Bug People: Great Golden Digger Wasp Questions

For the past few years I’ve had them in my yard. Neat looking wasp, also spooky! Anyway, in past years I’ve only seen one, and only one or two holes dug out for their eggs. This year I’ve got something like eight holes. I’ve seen two of the wasps, and also a much smaller wasp that seems interested in the holes.

I’m wondering if the smaller wasp is maybe a male?

With all these holes and now two wasps am I going to have a herd of them next year?

Also, they aren’t aggressive, but my dog keeps going right by there nesting place and they don’t like that. Anybody know how bad their sting is?

I didn’t give a poorly founded answer this morning, for I’m not a well-versed bug guy. However, I see that nobody’s touched it all day. Here goes.

If you are in the area served by the horde of Brood X cicadas, you may have seen cicada exit towers instead of wasp holes. I hope you get a more solid answer than this one.

I’d guess the smaller wasp is a parasitic wasp.

I’m awfully tired, but surely there’s a gag in here about a “synod of WASPs.”

Actually, I’m quite sure it is the wasps digging the holes since I’ve seen them doing the digging. It is amazing how quickly they dig. Nice perfectly round holes too. I’d say about 1/4" diameter.

The idea of the smaller wasp being parasitic is interesting. The Golden diggers capture a bug and lay their eggs on it then bury it in the hole, I guess that makes them a parasitic wasp as well. I’m not sure if the er… host bug? is left alive or not though.

An interesting, creepy, bug!