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How Can I Get Rid of Cicadas?

8/8/2008 12:00:00 AM

Tags: cicadas, pest problems

How can I get rid of cicadas? I have a huge cicada killer problem. These hornets have invaded my yard, so the only thing I can think to do is get rid of the food source. They are out of control. For the past three years they come back to my yard, I have well over 100 every year!

Unfortunately, getting rid of cicadas is nearly impossible. Cicadas have a very long lifespan, up to 17 years. The nymphs that hatch from cicada eggs fall from the trees where they have been laid and burrow into the soil. There they live on the sap from tree roots until they are ready to emerge 13 to 17 years later. So, the cicadas are not immigrating to your yard, but are there already, under ground, just waiting for Mother Nature’s signal to emerge and start the cycle all over again.

The cicada killer wasps that prey on cicadas look scary but aren’t interested in harassing or stinging you. The males can’t sting and the females are so busy looking for cicadas that they won’t even know you are there. Here is a good report on cicada killer wasps. As long as the cicadas are hatching there will be cicada killer wasps. However, to control them, here is a tip from the University of Georgia article: “The best control is prevention. Because cicada killers nest in open areas without vegetation, healthy turf won't be attacked. The best way to prevent having cicada killers around is to cultivate a lush healthy lawn without bare patches.”

— Heidi Hunt, assistant editor

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