These big, noisy, dangerous-looking wasps can be very aggressive, but that’s because they are protecting their nests.

Male Cicada Killers do not sting but are territorial. They will approach anything that enters “their area”, including walkers, children playing, people mowing or using weed-eaters. They may hover, dive bomb, and challenge trespassers but are harmless.

Only the female stings and usually when she is provoked. The female has two main jobs:

  1. Dig underground burrows to use as a nursery for her larvae
  2. Fill them with paralyzed cicadas that will be food for her grub-like larvae.

Female cicadas can make a mess of your gardens, lawn, patio, and driveway edges. And if you, your children, or pets mess with the female, you can be sure they will be stung. Sometimes the venom can cause a reaction and if so, medical treatment may be necessary.

 Why and How Do You Exterminate Cicada Killers?

Control may be necessary if Cicada Killers are causing physical damage to your property. Overall, these insects are not dangerous to humans but can be annoying and daunting if nests are near where children and pets play. Large masses of cicada killers can build up over time. An estimated 40% of the developing larvae (a dozen or more per tunnel) will develop as adults the following year so numbers can increase rapidly. If Cicada Killers have become a nuisance in your yard, talk with your Organic Turf Trade representative about available solutions.