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Different Methods for Getting Rid of Cicada Killers

Updated on July 29, 2017

No matter what you call these pests--cicada killers, ground digger wasps, you will most definitely be aware of their presence. They are large, intimidating wasps that differ from regular wasps in one major way--their size. The ground digger wasp resembles a regular wasp except for the fact that it can grow to be 2.5 inches in size, or 3 inches if you live in Texas. Regardless of the fact that they don't sting (supposedly) unless threatened, these insects are huge and intimidating. Just having one or two patrolling your yard is an annoyance to many people during the summer months. They usually make an appearance in late June and early July.

What are they?

They pray on cicadas by stinging them and dragging them back to their holes to feast. Anything that can overcome a large cicada and carry it in their clutches back to their home, is a beast of an insect. Imagine a wasp the size of a cicada. No wonder these insects are so intimidating to some people.

Supposedly, the cicada killer wasp isn't a threat and only the females are even capable of stinging. The aggressive attitude exuded by these wasps makes them appear threatening, regardless. Nobody in their right mind wants to test the theory, or tempt fate, especially with small children involved. These insects fly fast and furious, swooping down with their loud buzz coming inches from humans in their territory. The females have stingers that are half an inch long.

Boric Acid

Regardless of why you want to get rid of these pests, there are several ways of doing so. One method that eliminates the ground digger wasp and is effective at preventing its return is boric acid. You can purchase a large bottle for around $10-$20 at a drug store.

Armed with your boric acid and a flashlight, go out at night and find the holes where you normally see the ground digger wasps during the day. Dump some of the boric acid down each hole. Keep in mind the holes are usually about 6-8 inches deep.

Results will be noticeable the very next day. You should only notice about half as many cicada killers buzzing around the yard the following day. Patience pays off, and in as little as three days time, you should notice that they've all disappeared. Boric acid isn't a well-known treatment for eliminating these pests but has worked for many do-it-yourself exterminators. It is thought that boric acid even kills the larvae to ensure that they don't hatch the following year.


Another household product that many people have had success with is amonia. To apply the amonia you simply follow the same steps as with boric acid mentioned above. Locate the holes during the day and mark them with a plastic knife, then at dusk when the cicada killers return to their hole, simply unload the amonia down the hole and quickly cover it with a rock.

Instead of spending an outrageous amount of money on exterminators that use questionable chemicals to eliminate these ground digger wasps, you can safely eradicate them yourself using boric acid. In a short amount of time you will be able to return to a safe yard, free from this aggressive, intimidating pest.

© 2012 crissytsu

Boric Acid to Eliminate Cicada Killer Comments:

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      2 years ago

      How much boric acid do you use per hole? Do you dump the powder in or dilute it first?

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 

      5 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      Hadn't heard of the cicada killer wasp. Sounds rather nasty! Yes, bugs are a problem in warm climates. I live in Arizona and we too have our share of unusual bugs. I have found that boric acid is very effective against cock roaches. It is a great alternative if you don't want to use a more toxic chemical, especially if you have children. Boric acid is actually used in water as an eye wash at times (mild solution). Nice hub. Thank you.


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