Are all wasps an enemy to your home? Seeing large wasps on your property can often be a cause for concern, especially if those wasps are territorial and seemingly aggressive. However, while some species of wasps such as yellow jackets and European hornets can be aggressive and a threat, some species are very beneficial.


One of the best examples of this is the cicada killer. These bugs certainly look frightening, but the truth is that they are simply putting on an act. Not only are they not a threat to you, they may even be a beneficial guest on your property.


But what ARE cicada killers? And how are they different from other wasps?


Cicada killers are one of the physically largest species of wasps, growing to over 1.5-inches in length as adults. They strongly resemble European hornets or yellow jackets, with a black and yellow striped abdomen and a brownish-red head and thorax. These wasps are often seen outdoors, typically low to the ground, swarming around gardens and lawns.


As their name might suggest, cicada killers prey primarily on cicadas. During the summer season, cicada killers mate and prepare nesting burrows. Once this is complete, the female cicada killer will hunt down cicadas that are paralyzed by a specialized stinger. The females then bring the cicadas back to their nests, where they engage in a rather terrifying process of embedding eggs inside of the paralyzed cicada. These eggs will hatch and the cicada will become a food source for the new larvae.


While this may seem terrifying, the only thing that needs to fear cicada killers are cicadas themselves. Male cicada killers, though territorial and often aggressive, are unable to sting. Though females can sting, they rarely, if ever, sting humans or anything that is not an insect, and even in such cases, their sting is relatively painless. Since cicada killers often target pest insects, they can be a welcome addition to your garden provided that their nest building does not cause damage.


Cicada killers are also not social insects, which means that they will not establish large nest sites near to your home. That being said, they can sometimes be a problem if their nests are built to close to the home, and in large numbers, they can be somewhat of a nuisance. Whether or not cicada killers near your home will be an issue is often a case by case question, but generally speaking, they are not a pest in any way.


Despite this, their similarity of habitat, behavior, and appearance to other pest wasps often causes concern for homeowners. It can often be very difficult to distinguish them from European hornets or other similar stinging pests, and due to this, it is not safe to assume that the wasps you spot around your home are harmless. Therefore, if you are seeing wasps of any kind around your property, it is often a good idea to schedule an inspection with a professional pest control provider to ensure that there are no issues.


If you are spotting pests of any kind around your home or business, Canton Termite and Pest Control is your one-call solution to pest problems! We have decades of experience in the pest and wildlife control industry, and we operate with industry-leading quality standards that will ensure that your pest problems are tackled quickly, safely, and completely! All of our treatment services are handled by experience, professional team and are backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!


So don’t let pests roam free around your home, call us TODAY at 770-479-1598 to schedule a FREE inspection!


Here’s to YOU living PEST FREE!

Cicada Killers
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