Bug of the Month: July 2007 – Cicada Killer

Our 1st CK
Dear Bug Man,
The Cicada Killer in the attached photo, thanks to your site, will continue to “guard” our back step this summer (in the MD suburbs of DC). It’s a relief to know the family & especially our dog, will be able to frequently pass by him w/o being harmed. We used to have an underground yellow jacket nest in this same area. Do CKs ever move into abanadoned nests? I believe this particular CK is a male b/c he frequently rubs/bounces his tail on the step & door mat. Is this behavior to mark his turf, attract a mate or both? Even if you’re unable to responsd, THANK YOU! Your site provides a wonderful & very interesting service. Jean

Hi Jean,
According to Eric Eaton, the behavior you describe is of a male Cicada Killer marking his territory and trying to attract a mate. Cicada Killers dig tunnels with cells for individual paralyzed Cicadas and a single young Cicada Killer. Yellow Jackets are social wasps and their abandoned nests will not suit a Cicada Killer. We have decided to make the Cicada Killer the Bug of the Month for July 2007, so your photo will remain at the top of our homepage until August.

Leave a Comment