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Cicada Killer Bee

Sphecius speciosus

Cicada Killer Bee

Cicada Killer Wasps, Sphecius speciosus, are one of the summertimes most common pests. They are solitary wasps, meaning they are found in substantially lower numbers and are less aggressive than social wasps such as yellowjackets. 

Cicada killers are present in every single state on the east side of the Rocky mountains. While they are not an invasive species, they are still very prevalent across the United States. 

Cicada Killers are also commonly labeled as a digger wasps. While their size and coloring may seem threatening, they primarily pollinate flowers and considered to be beneficial in most environments. 

The Cicada Killer Wasp naturally gravitates towards garden beds and flowers as they need the nectar from such plants for nourishment. Living up to their name as digger wasps, Cicada Killers dig burrows in soft, sandy and preferably dry soil. Cicada Killers are typically found in the yard and gardens and tend to favor sloped terrain for their burrows. So where do they get the name Cicada Killer? Well, the female Cicada Killer stings Cicadas with a paralyzing venom and plant their larvae in the Cicada’s body. The larvae then develop into adults and emerge from the Cicada at the end of this cycle. While it is a fascinating process, it is critical to prevent female Cicada Killers from birthing their larvae.

Cicada Killers pose no real threat to humans and will only sting if they are accidentally trapped in your clothes or shoes. Unlike social wasps, the Cicada Killer does not attempt to defend their burrows and will not adopt aggressive behavior when in the presence of humans.

With that being said, Cicada Killers are still a nuisance pest. Just because they aren’t social wasps, forming aggressive packs, they can always take over your property. Keep an eye out for their burrows, and if you suspect your property has already been invaded, contact H&H Pest Control and Waterproofing to schedule your free inspection. Get ahead of those Cicada Killers this year!