In this guide, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of cicada killer wasps.

Cicada killer wasps are a popular breed of wasps in Texas. They fly viciously and can encroach into your yard.

These wasps look very intimidating, thanks to their size (larger than a mature bumblebee), and they are one of the common hornet species known for digging into the ground.

They could be a real problem for your garden and your home in general. Generally, wasps need to be taken care of.

About Cicada Killer Wasps

They are about 0.6-2 inches long and are characterized by their red bodies and yellow stripe in the abdomen area.

These creatures fly pretty fast, but their sting is not as vicious as they look.

You can be made aware of their presence due to the loud buzzing sound they make, also louder than a bumblebee.

Cicadas are their favorite meal. They attack them to take them back into the holes they dig in the soil. This is quite an amazing feat considering the size of a cicada!

How to Get Rid of Ground Digger Wasps Naturally or With Chemicals

You can exterminate these wasps all by yourself if you only have a few of them around your yard. If there are more, say 10 to 15 of them, then a professional exterminator might be your best bet.

Follow the tips below to get rid of cicada killer wasps in your yard.

Getting Rid Of Them Naturally

Getting rid of these wasps in an environmental-friendly manner is something most considerate people would like to do. Luckily, it is very possible.

Using chemicals can cause some level of harm to your immediate environment. It could pose a threat to both children and pets so using natural extermination methods is very welcome.

The first thing you need to do is to find their den (the holes they dig). The holes they dig are about the size of a coin, so if you find such holes around the grassless parts of your yard, then that is where they will be.

Another sign that exposes where their den is small anthill-sized mounds. But unlike anthills, you won’t find them living inside.

After you locate their den, mark it out using a stick. These markings will make it easier for you to find the holes at night when visibility is low.

You may wonder why you would need to launch your attack at night. It’s because they leave their dens during the day in search of cicadas, so visiting their dens during the day would just be a waste of time.

You can start making your preparations when the night comes.

Start by boiling some water and pour it into a container. A pot or pitcher is a good choice. The amount of water you boil will be dependent on the number of burrows you are faced with.

Take a flashlight with you when you go out for better visibility, but it shouldn’t be too bright so it doesn’t alert the wasps. Also, have a glass bowl to cover each hole afterward.

The next step is to pour the booking water into the holes and quickly cover them with the glass bowl so the wasps will have no escape routes.

Go back to the holes in the morning to see the result. If the wasps didn’t drown from the boiling water, then they would be trapped by the glass bowl.

They will eventually be killed by suffocation or from the heat of the sun penetrating through the glass bowl.

Gather all the dead wasps you find and dispose of them properly. In a case where you still find one or two wasps still flying around, it just means there is a hole you missed. Come back at night and repeat the same process after you find the hole.

Chemical Methods to Get Rid of Cicada Killers

Another approach you can use to get rid of cicada wasps is the chemical method.

For this approach, you need to be extra careful when handling the chemicals. Be sure to put on the necessary protective gear before you begin. These include goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and your hands respectively.

Also, do not keep chemicals within the reach of children or pets!

You can use the chemicals listed below to kill cicada killer wasps.

Bleach: This is one of the more unorthodox chemicals, but it works well on female wasps. I have to mention that it won’t kill the eggs.

Ammonia: Pouring ammonia into wasp holes and covering the holes with a container will kill the wasps. Filling the holes to the very brim will also kill them, even if the holes are not covered.

I also have to mention that ammonia will not kill the eggs.

Boric Acid: When it comes to killing insect pests, Boric acid is among the most effective chemicals you can use.

The good news is, that it kills both the wasps and the eggs, there’ll be no new wasps to deal with in the future.

Pesticides for Cicada Killer Wasp Control

Just in case household chemicals fail you (I’d be surprised if they do, then you can go all out and bring out the big guns!

Professional-grade pesticides will do the trick. They are sold in pretty much all home maintenance stores and they don’t cost much. You can also apply them yourself.

Below is a list of pesticides you can try.

Hornet Spray: There are a variety of hornet sprays that shoot as far as 25 feet and discharge more than enough content into the wasp hole.

Wasps will respond aggressively when they are under attack, so make sure your aim is good and give yourself some distance away from the hole.

You should also put on clothing that will protect you from a wasp sting.

Demon WP: To this, mix a pack of Demon with a gallon of water and dump the mixture into a spray bottle.

Use this spray between July and September so you can kill the wasps early in their life cycle.

The effects of this insecticide can last for as long as 3 months.

Pyrethrin-based powder: This is widely used by professional pest control services so you can rest assured of its potency.

In a case where nothing else works, then give this pesticide a try.

Be warned though, you have to protect yourself when using it. Cover your eyes, nose, mouth, and hands before applying. It is the last thing you want in your system because it is very harmful!

To use, spread the powder around the nest and leave it to work. Keep all pets and children away from the disinfestation area until the dust has settled and it is safe.

Drione Dust: This pesticide kills wasps instantly and absorbs their odors and pheromones so it’s a good option. It is silica-based dust containing natural pyrethrum.

Since it absorbs the odors of the dead wasps, other wasps would have no invitation to visit your yard.

Cypermethrin: If you have many wasp nests in your yard, then you may want to use a liquid concentrate instead of powder or dust.

This insecticide has strong lasting power, as a mixture can stay for as long as four weeks. It can also kill wasp eggs and larvae.

Preventive Measures for Cicada Killers

Getting rid of cicada killer wasps is one thing, preventing them from coming at all is another.

Proper watering and fertilization of your grass will create a thick growth which will make it difficult for the wasps to dig the ground.

If they aren’t successful at digging, then they would leave and find softer spots.

If you’ve had a cicada killer wasps situation in the past, you can cover up the holes with thick mulch so they can no longer dig through. You can also drench the holes just to be sure.

Wasps love dry soil since it is easier for them to dig through. This means watering your yard frequently to keep it moist is a good idea.

They are well-sized creatures, but they aren’t strong enough to dig through moist soil.

What Attracts Them?

Knowing what attracts cicada killer wasps is vital if you want to win the fight against them.

They love sparse lawns and bare dry soil so they can easily dig through.

If your lawn doesn’t meet their criteria, then they will leave it alone.

Hiring Professional Exterminators

If you have a phobia of insects, then I wouldn’t imagine you would want to tackle the wasps yourself.

In this case, your best option would be to hire a professional exterminator service to get the job done for you.

It will cost you more than the above-mentioned methods, but you will be spared from coming in contact with the wasps.


Cicada killer wasps can make a big mess of your yard with all the holes they dig. Use the above-mentioned methods to get rid of them.

I trust this article on how to get rid of cicada killer wasps has been helpful.

Take care!

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