Have you seen large wasp-like creatures flying around lately? What you are probably seeing are cicada killers. Cicada killers are hunting wasps that exclusively feed on Cicadas. Males emerge two weeks before the females and set up territory about the same time Cicadas start buzzing their loud summer song. After about 2 weeks the females begin to emerge, they are twice the size of the males and almost look like they could carry off a small child. The female’s job is to gather the cicadas to put in burrows to feed the next generation of cicada killers, which will take place next year.

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Sometimes their burrowing can blemish lawns. However, the burrows act as a complimentary aeration to the soil allowing rain water to soak in. (If and when it rains again!)

Don’t worry they are non-aggressive. The males are incapable of stinging and the females typically reserve their sting for the cicada hunt. Although they can sting if stepped on or grasped aggressively. Oh! and they do NOT carry off small children!

Interesting fact: The female can determine the sex of the egg she lays and will give female eggs 2 cicadas to feed on and the males only one due to their smaller size.