Cicada Killer Emergence

Cicada killer on leaf


Cicada killers (Sphecius speciosus) are a little known, but rather frightening looking member of the wasp family that are very much at home in Oakland County. Just the fact that the word “killer” is part of their name draws attention and causes unnecessary anxiety and fear.

You may have seen cicada killers already without even knowing what they were. They are emerging now and are often misidentified as yellowjackets or baldfaced hornets. That misidentification is not surprising, since cicada killers bear a strong resemblance to yellowjackets—very big yellowjackets. However, unlike yellowjackets and baldfaced hornets that respond ferociously in a defensive manner if their papery nest is disturbed, cicada killers are solitary creatures and tend to totally ignore humans, even humans that intrude into their territory or disturb their underground tunnels.

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