Seeing wasps is never fun. Their stings are painful and they can be scary. But imagine seeing a giant wasp that is two inches long, and remembering that you recently saw a news report about murder hornets. That’s a lot less fun than seeing a regular wasp. The good news is that the murder hornet, also known as the Asian giant hornet, is not widespread throughout the US. The cicada killer wasp on the other hand is found throughout the eastern and central parts of the US, and it may be confused for a murder hornet.
It certainly doesn’t help that this wasp species has the word “killer” in the name, but as it turns out, cicada killer wasps are mostly nuisances rather than pests. This wasp is mostly harmless to humans, and will only sting if you touch them or if you mess with them in any way. Cicada killers, unlike the Asian giant hornets, are native to the US, and they hibernate for most of the year, only being active for 60 to 75 days.
The cicada killer wasp only hunts cicadas, and it is the female wasp that will do all the hunting. It will paralyze a cicada with its sting, and then drag the prey 10 inches underground to its nest, where it will feed its larvae. The cicada is kept alive through this entire process, and it may take weeks for it to die.
This wasp is also solitary, so you will never have to deal with a swarm of cicada killers. It is about one to one and a half inches long, as compared to Asian giant hornets which can reach lengths of two inches. Asian giant hornets also have some fuzz on their bodies, and their bodies are rounder, while cicada killers are more slender and their body is completely hairless.
Odds are that if you see a giant wasp on your property, you are dealing with cicada killers and not murder hornets. In either case, it’s best if you call a pest control pro to perform an inspection and make sure that there is no large wasp infestation on your property. If a wasp nest is found, it can be removed quickly and safely. Contact us today if you suspect that you have a wasp infestation that needs to be removed, and we will promptly set up an appointment.