Giant, cicada killing wasps…

And that really isn’t any exaggeration!

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Cicada killing wasp

They are orange, quite intimidating at approximately 2cm long and their population is expanding rather rapidly – burrowing little ‘mole holes’ down the western side of our lawn.

Anyone else have these little flying crreatures residing in their neighbourhood?

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‘mole holes’ in our lawn

I hopped online to research what sort of wasp (or bee!) this might be. While it isn’t a dead ringer for the web images, from its behaviour I have deduced that it is a cicada killing wasp or eastern wasp. Whether it is or not I remain uncertain (and have emailed an Entomologist to confirm) but given the significant number of cicadas being dragged to their unceremonious death the name has stuck.

They appear to be developing a community beside my clothes line and if they keep this up I may need to request an application for a zoning permit.

Many websites claim they are good for the lawn, relatively harmless, not aggressive and if they do sting are nothing more than a pain scale of 1 out of 5. 1 being less than an ant. I am content to let this point remain unproven.

Wasps in Action

I found this delightful little blog called Show Me Joe and he has a whole page dedicated to methods of eradication. Because my dear friends, even though I hesitate to disturb ecosystems, I read that they lay an egg every time they drag some paralyzed prey into their burrow. And each wasp appears to be having quite a successful go at desimating my cicada population.

Might be a quiet summer. :)

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2 Comments

Filed under The Animals, The Day to Day, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Giant, cicada killing wasps…

  1. Emma

    I live in Pentland and the Cicada population is so vast and ridiculously deafening it’s boarding on plague proportions! I’ve never seen them in these numbers before. The reason for Cicadas living under the ground so long is to eliminate a build-up of reliant predators. The time frame underground is meant to throw predators off. But it looks like the numbers are so great these wasp seems be flourishing!

  2. Sal

    Yes we have them here too and this year is the first time I have noticed them. Although the only prey I have seen them carry to there nest here has been spiders… They have made their pad in and around my roundyard… maybe the sand is attractive to home building?? The horses got a little agitated with them buzzing around their legs and heads too…

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