Cicada Killers are large wasps that can be almost 2 inches long and resemble giant yellow jackets. Cicada killers have a black abdomen with yellow markings in several of the segments and a slightly orange tints to the wings. We typically see the adults around mid-summer when the cicada wasp uses the cicada as food for its larvae. We typically see numbers of Cicada Killers buzzing around our lawns looking for their prey and the exact spot for the female to create her burrow. She will paralyze the cicada with her scary stinger and drags in back into the hole she has created. There she will deposit her eggs on and when it hatches the larva will feed on the immobilized cicada. They may not be much more than a scary nuisance to a homeowner; however, they do have beneficial purposes of reducing cicada populations. Males do not have stingers and the female will only sting when provoked.
How to Control Cicada Killers
The holes or burrows of most ground burrowing wasps can be treated with an appropriate labeled insecticide. You should apply the insecticide or dust during the day time and leave the holes exposed and opened. Females may be agitated, so it is best to seek protective equipment and quickly exit the area. It may take more than one treatment. After the second treatment the hole can be covered with soil. This will ensure the pests can no longer survive and will disperse from the hole or simply die.
Cicada Killers may appear intimidating, and quickly appear during times of cicada infestations as that is their food source. With proper care, and planning if a cicada population is predicted to move into your area, the pests can be effectively controlled as to avoid further issue and inconvenience.
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