Dedicated to the Study of the Cicadas of Massachusetts and New England


Cicada Killers in Philadelphia, PA.

Sightings Category: Cicada Killers

Cicada Killers in Philadelphia, PA.


My name is Lorraine I live in Philadelphia, PA. I have cicada killer wasps burrowing in my backyard. What advice can you give for controlling them


Date Posted: 2006-08-17 Comments: (6) Show Comments Hide Comments


Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2010-11-26 | Website:

Hi Lorraine

Thanks for the confirmation image. Yes this is a cicada killer. Cicada killers are very docile wasps. The males do not sting because they don't have stingers. The females while having stingers really are not aggressive. They only sting cicadas. The only way you could get stung by a cicada killer wasp is to grab one with your hand and squeeze.

I've actually stolen paralyzed cicadas from female cicada killers without a problem whatsoever.

If you are still insistent upon getting rid of it, I would suggest pouring an insecticide in powder form down the cicada killer's burrow. When the female passes through the hole, she will get the insecticide on her then when she cleans herself, she will ingest the insecticide then she will die.

In order to enter the information in my database can you provide the missing information?

State: P
Town: Philadelphia


Posted By: Mary Faryna | On: 2012-08-05 | Website:

Can you tell me how big these wasps get? The largest one we seen is about 2 - 3 inches. We have several at our lilac bush and pear tree. They seem to be eating out of the cracks in the branches. We live north of you in Northampton PA

Posted By: Massachusetts Cicadas | On: 2012-08-05 | Website:

Hi there.

Cicada killers emerge from pupal state fully grown. They will not get much bigger. Though 2 - 3 inches does seem a bit on the large size. It could be a very large female. You are correct, cicada killers will drink the sugary sap from fruit and flowering plants.

Posted By: David Chamberlain | On: 2012-09-04 | Website:

I have many of the cicada wasps around my porch over the past week. They spend a lot of time in several clumps of lilac bushes in our yard. They are attacted to the porch light at night. Last night I had between 10 and 15 at the same time. If I could count them, without them moving, I would say I have scores of them in the lilacs at the same time. I remember seeing one several years ago but cannot positively identify the date.

How do I know if I have a brood or just a lot of wasps?

Posted By: Brian | On: 2018-07-26 | Website:

I bought this stuff called sevin

And it comes in a quart bottle for about 15 bucks.

Wherever the cicada wasp are buzzing around look for dirt that's been chewed up looks like potting soil now.

I added two ounces more than a recommended per gallon and basically sprayed the nest there was two that I found. I noticed sounds crazy but I stood out there and just put the sprayer on mist and Mist at them as they went by me and I'm down to about one or two and there's about 50 of them out here to earlier I hope that helps

Posted By: Cicida Wasp killer | On: 2021-07-19 | Website:

Buy a case of wasp spray from Lowes or Home Depot and wait till they land and then spray them. I got about 24 of them so far today. We have eradicated a good part of there brood over the years but it still is a yearly problem. If they can't breed they will eventually go elsewhere. We also boric acid in the nests we find.

Add Comment

All Cicada Killer Sightings

Cicada Killer Sightings 2013

Cicada Killer Sightings 2012

Cicada Killer Sightings 2011

Cicada Killer Sightings 2010

Cicada Killer Sightings 2009

Cicada Killer Sightings 2008

Cicada Killer Sightings 2007

Cicada Killer Sightings 2006

Submit Report

Did you spot an annual cicada or a cicada killer wasp? If you did and you have a photo and want to report it, please click the link below.

Brood I Information

The Brood I periodical cicada emergence happened in 2012 in Virginia, W. Virginia and Tennessee. Below are some of the highlights.

Brood XIX Information

The Brood XIX periodical cicada emergence has come and gone. Below is some information that you may find helpful.