Insects & Other Pests ›
Cicada Killer Wasp
The eastern cicada killer has a rusty red head and thorax, russet colored wings, and a black and yellow striped abdomen. Some wasps may be 1-1/4 inches long. The translucent, greenish-white egg is often described as "cigar shaped". It is 1/8 inch or more long. The larva may reach a maximum length of 1-1/4 inches. The mature, quiescent larva, however, is somewhat shrunken and leathery. The pupa has not been described. The woven, spindle-shaped cocoon that surrounds the pupa is usually 1-1/4 inches long and 9/16 inch wide with a narrow band of pores along its center. The case is often brown and stiff.
Cultural practices can prevent or eliminate the establishment of cicada killer colonies. Adequate lime and fertilizer applications accompanied by frequent watering promote a thick growth of turf and can usually eliminate a cicada killer infestation in one or two seasons. Usually the perceived need for control is based in fear rather than fact. In case of a severe infestation, chemical control may be desired to prevent or allay fears of wasp stings.
Recommendations for insecticides approved for control of these insects in home lawns can be found under Bees and Wasps in INSECT CONTROL IN HOME LAWNS in the NC Agricultural Chemicals Manual. Recommendations for insecticides approved for use on sod farms, golf courses or other commercial sites can be found in COMMERCIAL TURF INSECT CONTROL in the NC Agricultural Chemicals Manual. (p.186) For additional information on insect control and pesticide use Contact your county Cooperative Extension Center.