Cicada Killer Wasps are terrifying to look at but these gentle giants are harmless.  They look a whole lot like murder hornets and you need to know the difference.

WHAT ARE CICADA KILLER WASPS

This past weekend my son Tucker was out and about with his cousins down the street.  He got a picture of what he swore was the scariest wasp ever on his phone.  After doing some research we figured out it was a Cicada Killer Wasp.  For starters, if these guys are harmless they need to put in a name change request ASAP.  The fact that they have the words killer and wasp as a part of their name gives everyone the totally wrong idea.  Here's what we found out about them;

According to entomology/ca.uky.edu;

Mild-mannered female cicada killer wasps are active across Kentucky during the summer, intent on their tasks of 1) digging underground burrows and 2) provisioning them with paralyzed cicadas that will be food for their grub-like larvae. The wasps will be very focused on these tasks for several weeks.

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NOT REALLY KILLERS OF PEOPLE

The female cicada killers are the ones that do all the work.  Go figure!  They can often be found digging burrows underground and also gathering up and keeping watch over the food rations.

These insects like to dig and kill cicadas.  While cicadas are basically good for pruning grown trees, aerating soil, and then still serving after they die they can be quite a nuisance.

While they may be typically harmless the females do have a stinger and if provoked they have a pretty nasty bite.  The venom can paralyze the other insects that they hunt.  Males don't have stingers but their size makes them seem like a pretty big threat they can't sting anyone they will just come at you to scare you away.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MURDER HORNET & CICADA KILLER WASP

It is hard to tell the difference if you aren't familiar with the two.  We found a video that does a great job explaining.

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Have you ever seen a Cicada Killer Wasp?

Kentucky's Nuisance Animals

A couple of these creatures would cross over into the "dangerous" category, but the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says that these are ALL nuisances, and with good reason.

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