Sand Wasps/Cicada Killer - School IPM - USU Extension

    Sand Wasps/Cicada Killer

    Crabronidae: Bembix spp.; Sphecious speciosus

    Wasps Fact Sheet: English, Spanish.

    Bembix sand wasp

    Bembix sand wasp (Howard Ensign Evans, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    Cicada killer

    Cicada killer (Jessica Louque, Smithers Viscient, Bugwood.org)

    Cicada killer

    Cicada killer with cicada (Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service, Bugwood.org)

    Identification

    • 3/4 - 1 5/8 inches long
    • black wasp with yellowish markings
    • some have bright green eyes
    • no hairs

    Nesting Habits

    • solitary, but often nest together in favorable sandy sites in the ground (not in colonies)
    • favorable sites are often areas of bare sandy areas

    Diet

    • nectar, pollen

    Significance

    • nests pose a minimal health risk to humans
    • can give a painful sting but wasps are not aggressive

    IPM Recommendations

    • Monitor for burrows or aggregations early summer - fall.
    • Purchase and use a bee veil, suit and gloves.
    • Eliminate nesting habitat by renovating bare soil areas with turf or other cover.
    • Eliminate sandy areas.

    Additional Resources

    IPM for Stinging Bees and Wasps: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)