Cicada Wasps in the Parks

July 24, 2017

Cicada Killer Wasp

The Cicada Killer wasps have begun to emerge and be spotted around the parks. These large, intimidating wasps are uninterested in humans and don’t act aggressively unless threatened. The biggest danger these wasps pose is if stepped on by bare feet or handled roughly. With this caution in mind, the Cicada Killers have a fascinating life cycle that park goers can appreciate from a safe distance.

Habitat and behavior

Cicada Killers can be found in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. The females look for burrowing areas in soft or sandy soil where water will easily drain away such as volleyball courts and baseball diamonds.

The males may appear to be aggressive when they investigate humans in their territory, but are not hostile and lack a stinger. The females are solitary and will fly low on the ground when looking for suitable burrowing territory. They will also be seen hunting and dragging Cicadas which they store in their burrows as food for the larva.

Cicada Killers and the Park District

While these wasps may look scary, they generally don’t bother humans unprovoked. Because of this, the Vernon Hills Park district doesn’t attempt to control them. If you see a Cicada Killer, avoiding them is the best course of action.