Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:02 pm
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:45 pm
Cicada killer wasps (Sphecius speciosus)
The cicada killer wasp is 1.5 to 2.0 inches long, and is brownish black with yellow markings on the abdomen and face. While their size is intimidating, cicada killers are not aggressive and will sting humans only if pinned against the skin.
The female digs a burrow in the soil. It captures cicadas, paralyzing them by stinging, and places them in the burrow. An egg is deposited on each cicada and that cell is closed off. Cicada killer wasps produce one generation per year, and the larvae spend the winter in the nest cell in the soil.
The only damage these wasps cause is the unsightly dirt piles dug out to create nests. The piles usually disappear with the first rain. Killing individual wasps is virtually impossible unless you spray them in the act of digging or soak the soil to kill developing larvae. Since cicada killers are so beneficial, control efforts are not recommended. If you feel control is necessary, spray the soil where digging activity is observed with a liquid insecticide labeled for wasp control.
Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:13 pm