Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cicada Killers

These wasps are commonly seen in late summer skimming around the lawn, shrubs, and trees searching for cicadas. Cicadas are captured, paralyzed by a sting, and used for food to rear their young.

Size: 1 1/8 to 1 5/8 inches long 
Color: Black marked with yellow (similar to yellow-jacket wasps)
Activity/Behavior: After stinging a large cicada, the female wasp drags it up a tree, straddles it, and takes it off toward the burrow, partly gliding. When trees are not available, the cicada (prey) is dragged to the burrow on the ground. Cicadas are very large insects, sometimes called “locusts.” They sing loudly (noisily) in trees during late summer. The female wasps are non-aggressive and rarely sting unless touched, caught in clothing, or disturbed by lawn equipment. Though males aggressively defend nesting sites, they have no sting.
Where They Live: Nests usually are made in the full sun where vegetation is sparse, especially in well-drained soils. These wasps dig burrows over a wide area, lay their eggs in them and then move on.
Tips for Control: Because the cicada killer will sting if provoked, we suggest a professional be called right away to deal with an infestation.
How Suburban Exterminating Can Help:   A trained pest control professional can help you get rid of cicada killers because it is all about timing. The burrows are what need to be sprayed and at a certain time of the year to avoid re-infestation. A professional will be able to conduct this process in the proper way to avoid a backyard population of stinging insects.
Suburban Exterminating follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure your health and safety. We use only products which are registered with the EPA. Our technicians are registered and licensed with NY State. Our technicians participate in a continuing education program. 

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