Pests and Diseases forum: Cicada Killer Wasps

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Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 29, 2013 1:45 PM CST
Hi, I just popped over from the iris forum with a question. Does anyone know of a way to deter Cicada Killer Wasps from nesting in your flower beds? besides killing them. The darn things bring up so much sand and dirt from their burrow, that they completely cover some of my rhizomes. I killed lots of them last year, and I believe there are less this tear, as a result. But I hate to kill the darn things, I just want them to go someplace else...Thanks.....Arlyn
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
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lovemyhouse
Jul 29, 2013 3:21 PM CST
I'd like to know this answer, too. They are in the backyard and I have a toddler in the house now. Besides, I like cicadas. Whistling Big Grin
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jul 30, 2013 9:33 AM CST

Moderator

I am unfamiliar with Cicada Killer Wasps but did find some information through the University of Kentucky that may be helpful here: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef004.asp

Outside of killing them by using a pyrerthroid-based insecticide at the entrance of the nest or directly in the burrow, U of K suggested that flooding the base of the plants above the burrows with water may encourage the wasps to move elsewhere.

I wish I could be more helpful. Hopefully, someone else will have suggestions? I'm all ears!
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jul 30, 2013 9:50 AM CST

Moderator

I did some more research and have found the "water-flooding" suggestion mentioned in several spots. I also stumbled across a suggestion from a different university to mulch deeply (3" minimum) as this is suppose to dissuade the female wasps from calling your garden their home. A third site run by a college professor encourages plugging the entrance with a stick and leveling the soil around it every morning for a few days. The theory is that the Cicada Killer Wasps use visual clues to locate their nest and, by re-distributing the soil, they cannot find their way back easily. In addition, other female Cicada Wasps are attracted to areas where nesting is already occurring and, so, they will no longer hone in on your garden if they don't see the burrowing activity.

As I don't have any first hand experience, though, I do not know how effective any of these treatments really are. Please let us know if you find something that works.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Arlyn
Whiteside County, Illinois (Zone 5a)
Irises Beekeeper Region: Illinois Celebrating Gardening: 2015
crowrita1
Jul 30, 2013 2:14 PM CST
Thanks for the link. It sounds like killing the little buggers is still going to be my best option. Thanks again...Arlyn
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Jul 30, 2013 8:16 PM CST

Moderator

Thumbs up I'm still hoping that someone else has some suggestions, though.
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln

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