In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of cicadas.
If you’ve ever heard loud, annoying singing from insects at night, then you have some cicadas around. These pests do not only bother you with their noise, but they are also destructive to your garden plants.
If you have a cicada infestation and dint know what to do about it, then keep reading.
There are two species of Cicadas, the annual Cicadas, and the periodic Cicadas.
The annual species can be seen once in a year, while the periodic species show up every 14 to 17 years.
These pests are popular for the very loud noise they make, especially during the night time. These sounds can go as high as 120dB, so you can imagine how discomforting that can be for you.
Cicadas lay their eggs in tree barks and they feast on watery sap from plants. If there is a large number of cicadas present in your yard, then they will cause severe damage to the tree.
When a young cicada is born, it will fall off the twig it was born from, then begin to dig into the ground. They do this because they need a place to nest and feed.
The nutrients from your garden plants are their favorite dish. You can spot holes next to the plants they attack since they dig beside it to get to its roots.
Cicadas are not interested in humans, they neither bite nor spread diseases. They also have no interest in your home, except if you have a few potted plants inside.
They can gain access to your home if the windows are left open, they’ll just simply creep through. They can also hitch-hike off the back of a pet or cling onto your clothes as you walk inside.
Ways To Get Rid Of Cicadas
There are several measures you can employ to get rid of cicadas. Some of which I will be listing out below.
Locate Them First
If you notice that your tree is being discolored, then that is a possible sign of a cicada attack. Since they suck up the nutrients from your trees, the result will be a malnourished plant, hence the discoloration.
Upon noticing the signs, you should start looking for the cicada nests immediately.
Start by looking on the ground. They are expert diggers and will dig burrows in the soil to get to the plant roots. You will find a few cicada holes of you do a thorough search.
When you find the holes, you can mark them out using sticks. Simply drive a stick into the soil where the holes are. You can also tie a piece of cloth to the trees to mark them.
The reason you’re doing this is to avoid searching for the holes again. If the affected areas are marked then you can go and prepare your disinfestation plan and return with a 100% knowledge of where to concentrate on.
Give Them A Hot Water Bath
Now that you know where the cicada holes are, you can take some action to get rid of them. One such action is drowning them in hot water.
All you need to do is a large pot to boil the water and a funnel.
Boil as much water as you need and take it to where the holes are. Insert the funnel into the hole you are targeting and pour the hot water inside.
These creatures will not be able to stand the heat and they will get boiled instantly. Go to as many cicada holes as you can find and dump some hot water inside.
Remember, you need to take the water to the holes immediately it boils. If the water cools off before you attack then they will not die, all they have to do is swim out.
A word of caution though, you have to be careful when dealing with steaming hot water. It can accidentally spill while carrying it to the cicada nests and burn your hands.
Put on a pair of wooly mitts when carrying the boiling water to protect your hands from the heat.
Trapping cicadas is another way to get rid of them. The good news is, you can make the trap yourself.
Using the same hot water technique, you can capture the cicadas and be sure they don’t escape. The difference, in this case, would be the temperature of the water.
If you’re not comfortable handling hot water, then this method might suit you better.
All you will need is a glass bowl, some warm water, and a funnel.
Heat the water just a little bit. It should be warm enough to bother the cicadas, but not hot enough to harm you.
Take the container with the warm water and pour it into cicada holes using the funnel. Then take the glass bowl and cover the hole.
The warm water will force the cicadas to try and escape their nests, but the glass bowl will not allow them to escape. They will be trapped in-between the glass bowl and the water. They will eventually drown or suffocate.
Introduce Natural Predators
Unfortunately for cicadas, some animals love eating them. Some of these animals include birds, squirrels, killer wasps, mantises, lizards, and frogs.
If cicadas appear in large numbers, then you may not even need to introduce the predators yourself, as they will already be aware of their presence and visit your garden on their own in search of fresh, juicy cicadas to eat.
If you’re not patient enough to wait for the predators to visit your garden on their own, then you can buy some and let them loose in the areas where the cicadas are.
Frogs and lizards are my favorite cicada eating options. This is because they do not harm your trees or the environment.
Get about 3 frogs and maybe a few lizards and release them into your garden. From there, you just have to wait and let the predators do their jobs.
Keep in mind though, frogs and lizards won’t just eat the cicadas, they will also eat any beneficial insect they come across.
The good thing is, the beneficial insects are doing the same job the frogs are doing, so it’s not such a bad idea after all.
Use Organic Pesticides
Pesticides remain the most effective way to deal with any kind of insect infestation. In this case, an organic pesticide would be your best bet. This is because they will not harm your garden plants or damage the soil.
You can visit a pest control store and buy one, cheaper still, you can make one right in the comfort of your home.
A neem oil extract pesticide is one of the most trusted organic pesticides around. It is harmless to trees or humans but very dangerous to insect pests.
It works by attacking the pest’s growth hormones and it causes them to lose their ability to eat or lay eggs. Read the instructions on the neem oil pesticide before you use it, just so you’re sure how to apply.
The good thing about neem oil is that it can also act as a repellant. After getting rid of cicadas that are already in your yard, it can repel more from coming over.
You can also make a garlic and cayenne pepper solution to get rid of cicadas. All you will need is some cloves of garlic and some cayenne pepper. The amount you use will depend on the number of cicada nests you’re dealing with.
Grind the garlic cloves along with the cayenne pepper, mix them into about a quart of water, stir thoroughly to make sure all the components are well blended, then take the solution to where the cicadas holes are.
Pour the solution into each hole and it will irritate cicadas. They will not be able to bear the harsh effects of the garlic and the cayenne pepper. They will have no choice but to abandon the nests or die.
You can also use an apple cider vinegar mixture to kill cicadas. Simply mix the vinegar with some liquid soap (use mild soap so the trees won’t be harmed).
When the vinegar mixture is ready, take it to the holes and apply where necessary.
How To Keep Cicadas Away From Your Garden
The major preventive measure to take here is to use a pest repellant in your garden. There are many commercially sold repellants you can buy from a pest control store.
As the cicada season arrives, you need to prepare for the visit and apply the repellant around the trees in your garden and the soil.
Doing this will keep the bugs away.
Cicadas can be a problem, they are noisy and they damage trees. Follow the tips above to eradicate them.
I trust this article on how to get rid of cicadas has been helpful.