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Are Cicada Killer Wasps Dangerous?


The cicada killer wasp is a bug with a name that excites fear when you hear it. Is the hype founded? Are cicada killer wasps as dangerous as their name suggests?

Identifying the Cicada Killer Wasp

The cicada killer wasp is a large species of wasp that can get as large as 3 inches in length. The cicada killer wasp is red with either black bands or with yellow bands on its back. This large wasp has large brown wings that are transparent and have intricate veins throughout.

Unlike other wasp species that build large colonies, the cicada killer wasp lives in a burrow underground. These wasps are primarily loners, so they aren’t as aggressive as other species that have to defend their nest and queen.

A female wasp leaves her eggs in the ground instead of nests above ground. The female cicada killer wasp prefers areas that your home provides: your lawn, window sills, large potted plants, gardens, and window boxes. But those aren’t the only places she will leave her eggs. The cicada killer wasp will build nests in sidewalks, cracks in the concrete or driveway, and in sandy areas.

Is the Cicada Killer Wasp Dangerous?

The name is deceiving. The cicada killer wasp is not as dangerous or deadly as the name suggests. The female is not overly aggressive, so it is safer to walk outside or send your pets and kids out to play without worrying that a cicada killer wasp will sting them. But, that is not to say that the cicada killer wasps won’t ever sting. They will, if they are agitated, use the large stinger that it uses to harpoon its meal to sting you. When the cicada killer wasp stabs its prey, the stinger pumps the meal with venom to paralyze it. If a cicada killer wasp stings you, the jab will hurt, but you have to work hard to provoke or aggravate it.

The Cicada and Your Property

The cicada killer wasp isn’t a big threat to you, your kids, and your pests; but it can cause quite a bit of damage to your property if left uncontrolled. The cicada killer wasp will dig and tunnel through areas in your yard to lay its eggs. When the eggs hatch, the female raises her babies underground. You can’t see the female and her young, but all the activity beneath the surface can make the area unstable. One indicator that you have a problem with the cicada killer wasp, or any other excavating pest, is when the ground feels mushy when you step on it, or when it caves in completely. If you have decorative stone or blocks, they will begin to shift and crumble as the ground beneath caves in. To make matters worse, not only will the cicada killer wasp ruin your garden structure, but it will damage the root system on your plants too.

Big Blue Bug Solutions knows the cicada killer wasp is difficult to get rid of, and we understand that you don’t want your garden to cave in either. Call our team of professionals to have your home inspected for the presence of cicada killer wasps and to create a residential pest control plan.