A killer on the loose.
This sounds pretty scary doesn’t it? Well it is true, and most likely, you will find one hiding in the woods, at the park, or if you’re really lucky…in your back yard!
The Cicada Killer Wasp (Sphecius speciosus), is pretty harmless to humans, but the female IS capable of stinging. Generally, the cicada killers seem to be pretty clumsy, they work really hard, and have only one thing on their minds…cicadas! They are erratic flyers and will fly right into you and they are ENORMOUS compared to other wasps!
When watching these giants, you will notice that the males are the ones flying around fighting and mating, living only a couple of weeks. The females will hunt down the cicadas and paralyze them with their stinger. They will then drag the cicada into the burrow where they are raising and feeding their young grubs. During the winter months, the grubs will form a cocoon (still underground) and hatch sometime in July, then continue this life process.
If you walk around staring at the ground, you will see holes in the ground that are about as big as your index finger; most likely this is where they are living. They enjoy dry ground, under trees, but with sparse vegetation. They can make your back yard a “holey” mess, and if you have kids that like to dig…it can be scary!
How do you control these killers? The most organic and money pinching way is the “whack” them with a shovel. However, if you truly have a problem you can irrigate your soil… making less than appealing housing grounds for these bugs (this will not kill them). Last, but not least, you can always call Green Bug if you want professional results.
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If you have made it through this article, we would like to ask a favor of you. Next time you see one of these killers, take a picture and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to see the pictures and may even post YOUR picture of a cicada killer on our Facebook page for our followers to see!