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Cicada Killer Wasp

Actual Size: Approximately 1 ½”

Characteristics: Large size, black abdomen with yellow markings and amber wings.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Prefer cicada-heavy areas. They tunnel underground, leaving a U-shaped appearance in the soil.


  • Females create burrows in bare soil.
  • The venom of this wasp paralyzes cicadas.
  • Cicada killer wasp larvae feed on the paralyzed cicadas.

Cicada Killer Wasps in Salina

Cicada killer wasps are large and intimidating but less dangerous to humans than most wasps. Female wasps attack cicadas in flight, stinging them until they’re paralyzed, and bring them back to the nest to feed larvae. Cicada killer wasps are found throughout the U.S., Mexico, and parts of Central America.

Cicada Killer Wasp Habitat

Cicada killer wasps dig holes or burrows, preferably in soft, sandy, and well-drained soil. Commonly found on sloped terrains, in flower beds, along patio edges or sidewalks, cicada killer wasps appear as adults in late June or July. The cicada killer wasp nests in the ground to be near cicada populations. You can sometimes find dozens of their burrows in lawns and on golf courses with a pile of soil surrounding the entrance. The males fly guard duty over the lawn, chasing away potential predators.

Cicada Killer Wasp Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Unlike other wasp species, cicada killers are not aggressive. They are unlikely to sting humans or pets unless they are disturbed. Males are aggressive and territorial but don’t have a stinger. If you are stung by a cicada killer wasp, it can be painful and their venom may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

The main reason people want to get rid of cicada killers is they can be a nuisance. Female wasps dig large burrows and make messes near plants and vegetation. The burrowing can also damage plant roots and make walkways and pathways unstable. If you are dealing with a cicada killer wasp problem, contact your local wasp removal experts for help.

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