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Does Orkin deal with digger wasps (cicada killers)?

Question: Does Orkin deal with digger wasps? Not sure that is what I have, but they have burrowed in the ground, and they do fly. They look like large wasps.

Answer: Probably what you have seen is a cicada killer. The scientific name is Sphecius speciosus. These are large solitary wasps, indeed one of the largest you are likely to see. They can look very threatening, but in general, they are not. They are dedicated to making a nest, provisioning it with food and laying an egg on that food.

The wasps prey on the annual cicada, so they have to be large enough to handle these big insects! The wasp typically grabs a cicada from the branches of a tree, stings the cicada to immobilize it and then carries it back to the hole it has made in the soil.

The cicada is pushed inside the hole, and the female wasp lays an egg on top of it. The egg hatches in a few days and the immature wasp feeds on the cicada. When full grown the wasp spins a cocoon and will not emerge from the ground until next summer. This is a big and threatening wasp, but they are not very aggressive.

Depending on your state, control of these wasps would be considered under a Lawn and Ornamental rather than a Structural Pest Control license. Contact your local Orkin Pest Control Branch Office to get more details on servicing for this insect.

The local Orkin branch can answer any questions about the service process. Please contact them directly for more information or to schedule service.

Related Questions

Orkin used the information above to also answer the following questions:

Question: I have a large insect flying around my yard and have recently noticed several mounds of sand/dirt piled up around my concrete porch. I have not yet been able to accurately identify the insect, or how to eliminate it and whatever might be living underground. Please contact me as soon as possible to discuss.

Question: I have about 12-20 holes in my yard. They have been dug by these wasp-looking insects. They have the body of a wasp, with wings more like a bee. They look like they have stingers. The holes are about pinky-sized. The bugs don't seem too aggressive, but their nests cover most of my yard. I have an infant, so I'm uncertain about taking her outside. The bugs seem to hover over the area of their nests. We have tried spraying at night when they have all gone back into their holes but when we spray one hole, they come out of another, which makes me think that their holes are all connected, like little tunnels. Some are as small as 3/4" and a few are about 1" to 1 1/2". I live in Logansport, Ind. Is there any way you could help me find out exactly what these little pests are? I am highly allergic to bees and wasps, and most stinging insects.

Question: Every year during the month of August we have a swarm of bugs in our back yard only. To me the bug looks like a hornet, but I cannot find any pictures that look like the bug in my yard. The bugs swarm the grass only, and there are many of them—like 50 or more! Please can you tell me what type of flying insect this is.

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