Cicada killers are fall pests that can wreck lawns and patios in Allentown, Bethlehem, Emmaus, and nearby areas of Pennsylvania.
Fall is time for the transition to cooler weather and beautiful leaf colors. Unfortunately, it’s also the season for cicada killers—wasps that are known for feeding off of cicadas and causing unsightly damage to your lawn.
Let’s review how to tell if you have cicada killers on your property and what you can do about it.
What is a Cicada Killer?
Cicada killer wasps have typical wasp bodies and range in size from 0.5-2 inches in length. Their bodies are mostly black with colored markings that can be orange-red, yellow, or brown.
They are mostly solitary creatures that burrow underground—you won’t see large nests that we commonly associate with wasps. Cicada killers, as their name suggests, are known for using their stingers to kill cicadas to feed to their larvae.
These wasps emerge in late summer and are present until early fall and can be found in Pennsylvania and other areas of the United States.
How do I Identify a Cicada Killer?
You might be able to identify cicada killers the following ways:
- Physical appearance – Large, black and orange body
- Sound – They make noticeable buzzing noises when you’re close to the burrow
- Signs of burrowing – Mounds of soil near patios, flower beds, sloped areas, sidewalk edges, and sometimes in the middle of the yard
Are Cicada Killers Dangerous?
Female cicada killer wasps have large stingers that they use to paralyze cicadas. The wasps aren’t known for being particularly aggressive to humans and pets, and they aren’t as protective of their nests as typical wasps and hornets.
However, if your curious pets (or you) simply get too close, there is the possibility of being stung, which is painful but not life-threatening.
Cicada Killers Damage Lawns
Cicada killers build their homes underground by digging tunnels. These tunnels can destroy your carefully maintained lawn. They also like to burrow on the edges of patios and concrete paths, and these tunnels can cause damage there as well.
Cicada killer larvae mature the following year, and it’s easy for the population to increase exponentially and become more difficult to control. The sooner you treat the problem, the less likely it will become unmanageable.
How do I Protect My Lawn from Cicada Killers?
Seeing a few cicada killer wasps and burrows in your yard doesn’t mean all hope is lost. We understand how to treat the problem directly and efficiently by targeting their burrows.
We use pesticides that are designed to take down cicada killers and spray directly in the burrows. This will kill off the adult wasps and the larvae, which will reduce the possibility of a larger population the following year.
Once treated, cicada killers will be gone from your yard for the season, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll be protected forever. Always keep an eye out for signs of burrowing, and contact us for pest control treatment as soon as possible.
Don’t Let Lawn Pests Like Cicada Killers Destroy Your Lawn. Contact us today.
For lawn care assistance, including pest treatment, the pros at Green Turf Care will meet your needs. For residents in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, contact us at (484) 452-3595 for a consultation.