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Cicada Killer Wasps: How Dangerous Are They?

When you see a rather large wasp flying around you aggressively, it is quite normal to be frightened.  Cicada Killer Wasps are longer than one inch and have black and yellow markings very similar to a yellow jacket.  The eastern cicada killer wasp also nests in the soil like yellow jackets, although the cicada killer is solitary so it usually nests alone.

Yellow jacket

Cicada Killer Wasp (Photo: E. Youngsteadt)

What You Need to Know

If this is the first you have heard of the cicada killer, you might be thinking about how scary its name sounds.  The name is quite fitting since they hunt cicadas and feed them to their larvae.  If you feel like you may need to get rid of these wasps around your home, contact us online or give us a call at 888-534-4535.  One of our trained technicians will visit your home and assess your situation.  Verifying if you do have cicada killers vs. yellowjackets, hornets or bees is very important, and we have the knowledge to offer expert advice.  Cicada killers are unlikely to sting you unless they feel threatened, and the male has no stinger.  The best course of action is to leave them alone and let them feed on cicadas.  On the other hand, yellowjackets and hornets can be quite aggressive and do readily sting humans.

Cicada Killer Wasp Facts

They can be up to 1 1/2″ long.

They prefer to burrow in bare ground or thin grass.

Their nests are easy to identify because of the large entry hole and excavated soil.

The female is larger than the male.

Cicada killer wasp sting paralyzes cicadas.

The cicada is taken back to the nest to be fed to wasp larvae.

Cicada killer wasps are beneficial insects-they fight high populations of cicadas.

As long as you don’t bother the cicada killer wasp too much, the two of you should be able to live in harmony.  If you have questions or concerns about these or other insects in or around your home, contact us and we will gladly offer advice.  For help with pest control around your home, consider our Pest 360 service and get pest control tailored to your needs.

Note: Insect stings can provoke serious reactions, particularly for those with allergies.  Always consult a medical professional if you are stung and experience serious symptoms.

 

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