Understanding Cicada Killer Wasps in Your Backyard

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 19, 2023 · 2 mins read

As a homeowner, you might have noticed large wasps flying around your backyard during the summer months. These are likely cicada killer wasps, which are known for their impressive size and unique behavior. In this article, we’ll explore everything homeowners need to know about cicada killer wasps, from their appearance to how to deal with them.

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.

What are Cicada Killer Wasps?

Cicada killer wasps, as the name suggests, mostly feed on cicadas. They are solitary wasps that hunt cicadas to provide food for their young. Cicada killer wasps are about 2 inches long, with reddish-brown heads and thoraxes and black and yellow striped abdomens. The males are smaller than the females and lack stingers, so they can’t sting humans.

Behavior of Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada killer wasps are not aggressive towards humans and usually won’t sting unless provoked or threatened. However, female cicada killer wasps can sting if they feel their nest is threatened. Unlike other wasp species, cicada killer wasps are solitary and don’t live in colonies, but they do create nests in burrows underground.

Dealing With Cicada Killer Wasps

If you notice cicada killer wasps in your backyard, there’s no need to panic. These wasps are not dangerous to humans, and they’re actually beneficial for your garden as they help control cicada populations. However, if you want to get rid of them, it’s best to hire a professional pest control service to handle the situation safely and effectively.


Cicada killer wasps might look intimidating, but they’re actually fascinating creatures that play an important role in our ecosystem. By understanding their behavior and knowing how to deal with them, homeowners can coexist peacefully with these backyard visitors. If you have any concerns about cicada killer wasps or other backyard pests, don’t hesitate to contact a local pest control service for assistance.