cicada killer oklahoma

Uncover Cicada Killer Wasp Habits in Oklahoma

Welcome to our guide on cicada killer wasps in Oklahoma! These fascinating insects, scientifically known as Sphecius speciosus, are a common sight in the state. In this article, we will explore their habits, behavior, and identification, providing you with valuable insights into these intriguing creatures.

Cicada killer wasps are an integral part of Oklahoma’s ecosystem. Although they may appear intimidating due to their size and stinging capability, it’s important to note that they are usually docile and harmless. By understanding their behavior, we can coexist with these beneficial creatures while safeguarding our homes and gardens.

Let’s dive in and discover the fascinating world of cicada killer wasps in Oklahoma!

Key Takeaways:

  • Cicada killer wasps, scientifically known as Sphecius speciosus, are large wasp species found in Oklahoma.
  • They primarily feed on paralyzed cicadas and are docile but capable of inflicting painful stings.
  • Cicada killer wasps prefer nesting in areas with sparse vegetation and create distinctive burrows in lawns and gardens.
  • Their identification characteristics include a rusty red head and thorax, russet colored wings, and a black and yellow striped abdomen.
  • While cicada killer wasps do not pose a significant threat to humans, professional help may be required for infestation control and removal.

Identification of Cicada Killer Wasps in Oklahoma

When it comes to identifying cicada killer wasps in Oklahoma, their distinct appearance sets them apart. These wasps have a rusty red head and thorax, complemented by russet colored wings. Their abdomen features striking black and yellow stripes. Growing up to 1 1/2 inches in length, these insects can be quite impressive in size.

For those trying to spot cicada killer wasps in Oklahoma, keep in mind that their larvae can be found in burrows in the soil. These legless, white grubs are commonly present in sandy soils, and the wasps prefer nesting in areas with bare soil or sparse vegetation.

cicada killer wasp identification

Habitat and Behavior of Cicada Killer Wasps in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, cicada killer wasps can be found in various habitats, including residential areas. These fascinating creatures emerge as adults in late June or July and can often be seen visiting flowers or digging burrows in sandy or light soil.

One of the interesting aspects of cicada killer wasps is their nesting behavior. These wasps prefer to nest near cicada populations, as cicadas serve as a source of food for their offspring. In pursuit of their prey, female cicada killer wasps may create dozens of burrows in lawns, gardens, and even on golf courses.

While the male wasps diligently guard the turf, protecting it from potential predators, the females are busy excavating the earth to build their nests. These females dig fairly large and deep burrows, which can reach up to three feet in length. However, the excavation process can unintentionally damage the roots of nearby plants, making walkways somewhat unstable.

“Cicada killer wasps exhibit fascinating behavior as they establish their homes and feed their young. Their commitment to seeking out cicadas and creating burrows in various habitats is truly remarkable.”

Key PointsCicada Killer Wasp BehaviorCicada Killer Wasp Habitat
EmergenceLate June or JulyVarious habitats, including residential areas
Feeding HabitsVisiting flowers and preying on cicadasPrefer areas with cicada populations
Nesting BehaviorExcavating burrows; females create large, deep nestsCreate burrows in lawns, gardens, and golf courses
Impact on EnvironmentUnintentional damage to plant roots and unstable walkwaysAdapt to various soil types, preferring those with loose sand

Overall, observing the habitat and behavior of cicada killer wasps can provide valuable insights into their fascinating lives. These wasps are not aggressive toward humans unless provoked and are an essential part of the ecosystem, contributing to natural pest control. However, if their presence becomes a concern in residential areas, it is recommended to seek professional help for control and removal.


If you’re dealing with a cicada killer wasp infestation on your Oklahoma property and it’s causing damage or posing a threat, seeking professional help for control and removal is advised. Cultural controls, such as applying adequate lime and fertilizer with frequent watering, can be effective in eliminating infestations in some cases. However, severe infestations may require chemical control measures to ensure your safety from stinging wasps.

If you’re unsure about the best course of action, it’s recommended to contact your local county extension office for current information and expert assistance. They can provide guidance on cicada killer control methods and offer up-to-date solutions specific to your area. Remember, early intervention is key to preventing further damage and potential risks associated with cicada killer wasps.

By taking proactive steps and addressing cicada killer infestations promptly, you can protect your property and enjoy a peaceful environment free from these buzzing insects. Don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help when needed, and let us support you in effectively managing and removing cicada killer wasps from your Oklahoma property.

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