Cicada Killer Wasps
Cicada Killer wasps are large, non-aggressive wasps that behave differently from meat wasps – hornets and yellowjackets. These are not swarming wasps even though you might see many of them together. These are solitary wasps that create a hive of one queen and that is it. It is almost fair to say these are docile wasps, especially compared to yellowjackets. They will, however, sting you and if they do, you will wish they hadn’t. Their sting is slightly more painful than that of a yellowjacket.
Not So Aggressive but Still a Pest?
It might seem odd that a wasp that is not aggressive is a pest, but the details behind that label is found in their habits. Cicada Killer Wasps, as their name implies hunt and subdue cicada – Those loud and annoying insects that buzz at all hours of the day and night. Solitary wasps often target a single species of insects or spider. There are others too, such as the tarantula hawk, which battles and subdues large tarantula. There are a variety of solitary wasp that hunt spiders and some that hunt grasshoppers and crickets. Sounds like these gals might be beneficial, and they are!
The problem with cicada killer wasp around Bryan and College Station, Texas is that they are ground dwelling. They make burrows in lawns, near patios, home foundations, etc. It is not such an issue if there are just one or two of them, but there can be hundreds.
Once the female Cicada Killer Captures a Cicada, she stings it and paralyzes it. She then flies it back to her burrow where she ceremonially stuffs it inside and then lays a single egg on it. The Cicada is only unconscious and will remain that way until the egg hatches. The emerging larva will then burrow into the cicada and consume it from the inside out.
It is the burrow that is the problem. In rainy seasons, they can be the “seed” that starts erosion on slopes, or pits in lawns. If flooded they can undermine foundations and patios causing expensive home and business repairs and that is the real reason why these large wasps are pests.
If you have a Cicada Wasp pest issue, we can help. Give us a call and one of our pest control professionals will exterminate ground burrows before they become an erosion issue.