giant hornet vs cicada killer

The Giant Asian Murder Hornet vs the Cicada Killer

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - A non-aggressive wasp that has taken up residence in the yards of some homeowners sparked worries that it could be the infamous Giant Asian Murder hornet.

However, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said they're called Cicada Killers and they're nothing to fear.

Scientists said they're native to the state and usually a sign of poor soil quality.

They did say that parts of the state have been seeing higher than normal activity this season.

"The Cicada Killer wasp is a solitary gentle giant and can be seen all over New England, while the giant Asian hornet is native to east Asia," the CAES said in a statement. "It has been intercepted in Washington State where the Washington State Department of Agriculture is addressing the problem. The giant Asian hornet is not here in Connecticut."

RELATED: Invasive 'murder hornets' have been spotted in the US for the first time

In late July into August, Cicada Killer hunting wasps time their appearance to the emergence of cicadas, according to the CAES.

Males with no stingers emerge first and establish territory and joust one another. When the females emerge, males compete for them.

Each female then seeks a sandy dry patch of ground, digs a tunnel, flies up to a tree, paralyzes a cicada, takes it down to her tunnel, and literally stuffs it into the tunnel. She then lays an egg on the cicada which becomes food for her offspring. Sometimes, several wasps may select the same desirable location for their tunnels, but each has her own tunnel.

The CAES emphasized that the wasps are not aggressive.

"They will fly up and move out of the way if a person approaches," it said. "It is not necessary to kill these wasps, but to understand that the soil they are digging in is dry and sandy. They are an indicator that the soil/ ground area where they are working is in poor condition."

The CAES recommended correcting the poor soil conditions and the following year the wasps will find a new location to dig.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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