Cicada Killer Wasp Sting: Are They Dangerous? 

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Cicada Killer Wasps are said to be one of the largest wasps in North America. Cicada killer wasp stings like any other wasp, but are they dangerous? Cicada Killers generally only sting humans if they feel threatened; their stings are not considered dangerous.

They are solitary wasps, meaning they do not live in colonies like other wasp species. These wasps are important in pollinating plants and beneficial to the environment.

To know more about cicada killers sting, continue reading this article. 

What do cicada killers look like?

Cicada killer perched on a leaf in the grass.

Cicada killers have a black abdomen with yellow markings on three segments, six legs that are pale red or orange, and shaded brown wings. Adults are very large – 2 inches long. Males are about 1 inch long.

Where do cicada killers live?

Cicada killers are a species of wasp that lives in North America. They got their name as they hunted and killed cicadas. The wasps capture cicadas by stinging them and paralyzing them. The paralyzed Cicada is then stored in the wasp burrow with an egg.

Adult cicada killer wasps only eat nectar and are pretty mellow. Cicada bugs do nest building in soil burrows, nest tunnels, foliage plants, oblique tunnels, and maintenance territories nursery cells.

What is the life cycle of Male and Female Cicada Killers? 

Male cicada killers have a very short life cycle of about two weeks, while the females live for about six weeks.

The egg hatches, and the cicada killers larvae feed on the Cicada. Then, the larvae spin a cocoon, enter a dormancy through the winter(overwinter), and pupate the following spring.

Cicada Killer Wasp Sting: Are They Dangerous?

Cicada killer and honeybee feeding on ivy flowers.

The cicada killer wasp is not dangerous. The female does not use aggression to attack and is safer for humans and pets. Cicada killer wasps have a large stinger that can sting you when it’s agitated or if its prey gets too close to the soil tunnel entrance or nesting aggregation.

Interestingly, when the cicada killer wasp stabs its prey, it pumps venom into the prey. However, this does not usually result in fatalities.

Cicada killer wasps are generally not aggressive and don’t pose a huge threat to people. The males are more aggressive than the females but do not have a stinger.

The Cicada Killer wasp females are docile and rarely sting. If a person is stung by this type of wasp, it’s usually only when they are stepped on. Additionally, their venom is powerful enough to cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Even though Cicada Killer Wasps can deliver a painful sting, they are not considered dangerous. Their venom is not toxic, and they are not known to cause many serious health problems.

However, take care when around these insects as they can become defensive if provoked.

Do cicada killers sting?

Cicada Killer Wasp Sting: Are They Dangerous? 

Yes, cicada killers sting. They have a venomous sting that they use to paralyze their prey. The venom is injected into the Cicada, and the wasp then takes the Cicada back to the nest to feed larvae. These wasps are not aggressive and will only sting if caught by your bare hands. 

How to get rid of cicadas killers?

There are a few ways to try and get rid of cicada killers wasp damage to your home:

  • One is to remove their environment- if they are found near your home, you can try to get rid of where they live.
  • Although unorthodox, bleach can kill the female wasp.
  • Dumping ammonia down the holes will kill eggs.
  • They can be eliminated with substances such as gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, or bug bombs.

What are some pest control plans or steps for cicada killers?

What are some pest control plans or steps for cicada killers?

You can take a few steps to help cicada killer control services on your property:

  • One is to thicken bare spots in your lawn by overseeding in the fall. You can also try sprinkling water around the area where they are active- this will temporarily discourage them from nesting there. 
  • Another option is to cover ornamental beds with 2-3 inches of mulch or groundcover.

How to get rid of cicada holes or nests in a home?

The cicada killer wasp is a large, black wasp that preys on cicadas. If you have these wasps in your yard, the first step to eliminating them is locating their den. They dig into the ground so that you will be looking for a hole the size of a penny or nickel.

A sign that one has burrowed into the grass is a mound that resembles an anthill with no ants present.

In the meantime, there are ways to eliminate cicada nests in your home. Cicadas only come out during the day, so you should wait until night to go out and look for their burrows.

You can also use a pot or pitcher to boil water and pour it on the nests. However, ensure a glass bowl for every burrow, as the boiling water will kill them.


The cicada killer can grow up to 5 inches long. They prefer to live in the ground or on thin grass, and their nests are easy to identify because of the large entry hole and excavated soil. Although they are not aggressive, their sting can be painful.

In conclusion, cicada killer wasps are relatively easy to identify because of their large nests and excavated soil. Additionally, female cicada killer wasps are larger than males. Finally, these wasps use their sting to paralyze cicadas.


Do eastern cicada killers sting humans on this planet?

Are cicada killers aggressive towards humans? Bluff or not?

No, they are not aggressive toward them until they are provoked. 

Can cicadas bite eyes?

Cicadas do not bite humans or animals and are generally harmless. Humans are mistaken for plants by these wasps because of their coloration.

What kills cicadas in the wasp world?

The cicada killer wasp will paralyze the Cicada with her venomous sting. She will then carry the Cicada to a burrow, where she will lay an egg on it. 

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.