What Cicada Killer Wasps Are and How to Prevent Them

Have you seen giant wasps in your yard? This can be quite disturbing. It can be even more disturbing when someone tells you the name of those wasps. They're called cicada killer wasps. But don't worry. They're not "killer wasps" from a town called cicada. They are wasps that spend their lives hunting, capturing, and feeding on cicada insects. Those are the insects that make all that noise. So, you might want to thank cicada killer wasps for the important role they play in making the world a quieter place. Here are a few important things you should know about those giant wasps and some tips for preventing them.

What Is Chagas Disease?

a cicada killer rests on pavement outside a greenville south carolina home

Are Cicada Killer Wasps Dangerous?

Yes. They are very dangerous… if you are a cicada bug. Fortunately, most of us aren't. For those of us who aren't cicada bugs, these giant wasps don't pay much attention to us. They are solitary insects. They don't have a nest-protection instinct and they don't swarm together.

So, Are Cicada Killer Wasps Harmless?

While they don't prefer to sting you, they can. The rather long stinger the female has can be extremely painful if she plunges it into your skin. This can happen if you accidentally sit on her or rest your hand on her while you're relaxing on your back deck. There are many ways to accidentally press against a cicada killer wasp and get stung.

How Can I Know That My Wasps Are Cicada Killer Wasps?

Are you seeing wasps that are 2 to 3 inches in length? There is a pretty good chance you have cicada killer wasps. If that isn't easy enough, there is another way to figure out whether or not you have these wasps causing trouble on your property. They excavate soil when they build burrows for their nests.

Why Are Cicada Killer Wasps Considered Pests?

Besides the fact that they are disturbingly large stinging insects, their burrowing activities make them a pest. They can cause issues with lawns and landscaping. While she is a fraction of the size of a groundhog or mole, she can create a mound that can be fairly comparable in size. These are definitely not insects anyone needs hanging around in their yard. And, they prefer loose soils, which can lead them to create a burrow in sandboxes and expose children to a stinging hazard.

Tips For Preventing Cicada Killer Wasps

There are really only a few tips we can give for preventing cicada killer wasps. When these wasps come onto your property, it is important that they don't find suitable locations to establish a nest. Since they burrow in loose soil and plant pots, this is where you can have an impact on them.

  • Renovate bare soil areas and add turf or some other vegetation on top. This isn't guaranteed to keep these wasps away but it will deter them.
  • Remove or protect sandy areas. Sand is a preferred nesting material for these wasps to burrow into.
  • Protect potted plants with screens or enclosures.
  • Do routine inspections for the presence of cicada killer wasp holes near outdoor recreational areas. They are likely to be along the sides of walkways and in the soft soil of your landscaping. Early detection is key to preventing accidental contact.

When you find these wasps on your property, it is best to have a licensed and experienced pest control professional deal with them. The use of pest control chemicals can be far more of a threat to you and your family than these mostly harmless and beneficial wasps. And keep in mind that residential pest control from Spencer Pest Services, you get routine inspections from a highly-trained professional. So, while your pest control technician is protecting you from serious pests that can impact your health, such as mosquitoes, ticks, cockroaches, rodents, and more, you'll get protection from disturbingly large wasps. That's what we call a win-win.

It is easy to get started. Reach out to us and schedule a pest control inspection for your North or South Carolina home. We'll send a friendly and knowledgeable pest professional your way to help you figure out what pest pressure you're dealing with on your property and to offer real solutions to protect your health and property. Protecting families from the threats pests pose is what we do.