A cicada wasp drags home her large prey, which can take the better part of a day. Emerging in mid to late July, the cicada wasps relentlessly hunt the noisy cicada. Harmless to humans, the male cicada wasp cannot sting, and the female wasp is only interested in cicadas. You can find these wasps easily by their mounds of sand or soil. Mounds in lawns or gardens approximately 8 inches in diameter at this time of year are often signs of the burrows of the cicada wasp. The wasp digs these burrows, then hunts for a cicada. Once found, the wasp stings the cicada to paralyse it, then drags it to the burrow. Weighing twice as much as the wasp, this is often a difficult task, but eventually, the cicada is brought underground where it will lay alive for weeks. The wasp then lays an egg near the cicada - it will serve as food once the egg hatches. If you see a wasp measuring 1 1/2 to 2 inches in length flying around, don't worry - they're not interested in humans. They may fly around you to see what you are, but as long as you're not a cicada, there's nothing to worry about.
Posted by Tom Gill at Wednesday, July 29, 2015