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How to Get Rid of Cicada Killer Wasps

Updated on August 15, 2017
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If you live in Texas, you might have seen what looks like a wasp on steroids flying around your backyard. These ground digger wasps, or cicada killers, are menacing looking bees that are up to three inches in length. They put bumble bees to shame when it comes to size.

The ground digger wasp is 2-3 inches in length (closer to 3 here in Texas), with a red body and bright yellow stripe around the abdomen. They fly extremely fast and you can literally see them darting around from a great distance. They aren't overly aggressive when it comes to stinging, but they will dive-bomb you and keep going. They have a pronounced buzz, much louder than a bumble bee. Even if they don't sting, they are very frightening due to their enormous size.

They are also called cicada killers. They prey on cicadas and carry them back to their underground den. For those of you who know how big a cicada is, can you imagine the size of a wasp that can prey on one? Scary thought, isn't it.

How to Get Rid of Them Yourself

If you only have a couple of ground digger wasps flying around, then you can probably eliminate the problem yourself. However, if you have more than 4 or 5 that are constantly around, you may need to call in an exterminator. The females are the only ones that sting supposedly, but who wants to get close enough to find out?

The easiest method for eliminating this type of pest is, first, by locating their den. Remember, they dig into the ground so you will be looking for a hole the size of a penny or nickle on parts of the yard that do not contain grass. A sign that one has burrowed into the grass is a mound that resembles an anthill, but with no ants present. Once you find these holes/mounds (there is a picture here that shows exactly what you are looking for) mark them with something like a stake, stick, or even better a plastic knife. This will make the holes easier to find at nighttime when you will do your attack.

These wasps leave their dens during the day and hunt for cicadas, so it is best to wait until nighttime when they have returned back home before you try to eliminate them. Grab a flashlight and head out to the places you've marked. Then you can try one of these methods mentioned below:

  • Hornet Spray: You can buy hornet spray that shoots up to 25 feet and unload a massive amount into each hole. These wasps will sting if provoked and protecting their nests so aim good and give yourself some space between yourself and the hole.
  • Gasoline: I've read plenty of stories on the web suggesting that pouring gasoline down each hole is effective at killing them, though I've never tried this method myself. I've seen lots of information about using gasoline effective.
  • Boiling Water: Another method mentioned on the web that some people have found successful was the use of dumping boiling water down the holes. I'm kind of skeptical about the boiling water being strong enough but I haven't tried. I have my own favorite treatments mentioned further down this list.
  • Bleach: This chemical could kill the females but their eggs will probably hatch the next year
  • Ammonia: This is a favorite method of mine. Dumping ammonia down the holes and then covering the hole with a rock or brick or even filling it in will kill all the wasps in the holes, though I'm not sure it kills the eggs and upcoming ground digger wasps from hatching and appearing the next year.
  • Boric Acid: This stuff is gold in my opinion. You can buy a bottle of liquid boric acid from drug store or even some Walmarts for under $30. When dumped down the holes, this is the only method that kills the eggs, as well as the female. So that means no returning wasps the next year. This is the only product that has been known to eliminate the eggs in order to prevent them from returning the next year.

After you have sprayed the holes full of hornet killer/gasoline/boric acid etc, watch for a couple of days to see if there is anymore activity or any dead wasps on the ground near the holes you sprayed. If you detect dead wasps near the hole but still see a couple flying around, there is chance you missed a den somewhere. If this is the case, then you will need to search for other holes and repeat.

In order to prevent them from coming back, always keep your yard moist because they won't build nests in the ground if it is wet. If you can't seem to get rid of them on your own, you might consider hiring an exterminator to fix the problem. Exterminators have more powerful chemicals and can do a more efficient job. The only problem with hiring an exterminator is the cost.

When All Else Fails

For whatever reason the household products fail to eradicate these insects, there is still a couple of other things you can try before calling in a professional. These methods require you to purchase a professional grade pesticide but apply it yourself. If you would rather go this route, you can always spray Demon WP down the wasps holes. The method is simple, and all you need is a sprayer. You mix a packet of Demon with a gallon of water and this highly potent stuff kills on contact. It's non toxic to animals once it is dry.

The second guaranteed way to eliminate them is using a pyrethrin-based powder down each hole. Pyrethrin is actually what some professional exterminators use when they come to take care of the problem. This could be a simple solution when nothing else seems to be working and it is a lot cheaper than hiring an exterminator for a couple of annoying cicada killers.

Which methods have you tried?

See results

Feedback Wanted

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. If you have used another method of treatment not mentioned here, please let us know--whether or not it did or didn't work. And I'm also curious if anyone has ever been stung by one of these bees! If so was it more painful than a normal wasp?

© 2012 crissytsu

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    • crissytsu profile image
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      crissytsu 5 weeks ago from Texas

      Melissa... Sorry but I have no clue on that whatsoever but if you try it come back and post the results!

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      Melissa O. 6 weeks ago

      Would it work if when summer season end I cover my lawn with a layer of Lie and the cover with burlap sacks??? Thinking when it rain s the Lie will soak into the ground. But will it kill them and or kill my lawn????

      ANY ANSWERS....

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      Fred springfield Pa 6 weeks ago

      I have tried ammonia, boric acid, and Delta dust I've also killed about 400 of them with a tennis racket this year alone. I have never been stung. They started 2 years ago and keep getting worse. This year was really bad and they moved to the other side of my yard half way through the season. I am going to spray Adonis in a week or so and then again in the spring then again in the summer. If it doesn't work I am going to move. I treated 30 to 40 holes this season. Ammonia was useless, boric acid helped, delta dust helped.

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      RJE 7 weeks ago

      Tempo Powder applied at dusk worked great. Fast acting, just like cyanide would.

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      Bill Hasse 7 weeks ago

      I would be amazed if any of your feedback includes a description of a sting by a cicada killer. They are completely unaggressive. If you grab one, yes, it will probably sting you. If you just leave them alone, they won't. If you must kill wasps, take out your aggression on yellow jackets, or some more irritable species that presents a more likely possibility of stinging.

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      Vicki 7 weeks ago

      I have a small area in front of my house with about 30 holes from ground wasps. Will digging out the dirt about 1 foot deep and putting new top soil in eliminate the eggs from hatching. Also I thought about using liquid boric acid on the dirt after I dig it up. I'll be dumping the dirt at a land fill.

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      Christina 8 weeks ago

      My husband recently bought bullets for his M1- I'm not opposed to using that! :)

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      Mike 8 weeks ago

      Just pour water down the hole with a canteen or watering can. then they will back out of the whole and then I grabbed them with channel locks and squeeze. I know it sounds sick but at least I'm not using chemicals and hurting the environment

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      jimbo 2 months ago

      I use a child's butterfly net to catch and kill the hornets. I must of killed forty of them. It is the third year we have had them. I have been using hornet spray down the holes.

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      Old Fashioned 2 months ago

      Put a butterfly net on top of their hole. Pour water into the hole until it forces them to come out into the net. Slide a piece of cardboard under the net. Lift up the cardboard while continuing to keep them trapped in the net. Cut a hole in the bottom of the cardboard, quickly put an empty soda can up to the hole, and shake all the wasps into the pop can. Now slide the can over a bit so it's covered by the cardboard where there's not a hole. Put on some heavy duty boots. Stomp on the can and smash the wasps to bits!!!! (Can use a sledge hammer instead if you are confident in your aim)

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      Sharon 2 months ago

      I have a concrete porch with brick outlining and then a garden in front of my house. The wasps have made a home in between the brick and the concrete. I am afraid of using something that may kill the bushes and plants in my garden. Any safe suggestions?

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      Phyllis 2 months ago

      I live in Virginia. This our firs time summer in our newly built home. I fist noticed these wasps in the mulch where our grapes were growing. I tried blasting the holes with a water jet early in the morning and then smashing the dazed wasps that came out. I killed about 8 that way. The rest moved into our back lavendar and catmint. I found about five new holes each morning which I shot the white powder you referenced down. I think all this did was make them leave that hole and go make another. Three weeks and at least fifty holes later, the wasps are getting bigger and the holes have shifted to our side bed of heather and even along the driveway. I think these wasps are really resilient and aside from physically smashing them there's I still not much by way of chemicals that will kill them. My next strategy is to wait until they are done and gone and then go back one by one and try to dig up their holes and maybe then either leave them exposed or try a potent chemical on those spots I can expose. Another option is to figure out why they skipped my herb garden and my kiwis and try to duplicate that as best I can for next year.

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      Stephen 2 months ago

      When I get them I use gas then I light it up. If they live they aren't at home.

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      Anttoxic 2 months ago

      Broken broom with frisby tape on end thats my wasp swatter flood holes last night with bleach becoming barry bonds over nivhy

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      Bryan 2 months ago

      Here is another idea, water crystals soaked in pesticide. It will make that den uninhabitable for a good long while. Also on the plus side if it isn't plat toxic your plants could absorb it and continue killing any pests plus any non pests but at least the pests would be gone. Can you tell I hate wasps?

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      Bryan 2 months ago

      To Bob with the motor oil, technically the oil alone should suffocate them as insects breath through their carapace. The oil should effectively plug the holes and suffocate them. Dish soap might be more effective though. Or... after using a deep fryer dump the oil on them, which will have them breathing in burning hot oil while suffocating.

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      Bob 2 months ago

      I just sit outside with an electric fly swatter and wait for them to come. Chase after them and boom.

      These suckers are so big and strong though that at times they sparked off my swatter and flew away.

      Got one stuck on there once and literally cooked it...smoke and everything. lol

      Another tactic i used before is pouring motor oil down the holes with the wasp in the burrow. They crawl out soaked in oil unable to fly....then boom. Step on it or fly-swat it.

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      rick 2 months ago

      Staten island NY

      Ive been with them for three summers and tried a lot of different sprays none of them worked until I found a method that has totally worked.

      1. use foaming wasp spray in holes

      2. squeeze ample amount of Seven powder in holes

      3. sprinkle seven powder all over lawn

      The first day after application there were noticeably less cicada killers

      The day after the first rain there was only 1 cicada killer which I Rafa Nadaled

      After that I have not seen 1 cicada killer.

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      Dd Lov 2 months ago

      Never been stung and I have them all over. They avoid us, even when we are near their holes. They will hover in the area til we are done with whatever we are doing. They make quick work of cicadas. I have friends who exterminate them and then deal with the cicada damage. By mid summer, I rarely hear a cicada.

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      HT 2 months ago

      We have used Sevin sprayed directly in the hole. We used to have dozens. For years we haven't had them come back.

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      Terry 2 months ago

      We have tried many of the suggested ideas, but we have way too many now to find the holes! I have taken to hand to hand combat! This morning I took it 51 of them snagging them with my butterfly net, then hitting them with a hammer (while still in the net).

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      Sue 2 months ago

      Is there any harm to let them live?

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      Janis 2 months ago

      Can I use a powdered Boric Acid?

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      Harry 2 months ago

      I've found Amonia to be very effective when I pour it down the holes at Dawn or Dusk. I've also knocked several down with an electric Tennis Racket

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      crissytsu 2 months ago from Texas

      That's good to know Marc... I had only heard that gasoline works. Thanks for confirming it.

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      Chris 2 months ago

      I have found that swatting them with a tennis racket works well.

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      mark 2 months ago

      I have been stung by a cicada killer and trust me it was the worst pain I have ever felt. I was delivering the mail and when I got back in my truck the cicada killer must have gotten on the seat. When I sat back it got me. It felt like a red hot knife was stuck in my back. I fell out of my truck and onto the ground. My supervisor had to come and get me and I went home. A few hours later the intense pain continued and I had to go to the emergency ward for relief of the pain. While they are not aggressive you absolutely do not ever want to be stung!!

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      Marc 2 months ago

      Used gasoline on 2 nests and covered the holes with the dirt the wasps dug out. One nest had a cicada killer by the hole and the gasoline killed it instantly. I've seen no activity or wasps since.

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      crissytsu 2 months ago from Texas

      Magwraethe the boric acid is in liquid form. I've never had a problem with it killing my grass...just aim for the hole and cover it with a rock... Then keep your grass watered thoroughly.

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      crissytsu 2 months ago from Texas

      You can also pour amonia down the holes at night when they're in the ground. The tricky part is you have to find the holes during the day and mark them. One year I had one cicada killer that hunted during the day in my yard and at night flew off to a neighbor's yard to nest... So there was really nothing I could do. Try amonia.

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      magwraethe 2 months ago

      I read your entire article, and the comments.

      Is the boric acid liquid or powder?

      Does boric acid have a negative impact on your grass?

      Do the underground tunnels kill your grass?

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      Magwraethe 2 months ago

      The individual using fire ant killer, I would like to know if it kills the eggs, as well. .... or only boric acid, and does it kill your grass?

      After reading all the comments, I feel grateful that we are not totally infested, however, this year, which has been drier, we have had more holes.

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      Dan Sullivan 2 months ago

      I have found that if nothing else works try this ... wait for dusk , when it's starting to get dark . Then fill a watering can with water and pour it down the hole . When the wasp comes out of the hole spray a couple of shots of wasp spray from Hot Shot wasp and hornet spray ! Kills them after about 2 seconds. Then I turn them face down in the hole so no others go into the hole . You can pick up the spray from Menards or some other Home Improvement store .

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      Lisa Phegley 2 months ago

      Hello,

      This is my 4th year dealing with the Cicada Killers. I have tried all of your solutions with exception of gasoline. My husband won't let me. I have maybe 20 Burroughs on a given day. We go out faithfully every night. Last night was my 10th night out. We went two night using ammonia, 2 night boric acid, 2 nights borax, 2 nights powerful concentrated liquids Seven plus gradual Seven along with More Borax all last night. Actually killed a few physicout of the hole. This morning they are out swarming in full force. Oh I forgot the first day I had my exterminator shoot them heir holes and shoot the man in the air. Nothing. I am so frustrated. Thanks for letting me blow off steam.

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      Dave 2 months ago

      I'm going to add my $0.02 to the discussion since I am currently in the process of trying to rid our yard of an infestation. We have a back yard where the buggers have dug out nests completely surrounding our kids' play area so the kids are terrified to be outside during the summer, which I just can't have so trying to rid ourselves of them.

      I first tried the ammonia in the holes method but it didn't really seem to do anything other than annoy the wasps. So after trying some various methods including sucking them up with a shop vac (which worked but was sort of terrifying as they are strong enough to counteract the suction when flying) I think I've come up with a system that works for me.

      First, I've been going around marking the holes with the plastic knives when I see them. I've probably got 20-30 holes that we've identified in our yard. I then wait until just after dusk when all flying activity has stopped. What I've found is at that just after dusk is when they are actively digging out the holes and completely preoccupied with the task, so you can walk right up to them. So when I find them actively digging, I hit them with the foaming wasp spray. The Ortho Hornet & Wasp foaming spray seems to work pretty well although you have to use a ton of the stuff to kill them. So I have 3-4 cans handy because the last thing I want to do is run out of ammunition mid-attack (which I've done, which then results in much stomping). Don't bother with a non-foaming spray as you need something that's going to prevent them from flying away. Then I cover them up with a rock and then come back the next day to hit the hole with ammonia and water to (hopefully) kill the larvae. I'm up to around 15 that I've killed over the past two days and there's a noticeable difference in the number exerting air superiority over our yard. There definitely seem to be more holes than wasps that I've killed so not sure if they build multiple nests or what but every hole I find gets hit with ammonia.

      We only have so much summer in Chicago and I'm not yielding 6-8 weeks of outdoor time to the wasps. So time for them to go. Guess we'll see if we've gotten them before they've gotten the eggs laid and fed based on how many we get next year. But if they are back, I'll be following the same steps as this year.

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      Opie 2 months ago

      Brake clean and a lighter. Put the straw on it and you've got a flame thrower that'll toast their wings off. Squirt some down the hole and light it off. Got rid of our infestation in two evenings

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      Bill 2 months ago

      Badminton anyone? We have a hummingbird feeder and when the wasps arrived, the hummingbirds left. I watched as the wasps would chase them from the feeder. Enter the badminton racket and a new game. I've killed over 75 wasps in the last week using the racket and spaying the holes with hornet spray which is very effective. It doesn't take long to learn their habits and know when to swing the racket. I've never been chased or stung by the wasps. I now have no wasps and the hummingbirds are back. Anyone up for a game of Badminton?

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      Mw 3 months ago

      Tennis racket and then a stomp.

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      I've had it! 3 months ago

      Has anyone found a method that works? Saw a comment below abkut nail polish remover. I want to try that but hubby is afraid it will kill the grass. This is maybe the 4th or 5th year of dealing with them. I am fed up!

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      Casey 3 months ago

      The last few Summers these Killer Bees as I like to call them have been in my backyard and I cannot figure out a way to get rid of them and my children are petrified of them so thanks to this website I will be trying these message to get rid of them and as another person said if you feel we should leave them alone then let them come live in your backyard

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      Phil 3 months ago

      These Ciceda wasps are down the side of my built in pool. What would you recccamend and will they attack at night.

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      Tony Olseski 3 months ago

      Ortho Hot Shot Hornet and Wasp Spray worked on them. I would wait for them to land while sunning themselves in the morning then shoot them with it. It would kill almost instantly. I would have left them, but they were constantly flying around my front door and I have two small children.

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      Joe - Bristol pa 3 months ago

      This is the second year with these things. Last year I used ammonia in the holes and a grub killer that supposedly worked on cicadas (get rid of the cicadas and the wasps will leave thinking). Apparently I did a good job getting the nests because I can not find disturbed ground this year. I do however have just as many (actually much more) than last year. I have a virburmum and those thugs love the flowers.

      This morning before they arrived I sprayed the hell out of the flowers with liquid Sevin. Nope, they don't mind it a bit, they aren't affected at all.

      I bought some other stuff to try; Bifenthrin 7.5% and Delta Dust and a puffer (I'll keep you posted). Can anyone confirm a bug zapper will get the adults???

      I would mind a couple, or even 10 or 20. I have 100s of these things and I get divebombed every time I go outside. I know they are harmless but extrordanarily annoying and I want them gone!!!!

      Any ideas for traps that work? I can't possibly use more pesticides than I already have!!

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      Bob Sacamano 3 months ago

      I have been battling them for years in Georgia. I have had success limiting them using cypermethrin sprayed into the nest in the evening. (Cypermethrin powder mixed in a sprayer with the nozzle removed to allow a full stream) We use a two person strategy in the evening when the female wasp is usually in the nest. With a flashlight directed at the nest, one person fills the nest with the cypermethrin. This won't kill on contact, but the female, if in the nest, will emerge and the second person blasts them with wasp/hornet killer spray. The female is killed, and the cypermethrin should help with killing the eggs for next season. Additionally, I dig up the nests in the winter and fill them with insect/grub control that contains bifenthrin in an attempt to kill the larvae as they emerge the following summer. I believe this has helped with limiting the population each year. It is difficult to find the nests if they are around bushes or low groundcover. I have found too that pouring boiling water into the nest works, if you don't mind killing the grass or plant life in the immediate area.

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      Fed UP 3 months ago

      For those individuals who feel these wasps should be left alone, you can allow them to live in your yard. There have been so many that I get swarmed on all sides of my yard and cannot enjoy the outdoors for two months. I am doing all I can to kill them. Ammonia, bleach, and Drano did not help. The boric acid was of little help as well. This year I am filling my yard with poison before for they start to dig. I love nature, but I hate that these pests take over my yard for two months in July and August. I like to sit outside and BBQ for the 4th of July and have not been able to for the past few years. They don't pay taxes or my mortgage, and they have to go.

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      Arlene 12 months ago

      Hubby was just stung on his ankle by one and the pain was horrific. Said it felt like a huge needle was stuck into his ankle. Applied meat tenderizer and after a while the pain decreased.

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      crissytsu 12 months ago from Texas

      Thanks for sharing

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      crissytsu 12 months ago from Texas

      My problem is now they are nesting in a neighbor's yard and I can't even locate the holes and now they come to my yard to torment me and I can't get to the root of the problem now lol

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      crissytsu 12 months ago from Texas

      I feel your pain

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      crissytsu 12 months ago from Texas

      Everything that I've ever read says they don't nest in moist ground. Thanks for the info

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      C.B. fLORIDA 13 months ago

      DO THESE BEES/WASPS HAVE ANY GOOD PURPOSE IN OUR ENVIRONMENT ??

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      Anonymous 14 months ago

      We have had a problem with these Cicada Killers since we have moved into our new home. I have tried multiple methods. Gasoline, soap, deet, covering holes, burning holes.. And nothing worked! One day I decided to use finger nail polish remover. WOW. It works great! One touch of finger polish on their hide and they're dead. Praise the Lord Jesus for this idea! All the glory is God's! (:

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      Amy 14 months ago

      I've tried almost everything..... marking the holes only to find 50 new ones the next day. I have tried ammonia, gas, water, blocking the hole....The sheer amount of liquid for hundreds and hundreds of holes isn't reasonable. The exterminator wouldn't guarantee that it would do anything because there were new nests every day..... I need to mow the area and I have guests that won't come because they are fearful with allergies. I try to run a B&B and liability is an issue. I can't just leave them because it gets worse. I live in a sandy area and this summer we had little rain...... I spray about 300 a day and go out as often as I can. :(

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      Jane 14 months ago

      We had about 45 holes in our yard I think we kill most of the wasp still have a few to go - we have had a wet summer for South Jersey we also have a stream that runs under our area nothing seems to deter these wasp. We used both ammonia and boric acid. Hopefully we have killed the wasp and the nest and don't have a repeat of this summer.

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      Martin 14 months ago

      I used half a can of the wasp killer on one only 3 feet from me. He got pissed but was still able to fly off. I am going gasoline but always light it and stand back with the water hose. Have done it to other bees in the yard for many years. As for wet yard, that is b/s as I live in NC with constant wet yard. Does not bother them one bit. If gas doesn't work I am going boric acid. Had it dropped in the house for Brown Recluse Spiders and seems everything but standard house fly's have been effected by it.

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      kandainv 14 months ago

      I found a novel way to keep these pests under control, I shoot them with .22 birdshot. I have a very small Crickett single shot and a plentiful supply of birdshot. I wait for them to land near their hole or on a corn stalk and blast them from about 4 ft away. A bit more expensive than conventional methods, but really fun. Make sure this is legal in your area before attempting!!

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      KristenFurgus 14 months ago

      I had about 30 to 40 piles of dirt in my front lawn so I had to do something. The piles of dirt kill the lawn. This was a serious increase from about 5 holes last year. What people don't tell you is when you pour the ammonia down the hole, the little critters get mad and, more often than not, climb out of the hole and they sound angry. I have been marking the holes with plastic forks and found the forks work really well to eliminate the cicada killers as they climb out of the hole. You may have to trap them with your foot and slowly side back to properly impale them. I take them over to the cement and crush them to make sure they are gone. And, then I cover the hole to ensure that their friends don't come back. I have gone from 5 to 10 new holes a day and dozens flying around in my front yards to now only one new hole this morning (already eliminated and hole covered) and maybe zero to two flying around. I have probably killed around 60; we had a serious infestation. I think my method of taking them out one at a time is working. I will be ready next year!

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      Penna girl 14 months ago

      Ok, I'm fine with not killing these things, especially since the consensus seems to be that not much kills them anyway, but if I'm not going to kill them, I want them to all to relocate away from my very small yard... any suggestions?

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      jim bell 14 months ago

      I tried using fire ant killer on them. The white powder from Ortho that smells really bad. I dumped about a tablespoon in and around the hole and it got rid of them.

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      conni..iowa 14 months ago

      Bleach isn't working anymore.. it seemed to work the first 2 nights, but the 3rd night it came out of its hole and I had to drop a brick on it. And tonight doing the bleach again on 2 holes, and they each came out. I picked up the bleach bottle and headed for the door, and unknowing to me one was on the bottle. I threw the bottle and it landed on the step, I stepped on it, as for the 2nd one that came out, I don't know if it survived, I left it and ran inside. I'm very allergic to bees.

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      Audrey TX 15 months ago

      I beg to differ about them not nesting in moist ground! The ground under the AC drain is always saturated and they have a nest next to the drain pan. 2/3 of a can of wasp and hornet spray didn't kill a single one. I'm leaning towards using gasoline...worried about killing the grass but getting desperate

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      Tom7777777 15 months ago

      I got rid of my Cicada Killer Wasps.

      They nested in my front walkway for 7 years. The walk way was bricks in sand. The mailman and other delivery people would not come to the front door in July due to the terrifying appearance of these wasps.

      I used an organic insect spray made with mint that I bought at home depot; the wasps would leave for a day, then return. Since they seemed to dislike mint, I left out small branches of mint, and the wasps stayed away. Then I planted a small patch of mint 15-20 feet from the nest site. The wasps have not been back for the past 5 years.

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      Rosyc 15 months ago

      I get really good exercise during the month they are active. I have a tennis racket to swing at them. Really fun and when they fall to the ground then I smash them with the racket. They have never stung us in all the years we do this. Liquid Sevin mixed with water and poured down the holes works well also.

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      NC 15 months ago

      The males don't even sting.......and the females will only sting if handled roughly or stepped on......They are intimidating, yes....but dangerous, no......I'm to the point myself that I've just accepted em for the 2 months they are here and leave em be. They got under my concrete steps out back and eradication is next to possible

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Let us know how it works. I hear it kills eggs and all

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      In NJ 3 years ago

      I have quite a few mounds and dozens of them flying around for the past month. I've had the exterminator here twice already. It does NOTHING. The exterminators spray a topical type poison as well as a granular one on the mounds. They do not do a hole search/spray. My neighbor used a different exterminator and it is the same thing. If the cicada killers were in a non-traffic part of my property they probably wouldn't bother me so much. They are by the end of my driveway where kids play and wait for bus. My kids friends are afraid as well. Soooo..I know many will not agree with me but I'm taking matters into my own hands. I am buying liquid boric acid and a funnel tomorrow. I'm going to wait until dusk and drop the stuff down as many holes as I can find. WHen I lived in NY/Hoboken apts, boric acid in corners def kept roaches away. I'm going for it!!! ----Fed up mom in NJ!

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      crissytsu 3 years ago from Texas

      Yeah I'm deathly afraid of them and dread going outside in the summer once I spot one. I hadn't seen one yet this year until lady week when I was trimming branches on a tree and all of a sudden out of nowhere one starts dive bombing me and chasing me. I don't have dirt in my yard either anymore so I think it's hole is at the neighbors house so there's nothing I can do to get rid of the beast. And I agree, I don't care what they add to the ecosystem, I wanna enjoy being outdoors in the summertime and not get harassed by these monsters. Try boric acid...it supposedly kills the baby's and eggs if u know where the best is. It's cheap you should try it and let us know if it works.

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      Joanne 3 years ago

      I either have 8 of these nesting in my lawn or one that keeps moving when I spray the nest with hornet spray, which hasn't killed it. My yard is lawn not dirt & I was watering the lawn for many days in a row & it still made nests. So annoying in the back yard around the pool. Don't care what they add to the ecosystem. There are plenty of low traffic areas in the yard they could have chosen instead.

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      Tracymn 3 years ago

      The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a beneficial insect to most gardens, hunting insects that can cause damage to gardener's beloved plants. They also are great pollinators, feeding on nectar. They are NOT aggressive and very very rarely sting humans. In fact, the "darting around" you describe is a characteristic of this species that is often afraid to get too close to humans and other insects so they try to spend as little time on each flower as possible, going from one to the next to avoid interactions with other species.

      Anyone in this comment thread that describes being stung by multiple Great Golden Digger Wasps is wrong, they are misidentifying the species. Great Golden Digger wasps are solitary; they do not have hives and do not travel in groups stinging people. What stung you was not a Great Golden Digger Wasp.

      Do not kill these wasps, they are not aggressive and integral to a garden ecosystem. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Pollinators are in decline and they do not need people indiscriminately killing them for no reason. If they scare you that's your problem, not theirs. They won't hurt you so don't go into your backyard with Boric Acid and Gasoline and think you are doing anyone any favors by killing them. Educate yourselves on the differences between pollinators that are harmless versus other species that actually sting.

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      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Omg...good luck! You are much braver than I am. Be careful

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      david breaux 4 years ago

      What's in my 1acre yard along a canal is not big at all. But hundreds in size and aggressive like a killer bee!

      My daughter screaming came running as they swarmed around her.

      I ran to her and immediately squeezed around her ponytail where about 40 looked to be. I continued brushing them off her, behind her ear I could see one locked on bite~ing her.

      I open my hand from her hair and it hadn't look to of killed a single one? (but all this happen in seconds)

      I continued brushing them off and Sierra was also, along with moving towards our hot tub, where she was shooting for the whole time.

      She was bitten over 10 times easily!

      I ran for Benadryl as soon as I felt I had removed all from her hair and clothing that could continue bite~ing her.

      Amazingly calm and obviously in pain she clearly gets everything I've preaches about staying calm as possible to manage shock.

      She did need confirmation of being ok, I iced the bites as she sat soaking in the hot tub, after about 30 to 45 minutes she was coughing that worried us both, so we drove to a quick care that was minutes from the house, as well closing. We got in and seen, they gave her a shot to help fight the poison, some amino acids I think?

      We went home as the pain continued, she eventually fell to sleep with ice packs.

      Upon waking at around 6 am she said the pain was gone? Other than the hip, from the shot.

      Im amazed my 12 yr old girl reacted with unbelievable Prudence, if that's fitting, I am proud of her bravery in the clutches of such chaos .

      Part 2: my method of destroying there existence on my property?

      A huge best I've located, and been studying, from 30 ft I landed a large rock into one hole they poured from and into my hair in under a few seconds!

      Tonight in full home made wasp keeper suit I will try to video, and post, either there death or mine?

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      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      andy b...sorry to hear that...i have trouble even finding their holes sometimes and sometimes I think they are flying over from a neighbors yard---but what can you do? LOL

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      crissytsu 4 years ago from Texas

      Yikes!!! I think I would have called the exterminator in the first place! LOL I wouldn't recommend trying to fend off that many yourself. I heard about this stuff called "Demon" that you get at the pest control place that supposedly kills EVERYTHING, including scorpions and in TX it only costs $20 for 3 applications of the stuff. Maybe that would work. I sprayed it all over my yard (even though its for the house, but i hate bugs) and insects like june bugs seem to die seconds after they hit the window where i sprayed it. Maybe its worth a try if you don't wanna have an exterminator come out, i don't know how expensive they are there in Cali. But thanks for letting me know about ammonia not working for you. I"ve only seen one ground digger wasp this year and dive bombed my head the other day. Ugh. I can't imagine more than that.

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      andy b 4 years ago

      wet soil does not stop them digging in my raised garden bed

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      Humbled 4 years ago

      Just tried the ammonia. Long story short, didn't seem to work. I'm in southern california and have golden digger wasps. It seemed to just piss them off. They have made approximately 50 dens (holes) in a section of my yard that is bare dirt, flat, and dry. It's approximately 10 feet wide by 60 feet long. The holes are shallow with very small dirt mounds cast off to the side. I was able to see the wasp in the hole just .25"-.5" below the surface. I waited until after dark and I poured the ammonia on them. Some holes appeared empty, perhaps having eggs. In the holes where I could see a wasp, when I poured the ammonia they woke up. They emerged from the hole and I had to use my boot on 3 of them. Then came the forth one, he/she came out and buzzed my head pretty good. After that I decided to call it a night. I will call an exterminator in the morning.

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      crissytsu 5 years ago from Texas

      Yeah I agree gas does sound dangerous...those were just other effective methods other people have posted that worked for them. I personally hadn't tried that one--in all honesty I made someone else do the dirty work all together, I'm not chancing getting near one of them...but truly I'm more afraid of cicadas, but we have so many of those we would need an army of the wasps to get rid of them, thanks for the comment.

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      Angelo52 5 years ago

      Seems these wasps, unlike yellow jackets, mostly go around killing other insects - locusts being one as you stated. Guess it's a matter of which you would rather have around - the locust or the wasp.

      At least if they become a nuisance the information provided in your article can help in getting rid of them.

      I'd be careful about using gasoline. Besides the potential for great harm to life and property from burning or even explosion, gasoline is bad for the environment.

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      crissytsu 5 years ago from Texas

      They scare me...but so do cicadas! I usually don't go outside much if I see either. Thanks for commenting!

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      Sally Branche 5 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Well, I just leave these little critters alone. They have a purpose, and we certainly have plenty of cicadas to spare. They also eat big spiders like Wolf spiders and Tarantulas, not that I have any problem with either of them! ;D