what’s eating this cicada? (besides the fact that it’s dead)
Hi Bugman!
Love your website, and apologies if this was already covered in a chapter. There are just SO many photos on your site I don’t know where to begin! Anyhow, I was outside when I heard a small battle being waged on my lawn, looked over, and saw this ?? (hover fly? wasp???) attacking this cicada. Next thing I knew the cicada ceased to be (it was now an ex-cicada) and the fly/wasp had dragged the cicada over to the nearest tree and started flying/climbing up the trunk. Below is my Kodak moment of this adventure. What is the fly/wasp creature, and what on earth was it doing? Thanks for your help!
Curiously Yours, Sandy in Evanston, IL

Hi Sandy,
This wasp is a Cicada Killer, and the Cicada isn’t dead, yet. The female Cicada Killer digs a burrow that is her nest and then hunts Cicadas. She stings them to paralyze them and then gets them back to her burrow. Since the Cicada is so heavy, the wasp will climb a tree to gain altitude. The paralyzed Cicada then becomes the larval food source. She will lay a single egg and the paralysis keeps the meat fresh until the egg hatches. The larva then eats the Cicada alive.

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Location: Illinois

3 Responses to Cicada Killer and Cicada

  1. Donna Shuler says:

    How do you get rid of the cicada killer. I have a lot of burrows in my yard. They are taking over my front yard. Are they dangerous to animals and humans. Can a local pest control company get rid of them.

    • bugman says:

      We do not provide extermination advice. Cicada Killers are not aggressive toward humans or pets. They prey upon Cicadas.

  2. cynlis says:

    OMG! Do NOT exterminate them! The are doing their job (a wonderful service) of keeping the cicada population in check. They are non-aggressive. The males cannot sting. The females will only sting when seriously provoked. Many times over the years I have personally caught and held a female and I have never been stung. They don’t stick around long, maybe 3 months tops.

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