New Jersey has yet another killer insect on the loose right now
Its name is sphecius speciosus and it comes out a couple of months before Halloween. Maybe for that reason, they've earned the nickname "zombie wasp."
People all over parts of New Jersey have taken notice of these things and are wondering what the hell they are and how dangerous they are.
Thankfully, even though they may look scary, they are harmless to humans and pets.
They're most commonly called "cicada killers" or "cicada hawks" and they're not interested in us. They prey on cicadas.
You may see little piles of dirt or sand in the cracks in sidewalks or on your patio. They capture cicadas and put them down those holes in the sand or dirt piles and feed off them.
It sounds horrendous and they look threatening and petrifying but the only thing they really petrify is the cicada.
They are officially known as the Eastern cicada killer and have the reputation as "the gentle giants of the wasp world."
They are here in New Jersey right now but don't confuse them with their cousins, the "murder hornets," which made big news right around the time that COVID arrived in 2020.
Just like the pandemic in 2022, the thought and sight of this phenomenon is far worse than the reality.
The cicada killer wasps are actually good for the planet since they hunt cicadas, which damage trees. That is far more of a danger to humans than a scary-looking but harmless bug that's making holes in your dirt.
Unlike the spotted lantern fly, you are not encouraged to kill them. Spotted lantern flies kill trees and vegetation. These guys actually protect against that.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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