What's That Huge Bee In My Yard?

So what exactly is that huge bee flying across the lawn? The first thing to understand is, it's not a bee. It is a very large wasp that does some amazing things. Meet the Cicada Killer Wasp.

Cicada Killer Wasp

Cicada Killer Wasp

Throughout Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, you will likely see one of these massive wasps flying across your lawn. Sometimes you might see one hovering a few feet above the ground and drop something. They are dropping a cicada that was paralyzed by a sting. And if this wasn't bad enough to hear keep reading.

In a nutshell, here is how it works. The female cicada killer flies out after digging a burrow in the ground. She hunts down a male or female cicada then attacks with a venomous sting. The sting paralyzes the cicada permanently. The female cicada killer wasp then picks up the paralyzed cicada and while in flight drops it at her burrow. The female cicada killer then lands to drag her prey into the burrow where she injects a single egg. The egg then hatches and the larvae of the cicada killer wasp begins feeding on the paralyzed cicada carefully keeping it alive.

On an interesting note the female wasp can determine the sex of her offspring. Pretty cool huh?

Now, for the ultimate question: Cicada Killers are most unlikely to sting you. They are far too busy digging burrows, hunting cicadas, and laying eggs in them for a human to become a bother. Yes, they do have the ability to inflict a painful sting if stepped on or grabbed, or, even swatted at in defense. The most unsightly problem female cicada killers create are rather large holes in your lawn along with piles of dirt next to them. 

If you have Cicada Killer Wasps in your lawn give Gladhill Services a call 717-597-1040 so we can help you evaluate the situation to be sure they do not become a problem. The longer you let them go in the yard the more you will have each coming year.