This summer Illinois will see the largest number of cicadas emerging from the ground than we've seen in the last 221 years, but along with these broods comes another terrifying creature, the Cicada Killer Wasp.

The Biggest Wasp in the World

I have an irrational fear of flying, stinging insects, and I will NEVER forget the first time I saw one of these TERRIFYING insects buzzing around my yard several years ago...


After screaming and running full speed into the safety of my house I immediately Googled the words, "what is the biggest wasp in the World?".

The answer was; a Cicada Killer Wasp. (the name alone is terrifying!!!)

After looking at pictures of this horrifyingly huge wasp I could confirm that the demon flying in my yard was in fact a Cicada Killer Wasp, and then I worried I would be the next to die.

Good news; I'm still alive, and the Cicada Killer Wasp isn't as scary as it looks or sounds.

Giant Cicada Killer Wasp
Submitted by DIego Gomez

What Is A Cicada Killer Wasp?

In short, Cicada Killer Wasps, a.k.a "cicada hawks" or "sand hornets" (even though they are not a hornet at all), are a large, digger wasp that hunts cicadas and makes their nests in the ground near them.

These wasps can grow up to 2 INCHES long, making them the largest ones found in North America, but only the female cicada killers have stingers. (Is that supposed to be good news?!?)

One pest solutions website says; "Despite their size and name, cicada killers aren’t as aggressive as other types of wasps. They only rarely sting humans and pets when they feel threatened."

It might not seem like it, but Cicada Killer Wasps are actually a good thing to have in your yard, especially when about 1 trillion cicadas are getting ready to invade Illinois.

Wikipedia says;

 Cicada killers exert a measure of natural control on cicada populations, and as such, they may directly benefit the deciduous trees upon which the cicadas feed.

Angela Antonacci-Sarnecki via Facebook
Angela Antonacci-Sarnecki via Facebook

How to Naturally Get Rid of Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada Killer Wasps may be beneficial for keeping an epic number of cicadas out of your neighborhood this summer, BUT they can make a big mess of your yard with all their nest digging. So, is there a way to get rid of them? Yes, just get some boiling water.

Once you have located a Cicada Killer nest in your yard, (pass close to attention to flower beds and the edges of decks/sidewalks/driveways),  here's what you need to do according to,

Pour boiling water down any cicada killer holes that you have marked. Cover these holes with a glass bowl so the wasps can not escape.

In the morning, go out and check your traps. If the wasps were not killed by the boiling water, they will be trapped in the bowl and eventually suffocate.

It's important to remember that Cicada Killers leave the nest during the day, so in order for your DIY eradication process to be successful you need to wait until nightfall to pour the boiling water.

Good luck, my friends, and WATCH YOUR STEPS this summer!

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