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Cicada Killers

illustration of a cicada killer wasp

Bites or Stings

Damages Landscapes

Difficult to Eradicate

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large black and white cicada killer wasp


Cicada killers are large wasps that are docile in nature and typically make their grand entrance sometime in the summer months. During the summer season, cicada killers fulfill their name and hunt down cicadas that become food for their grub-like larvae.

Why are they around my house?

Cicada killers are attracted to turf with specific features. They prefer well-drained, open patches of soil that are in full sunlight. Their nesting grounds are usually near trees that provide lodging for cicadas. Your home may be providing the ideal grounds for cicada killers and this could be the reason you have seen a sudden influx. Some property owners may have noticed excavated soil or dirt along their patio edges, sidewalks, or even in their flowerbeds and gardens; this is a good indicator that cicada killers are active on your grounds. The female cicada killer’s purpose in removing soil or dirt is to create an underground burrow where she can raise her young. This process displaces a substantial amount of soil as she digs individual tunnels that can range from 30 to 70 inches long and have the potential to run 12 to 15 inches below the surface.

Are cicada killers dangerous?

Some refer to the cicada killer as the gentle giant. Although they appear large and intimidating they are non-aggressive creatures. Unlike other stinging insects, such as the honey bee and the hornet, they do not have the instinct to guard their nest, which means generally you can walk through an active area and remain unnoticed. If you are spotted by a male cicada killer, they may try to check you out but they are harmless and do not have a stinger. The most a male cicada killer can do is increase its buzzing sound and change colors to warn and discourage their prey.  Even if you were to stumble upon a female cicada killer, she is unlikely to sting unless she feels threatened. Cicada killers have the capability, with their digging nature, to cause even brick patios with sand bases to become destabilized, which can make them a problem. Additionally, a cicada killer’s nesting grounds can attract unwanted wildlife, such as skunks, which dig up their tunnels in order to feed, resulting in more disturbance to your property and the potential for an encounter with a wild animal. 

What does it take to get rid of cicada killers?

Cicada killers can be extremely difficult to eradicate without the help and expertise of an exterminator. However, there are a few measures that can be taken in an effort to rid your property of these wasps. These endeavors can include:

  • Keep your lawn and any areas that they would choose to burrow in well watered to discourage them from continuing progress there.

  • Cicada killers are poor fliers and are easily eliminated with the swing of a racket or with the step of a shoe.

  • If you have spotted the opening to their tunnels, try pouring boiling water down the burrows at night when the females have returned to their eggs. Thus, getting rid of the eggs and the adult wasps.

Although these measures are helpful, they are not a guarantee.  If you have seen cicada killers around your home, don’t hesitate; contact the NY pest control specialists at Parkway today!  Offering pest control in Long Island, Westchester County and throughout New York as well as Fairfield County, CT, Parkway is ready to help you get rid of insects and rodents quickly and efficiently.

How soon can you get here?     

Here at Parkway, we understand pest infestations can produce urgent situations, which is why we offer emergency and same day services. In most cases we can be there the very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

At Parkway Pest Services we pride ourselves on being Green Shield Certified and we use effective Integrated Pest Management techniques, which is a much safer option for you, your family and the environment. Through our IPM practices you will see less use of chemicals unless absolutely necessary. We focus on baiting and the exclusion of pests as our primary solutions for controlling your problem.

How can I prevent a future infestation?

Preventing cicada killers from invading your property is nearly impossible.  With new hatchlings every year and new females in search of the perfect breeding ground, the task of keeping them away from your home can become stressful. However, you can relieve your worries with a protection plan from Parkway Pest Services. For more information on how our pest control experts can help protect your home from cicada killers, call our office at (888) 243-2672 to speak with a friendly representative or simply click here to complete our online form.

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