Large, solitary wasps, Cicada Killer Wasps have a dangerous appearance and a tendency to dive-bomb those who get too close. However, adults rarely contact people or sting. The male that does the dive-bombing isn’t even equipped with a stinger. The female has a very weak sting that is not considered painful. However, when this overly-large wasp is incorrectly identified, the results are often fear, panic, and anxiety.


Quick Guide

  • Characteristics: 1 to 1 ¾ inches long with black, red, and yellow coloring. 
  • Nests: The female digs tunnels in sandy locations, particularly sandboxes, golf course sand traps, and sandy picnic areas. 
  • Risks of Sting: Rarely sting people.

Cicada Killer Wasps : Habitat and Nests

Cicada Killer Wasps-Guide

Females build nesting tunnels in sandy areas. When the ideal area isn’t available, they will turn to gardens, flower beds, and lawns. They’ll dig 1 to 1 ½-inch diameter tunnels that are roughly one foot deep and two feet long. 

At the bottom of each burrow is a chamber with three to four earthen cells. These cells are later stocked with prey for each larva. Additional chambers may branch off the main tunnel and have more cells.

Cicada Killer Wasps: Behaviors and Damage​

Essentially harmless, the Cicada Killer Wasps causes many people fear due to its size and the male’s determination to dive-bomb people who get too close to his nest. In addition, they can cause extensive damage to your yard with their tunnel digging. So, if you want to have a pristine yard, you will need to manage this wasp when you find it.

Prevention and Control

Cicada Killer Wasps - Featured Image

When you know where the nest is in your yard, you can place clear plastic over it to cause overheating, preventing the Cicada killer wasps from entering their tunnels. Additionally, insecticides can be used; however, it is often safer to leave their use to a professional wasp exterminator that has experience with them. The best option on how to get rid of cicada killer wasps naturally is dust formulations that must be placed directly inside the entrance to the nest. Placing this chemical just before sunrise or sunset will be the best way to get the female to unknowingly carry it back to the rest of the hive.


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