1-½ inch in length
Except for a rusty red head and thorax, they are overall black or rusty in color, with yellow band markings on the abdominal segments. They have russet colored wings.
They dig in home lawns and their buzzing flights over the lawn.
Female cicada killer wasps capture annual cicadas in July and August and place them in cells located at the ends of tunnels they have dug in the ground. Each tunnel is about the size of a quarter and extends 24 inches or more into the ground. One or two paralyzed cicadas are placed in each cell, and a single egg deposited before the cell is closed by the female, who flies away, never to return. The wasp grubs feed on the cicadas and develop into wasps that emerge the following summer.
Solitary wasps put paralyzed insects or spiders inside the nest as food for their offspring.
The cicada killer wasps attract attention due to their large size, the burrows that they dig in home lawns and their buzzing flights over the lawn.
Cicada Killer Prevention Tips
Cultural practices can prevent or eliminate the establishment of cicada killer colonies. Adequate lime and fertilizer applications accompanied by frequent watering promote a thick growth of turf and can usually eliminate a cicada killer infestation in one or two seasons.
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