Live and Let Live?
Monday July 16, 2012
I have a customer who has a serious cicada killer problem. He has a very thick lawn that he waters to prevent them on his property. The neighbor to his left does not water his lawn and has a much larger number of the wasps and the property to the right has no vegetation and has many wasps as well digging into the sides of the hill. It also has a large drainage pit for the development. I'm out of ideas as to how to help him. I think he is doing everything he can but is there anything else I can tell him to help the situation? Do Purple Martins eat cicada's? Are their any other natural predators that would be of help to him? If you have any advice that would be greatly appreciated.
The huge Cicada Killer wasps are common in the eastern U.S. but do not live in the western states, so I personally have never had experience with them. We do have many other kinds of solitary, predatory wasps that capture other insects, create burrows and chambers in the soil, and provide that captured insect as food for their developing larvae, but none nearly the size of the cicada killers. A couple of things really are important here. The first is the extraordinary benefit that all of these solitary predator wasps provide to us with their feeding on cicadas, caterpillars, crickets, and other insects that truly are the pest problems in the garden. The second is the fact that these wasps do not have social structures and therefore do not have the instinct to rush at someone to sting them when they appro... Read more
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