying insect at our new house.  They are a pest, they dive bomb us and our dog but so far, have not stung anyone.  I have no idea what it is.  It flies around similar to a dragon fly (it hovers a lot) and it always with another one of it's kind.
Do we need to worry about it stinking us or our dog?  
We live in the Akron, Ohio area. North east, ohio.
Thank you for your help!!

Answer

Kim:

Thank you for including the image with your question.

These are definitely NOT pests!  They are solitary wasps called Eastern Cicada Killers, Sphecius speciosus .  The ones dive-bombing you are males, which are territorial but are anatomically incapable of stinging.

The female wasps are larger still, and while they *can* sting, will only do so if molested.  Don't walk barefoot through their nesting area and you should be fine.

There is a great website about these amazing insects with all the information you could ever hope to know:

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

I'd be tempted to have a housewarming party and invite friends to come and watch these wasps.  The sight of a female flying in with a paralyzed cicada is jaw-dropping.  Enjoy the spectacle in any event, as it won't last long.  The wasps will be done with their individual nests in only 2-4 weeks most likely.

Eric

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton

Expertise

I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.

Experience

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Publications
Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Education/Credentials
Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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