Asked on Jul 15, 2013

How do I get rid of our cicada killers?

Gabriel DSpheramid EnterprisesWoodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com
+6

Answered

Last July we had a cicada killer nest in our front landscaping, and this year they are back. How do I get rid of these scary looking pests? I know they aren't really dangerous, but I don't know if all of our house guests would appreciate them!
The nest seems to be at the base of our landscape pavers.
The nest seems to be at the base of our landscape pavers.
They are about 1 inch long!
They are about 1 inch long!
9 answers
  • Marilyn Highley
    on Jul 15, 2013

    Jessica, those things are hornets. They will sting humans, they can sting repeatedly because their stingers don't break off, and they can be aggressive. Someone was stung recently in my backyard.

  • Barbara Thomas
    on Jul 16, 2013

    Hornets make a gray nest, usually in a tree nearby. After they all return to then nest in the evening is the time to go in for the kill on most bees by spraying up into the nest. These bees enclose their nest and that can't be done. My Uncle use to burn the big gray nest. I'd suggest calling a pro to get rid of these soon! Should they decide to swarm a person the stings can be deadly!

  • Jessica Hill
    on Jul 16, 2013

    These are definitely ground diggers. I should have taken pics of their holes near the base of our pavers. We had them in the same spot last year too. Still would really like to get rid of them!

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 16, 2013

    You will have to find the entrance to the nest for an insecticide to have a chance at being effective, Jessica. There's some pretty good information from the University of Kentucky here: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef004.asp

  • Jessica Hill
    on Jul 16, 2013

    Thanks, Douglas!

  • Marilyn Highley
    on Jul 16, 2013

    Jessica and Douglas taught me something today. Thanks!

  • While they may appear harmless, the female if i remember correctly has a nasty sting. Follow Douglas Hunt suggestion and treat the nest in the evening when they are back. We have treated ground wasps on several occasions. We place a large clear plastic sheet over the ground to prevent them from coming out and stinging Then a very tiny hole just large enough is put in the plastic where we place our spray tube and we spray away. If they come out, or should say when they come out. The plastic keeps them on the ground and protects you from harm. Just be sure you use a larger plastic sheet, not a painters plastic drop cloth, but a good quality plastic that extends about four feet out on all sides. Place some rocks or wooden boards on all sides to keep it from blowing off of the hole while you spray to kill the nest. Small piece of duct tape to seal the hole in the plastic once the chemical has been effectively placed will keep you from getting stung once your done spraying.

  • Spheramid Enterprises
    on Jul 17, 2013

    Sevin is the best wasp/hornet/bee insecticide but it's not in a shoot em down can, if you can blow dust in the nest hole ( after dark) it will do the trick. ( former bug man)

  • Gabriel D
    on Jul 18, 2013

    Hi Jessica, Depending on whether or not you can find their entrances; they generally have more than one, however that is not a fast and hard rule. If you can determine where they are going in and out; the most effective and enviromental way of ridding yourself of these guys is to stick a hose in the entrance/exit and turn the water on and drown them. I have done this with yellow jackets with great success.In the evening when they are in bed; stick in your hose and turn so you have a small to medium flow. Now you go to bed. Check in on them in the early morning 6 am ish. One overnight soaking will generally get all or most. To find out if you have any survivors; simply look for any activity. If you discover more holes, plug with a stick or cover with a brick. Repeat the process the following evening if you need to and put a permanent plug in the entrance and any other holes you find. The idea is that saturating the nest, thus drowning the occupants will also drown the Queen and any replacements being groomed to take her place should she die.

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