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Cicada Killers

What do cicada killers look like?

Cicada killers are a large wasp species that burrow under ground. Adults grow between 2-3 inches in length, depending on the specific species. The males are smaller than the females. Cicada killers can be black to red in color and have yellow bands on their abdomen. Their heads are reddish brown in color and they have transparent wings that are heavily veined. The eyes of the cicada killer are red or black and are set wide on either side of the head. Cicada killer nymphs are wingless.

Are cicada killers dangerous?

Cicada killers are not dangerous to people. Males do not have a stinger and are generally only aggressive to each other; females do have a stinger but are very passive and will only sting if they are being directly handled or threatened.

Cicada killers get their name because adults sting and paralyze cicada bugs and other insect species. They place the insects inside their burrow to use as a food source for the larvae after they hatch.

Where do cicada killers nest?

Cicada killers are solitary and do not live in nests. Instead, the female makes underground burrows about 12 inches in the ground. The female cicada then makes individual cells inside of the burrow to lay her eggs in. She creates her burrow in lawns and in sandy areas like around play structures and along the edges of sidewalks and concrete slabs.

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