The Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) gets great press: "Scary Good," "benign, gentle wasp currently being studied by scientists for its behavioral responses," "The Hardest Working Bug in the Garden". This wasp gets good press for good reasons. Their tunnels help aerate the soil. The adults are pollinators as they live on the nectar of flowers. They capture insects that are garden pests. They are harmless to people unless stepped on or grabbed. The male doesn't even have a stinger. The female uses hers to paralyze prey, such as grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets, upon which to lay an egg after dragging it into one of two or three chambers connected horizontally to a four to six inch deep vertical tunnel. She digs several of these tunnels. She can't seem to keep track of how many insects she needs if she is robbed by a bird on her way back to her tunnel. She leaves her prey at the mouth of the tunnel, goes inside to inspect the tunnel to make sure all is well, and then returns to drag the prey into the tunnel. If the prey is moved a few inches while she is inspecting, when she returns she will put it back at the mouth of the tunnel and repeat her tunnel inspection. She will do this repetitively indicating that this behavior is genetically programmed. At more than an inch, they are one of the largest of the solitary thread-waisted digger wasps. The adult lives 1-2 months in the summer during which the females dig and provision their tunnels. Not realizing that these are beneficial creatures, many homeowners exterminate them.