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Cicada Wasp

 Paper Wasp

Cicada Wasp

Appearance:
Cicada killer wasps have a black body with yellow stripes across the thorax and abdomen. The head and thorax are reddish and the wings yellow-brown. They resemble yellowjacket wasps. The female can produce a painful sting if disturbed.

Size:
Cicada killer wasps are very large, between 1 1/8 and 1 5/8 inches long.

Behavior:
Despite their intimidating size, Cicada killer wasps are solitary wasps that rarely sting unless disturbed. Males are especially aggressive concerning territory, but do not have a stinger; females do possess a stinger but do not provoke easily and rarely attack. Unlike social wasps such as yellowjackets and hornets that sting in defense, female cicada killers sting to paralyze their prey, mainly cicadas or locusts, which they feed to their young. Adult wasps feed on flower nectar and saps.

Cicada killers prefer to dig their burrows in bare, dry, and sandy areas in full sunlight. Each burrow is 6-10 inches deep and a ½ inch wide. They kick sand particles back as they dig, which forms a u-shaped mound at the entrance, and infested lawns can contain several mounds that can smother grass. However, they favor areas with little vegetation and rarely infest thick turf grass.

Cicada killers skim lawns and trees searching for cicadas, which they sting and paralyze. The wasp then drags or glides in back to their burrow where they seal the cicada off in a cell containing one egg. After spending winter pupating in an earthen cocoon, larvae complete develop in 7-14 days and emerge throughout the summer. Adults live for about three months, and produce one generation per year.

Habitat:
The ground-burrowing Cicada killer wasp can be found in sandy soil or loose clay in bare or grassy banks, sidewalks, driveways, and patio slabs. Some may nest in planters, window boxes, flowerbeds, but they usually prefer sunny areas with little or no vegetation. They may also establish burrows in golf course sand traps.

Interesting Fact:
A large population of Cicada killer wasps in one area can cause significant damage to a lawn. . A single burrow can contain up to 20 cells.

Control:
Cicada killer wasps are considered nuisance pests. To control and eliminate burrows, make sure to use adequate fertilizer and water your lawn often as they do not prefer thick grass. Entrance holes can be filled in with dirt to prevent further nesting.

Their large size and territorial tactics can be troublesome in outdoor commercial areas such as golf courses and pool entrances, and alarm people into avoiding these areas. Keep tree branches cut back from high-traffic areas as their favorite prey, cicadas, live on trees. Fill in any visible burrow holes.

If you are stung, promptly applying a paste of meat tenderizer with water or vinegar to the stung area will soothe the pain. The meat tenderizer contains the enzyme papain, derived from papaya, breaks down protein, which is why it tenderizes meat. Venom contains proteins, which is probably why this remedy works.

Paper Wasp

Appearance:
Paper wasps are reddish-orange to dark brown or black in color. They have yellowish markings on the abdomen. Paper wasps are long and slender with a narrow waist and a pear-shaped abdomen.

Size:
Range from ¾ to 1-inch in length.

Behavior:
Paper wasps are social insects, living in colonies containing workers, queens, and males. Queens emerge during April or May, and build a small paper-like nest attached to a horizontal structure by a thin stem. Colonies are usually founded by one female who dominates the colony and lays most of the eggs. Nests resemble an upside-down umbrella that consists of finely chewed wood fragments and saliva in which the eggs are laid.

Each nest consists of a horizontal tier of six-sided cells, the ends of which are open, exposing the heads of larvae. Larvae at the center are older and get progressively younger toward the edge of the nest. When larvae are ready to pupate, they are covered with silk, eventually emerging as small, fertile female workers.

By late spring, adult workers emerge and begin nest expansion, food foraging, caring for the queen and larvae and defending the nest. Adults feed on nectar, honeydew and juice from ripe fruits. They may also feed on flies that they regurgitate to their young.

Habitat:
Paper wasps nest in windowsills and frames, along eaves, porch ceilings and rafters, hose reels, etc, and in open areas sheltered from the rain. Their presence is most often signaled by the appearance of a nest with workers buzzing around it.

Their nest appears as a round, upside-down paper-like comb like an umbrella, and is attached by a single stalk to a horizontal surface.

Medical significance:
Paper wasps have a lance-like stinger and will readily sting if they feel threatened or are provoked. If approached by a paper wasp, avoid swinging your arms since quick movement often provokes attack, which can produce a painful sting. Also avoid creating loud noises or disturbances near a nest.

If you have a known allergy to bee or wasp stings and get stung, seek medical attention immediately. Those that are hypersensitive to stinging insects should avoid being alone during the peak season of wasp season, which is usually early summer (May) through early October.

Interesting Fact:
Some queens that are unsuccessful at establishing their own nest may join another queen, submitting to her dominance and becoming a worker. Studies have shown that such individuals, called joiners, are most often sisters of the queen.

If the queen dies or is otherwise lost, the most aggressive worker takes over. This worker will then begin laying eggs and continue to dominate all those below her.

Control:
Due to their painful sting, the presence of a Paper wasp nest or nests near a home or business can be problematic. Control of these social wasps, although usually not difficult, has its element of risk in being stung. It is best to conduct control operations on nests at dusk or after dusk to avoid being stung, since most of the paper wasps will have returned to their nest.

If the use of pressurized pesticides must be done during daylight hours, the use of protective equipment, such as gloves, hat, coveralls, etc., will help prevent stings from any airborne wasps. Do not stand directly under the nest when spraying, as it will cause them to drop straight down after contact.

If no Paper wasps are present after being sprayed, the nest can usually be scraped or knocked down after a day or two, and should be discarded so the dead larvae do not attract other pests such as ants.

If you are stung, promptly applying a paste of meat tenderizer with water or vinegar to the stung area will soothe the pain. The meat tenderizer contains the enzyme papain, derived from papaya, breaks down protein, which is why it tenderizes meat. Venom contains proteins, which is probably why this remedy works.


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Custom Pest Solutions
2200 N. Forsyth Rd. #K09
Orlando, Fl 32807
Phone: 407-672-1181
Email: service@custompestsolutionscfl.com