Cicada Killer Wasp Identification Guide

What are cicada killer wasps?

A large wasp whose name has the ability to strikes fear, the cicada killer wasp, is relatively well-mannered. This species of wasp is solitary and the female makes its nest in an underground burrow. Adults grow to between 1 ½ and 2 inches in length and have a red and black body with a yellow band around their abdomen. Their head is reddish-brown, and their wings are heavily veined. Cicada killer wasps look very similar to large yellow jackets.

cicada wasp on white flower

Are cicada killer wasps dangerous?

Despite being a type of stinging insect, cicada killers pose little threats to people. Males do not have a stinger, and while females do, they are very docile and rarely sting people. Still, it is important to be careful around these pests because their venom is strong enough to cause reactions in those allergic to them. Accidentally stepping on one of these ground nesters is one of the main reasons stings occur.
Their “killer” name comes from the fact that females sting cicada bugs and other insects in order to feed their larvae. 

Why do I have a cicada killer wasp problem?

Several things attract cicada killer wasps to a property:

  • Sandy soil, window boxes, and lawns with bare spots

  • A lot of insects activity

  • Properties with lots of trees, plants, and landscaping 

Where will I find cicada killer wasps?

After mating in the late spring and early summer, the female creates a burrow in the soil, making individual chambers in which to place her eggs. Cicada killers build their nest around play structures, in sandy areas, and along the edges of foundations and sidewalks. They are also attracted to lawns with bare spots of dirt in them.

How do I get rid of cicada killer wasps?

Acquiring help from a professional pest control expert is the best way to eliminate cicada killer wasps and keep them from returning. At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our technicians are highly trained and dedicated to providing safe and effective pest control services that are affordable. We are a local, family-owned pest control company whose number one priority is putting our customers first and exceeding expectations. 
For home or business owners looking to eliminate pests from their property once and for all, call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How can I prevent cicada killer wasps in the future?

To help protect your North Carolina property from cicada killer wasps, consider putting into place the following prevention measures.

  • Make sure your lawn is healthy, dense, and free of bare areas of dirt.

  • If bare areas are present in your lawn, seed them.

  • Limit the number of flowering trees and plants you have planted on your property.


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