All About Cicada Killer Wasps in Oklahoma

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 31, 2023 · 2 mins read

Are you curious about the large wasps you see hovering around your backyard in Oklahoma? They could be cicada killer wasps! These fascinating insects are common throughout the state and can often be seen burrowing in the ground or flying around tree trunks.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

Identifying Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada killer wasps are easy to identify once you know what to look for. They are large wasps, with females measuring up to two inches long. Their bodies are black with yellow markings on their abdomen and thorax. Males are smaller and have additional yellow markings on their head.

Behavior of Cicada Killer Wasps

Despite their intimidating size, cicada killer wasps are not aggressive towards humans. They primarily hunt cicadas, which they paralyze and bring back to their underground burrows as food for their larvae. You may notice small mounds of dirt near tree trunks or under bushes where they have burrowed.

Cicada killer wasps are active during the day and prefer sunny, open areas. They are most commonly seen in late summer when their prey, cicadas, are abundant.

Dealing with Cicada Killer Wasps

If you encounter cicada killer wasps in your yard, there’s no need to panic. Remember, they are not aggressive towards humans and will only sting if provoked. If you’re concerned about their presence, consider speaking with a pest control professional to discuss treatment options.

Alternatively, you may choose to simply leave the cicada killers alone. They are important pollinators and help to control cicada populations, which can be beneficial for your trees and plants.


Now that you know more about cicada killer wasps, you can appreciate their fascinating behavior and the benefits they provide to your backyard ecosystem. Whether you choose to admire them from a distance or seek professional help to remove them, understanding these common Oklahoma insects is an important part of being a responsible homeowner.