The Demons Have Returned

Last year around this time, I came home and was promptly chased around the front yard by a giant wasp from hell. After some research, we discovered we had cicada killer wasps (probably because there are cicadas in our backyard). Here is what they heathens look like:

Heathens

That isn’t really a close-up shot, they are about 2-3 inches long. Sick and wrong. Anyway. They like to dig holes in dry areas that aren’t watered often. I.E. next to the hellish hedges-that-won’t-stop-growing in front of our house. I will address those demon hedges later this week.

Cicada killers aren’t actually harmful to humans. They CAN bite, but it won’t really hurt, and not much will come of the bite. They fly around and guard the den that the female creates to lay eggs in. The female goes out and about during the day and tries to stun a cicada with her foot-long tail and bring the cicada back to the den. She then lays the cicada next to her egg and closes up that spot underground in the den. These never-ending monster larva stay in the ground from August – March, at which time they hatch and crawl up to the surface and breed. So, one of these things only lives for one year. It’s the time in the ground that is confusing – each year you see one of these wasps, it’s not the same one from the year before.

After some extensive research last year, I obtained a insect repellant from a coworker who said she had used it on cicada killers in the past. The only way to kill them is to destroy the egg/larva that they put inside the ground near their den. Their den looks like a hole with a bunch of dirt thrown around it. So. I put more of the insect killer that advised near their den. Then, I repeatedly poured hot boiling water in their den (some people say this works). As summer approached this year, I was convinced I got rid of them.

Until last week when the foot-long wasps beelined at my head when I arrived home after work. We now keep a tennis racket at our front door to help swat the male away when we enter and leave the house. This is no way to live. I plan on seriously fully removing/trimming back the hedges from hell this fall anyway, at which time I could address these sick beasts. I might try to dig up their den at that point? Place weed tarp and mulch over it so they cannot survive? Ugh. Sick.

Anyone have any advice? My neighbor said the P.O. had them too. Thank you, again, P.O.!

Other things:

Ever have a weekend where you accomplish nothing you need to? That was this weekend, my friends. We watched two other dogs, one another Scottie puppy, and boy was it a treat. They were so cute to watch, but I’m so tired! Our Scottie got up at 6:30 am to play with the others. If anything, this is training for kids. I like my sleep too much.

Some close friends of ours closed on their first house on Friday. It’s close to us and was built in the 50’s. We helped out – the people who lived there before never cleaned and also decided what a great idea it was to paint over wallpaper. Mmm! Cleaned, painted, mowed their lawn and helped out with some stuff. Things are sore that haven’t been sore since WE moved in. Ouch.

Free tickets to an I-Cubs game today. I put on my new SPF 45 sunscreen (with HelioPlex!), but left it in the car. I actually needed to re-apply SPF 45 sunscreen. Now my right arm is left arm is red and my right one white. Nice. I had fun watching the people with crappy seats sit in the good seats, and get asked to move every 5 minutes.

Next weekend we’re going to try to haul ALL of the rocks out of the dog run and plant grass seed. We’ll see how that goes!

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3 responses to “The Demons Have Returned

  1. So water the hedges. Maybe you could drown them while keeping the cicada killers away.

    The cicada killers are relatively harmless, by the way — they like to save their venom for the cicadas, and you’re too big to fit in their nursery holes.

  2. I feel ur pain, I came out of my house and one came out of a whole that was like u said. Big whole with dirt kicked out of it. Then by my surprise a huge bee came out. I am 43 and I have never seen a bee that big. Thank you for ur experence u have had helps me a lot. But the funny thing is won came out and i caught it the few hours later another won came out the same whole. Funny cause they say only won comes out. I had to adults come out, found won whole in the back yard and won in the front yard. Maybe the just met and came out same whole. Scared though have five dogs in back yard, I put a brick on the whole hope it works. So, so far since i found they whole I killed two adult bees. My father inlaw says to pour moter oil down the whole. Any other ideas please help. Have many kids that hang at my house don’t wont them to get hurt. Please help. And no affence ed darrell, u might think there harm less but to little kids that are 10 yr old it is scary. Please anyone with more info please help on how to get rid of them.

    Thank you
    Sue from Easton, PA

  3. First off I would like to say if the female lats multiple eggs then more than one(won, as Susan says) is likely to come out of the nest the following year. Common sense tells us that basic math.

    Next, here is a link for further info on the eastern cicada killer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphecius_speciosus If you want more info just Google for multiple other sites. Tons of them out there.

    Also, Susan, I do not mean to be mean, but won means you finished first and one is the number. To means direction or motion towards something and two is the number. They can be common mistakes and I am just trying to give you helpful criticism. Seriously!

    Lastly, I just used some flying insect spray and killed the one two days ago and now there is a new one out there. Grrrr! So I sprayed the nest area and it still has not deterred them. I am going to spend the day trying to kill this one as well, but not sure really on how to make sure the nest is gone other than to dig it up or try the boiling water and hope. One person suggested oil, but I do not want anything that stays flammable next to my house.

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