In a nutshell, cicada killer wasps don’t sting unless provoked or mishandled. But, even though they’re generally harmless to people, they’re still unwanted because they cause damage to gardens and lawns. Here are a few things you should know about these insects:
Appearance and Habitat
Cicada killers are quite large, and adult males and females can reach up to 1.5 to 2 inches in length. They have black or dark brown bodies with thin yellow stripes, which make them look like giant hornets or yellow jackets. Their wings, meanwhile, are thin and are usually brown or amber. However, even though cicada killers look dangerous and fearsome, they actually only attack when protecting themselves and their nest.
As their name suggests, these insects kill cicadas to feed to their larvae. This is why they live in burrows, particularly in sunny places where cicadas can be found. Adult cicada killers work in isolation. Females are the only ones that have stingers, so they fly and survey a large area around their nest to find prey. The female wasp will paralyze the cicada with a sting and transport it back to the nest to be used as food for their larvae. Meanwhile, males usually just stay near the burrow as guards.
Because cicada killers are huge, the holes that they bore into the ground are pretty big too. Their nests sometimes reach 10 to 12 inches deep into the ground. They also dig tunnels that are about 1.5 to 2 inches wide, which is enough to fit them and their prey. Their burrows often leave unsightly mounds on the ground, so many people want to get rid of these insects to protect their gardens and lawns.
When eliminating cicada killers, the first thing to do is to find the entrance to their nest. Once you’ve located it, spray it with insect killer to kill the larvae inside and prevent them from growing and reproducing. If you can’t find their burrow to get rid of them, call a local pest control company for assistance.
Call Us Today!
Cicada killer wasps are considered minor pests, and it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible. Contact us at Wingate Pest and Lawn, and we can eliminate the cicada killers in your garden fast. Get in touch with us to learn more about our residential pest management services in Columbia, MO.