Can cicada killers hurt you? Females have significant stingers which they plunge into cicadas to inject venom that paralyzes them. Without doubt, their stings are painful. However, they are not aggressive and do not have the nest-guarding instinct of honeybees and hornets. You can walk through areas where they are active without attracting attention.
The male wasp’s aggressive behavior can be frightening and intimidating to human passersby, the males pose no danger whatsoever. Are cicada killers dangerous? The females are not territorial and the aggressive male cicada killers will only grapple with other insects and cannot sting.
WHERE ARE THEY FOUND?
This ground-burrowing wasp may be found in well-drained, sandy soils to light clay in bare or grass-covered banks, berms and hills as well as next to raised sidewalks, driveways and patio slabs. Females may share a burrow, digging their own nest cells off the main tunnel. A typical burrow is 10–20 inches deep and about 0.59-inches wide. In digging a burrow, the female dislodges the soil with her jaws and, using her hind legs, pushes loose soil behind her as she backs out of the burrow. Her hind legs are equipped with special spines that help her push the dirt behind her. The excess soil pushed out of the burrow forms a mound with a trench through it at the burrow entrance. Cicada killers may nest in planters, window boxes, flower beds or under shrubs, ground cover, etc. Nests often are made in the full sun where vegetation is sparse.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BURROWS?
After digging a nest chamber in the burrow, female cicada killers capture cicadas, paralyzing them with a sting. After paralyzing a cicada, the female wasp holds it upside down beneath her and takes off toward her burrow; this return flight to the burrow is difficult for the wasp because the cicada is often more than twice her weight. A wasp will often lug its prey up into the nearest tree, to gain altitude for the flight to the burrow. After putting one or more cicadas in her nest cell, the female deposits an egg on a cicada and closes the cell with dirt.
CAN CICADA KILLER WASPS BE CONTROLLED?
Control may be desirable in situations where physical damage is occurring, or if the presence of the insects is causing significant distress. Treatments can be made directly into the burrows or only to the entrances where the wasps will contact the product as they enter and leave.
Can cicada killers hurt you? Maybe. Contact us HERE.
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