Eastern Iowa sees increase in cicada killer wasps - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa sees increase in cicada killer wasps


Cicada killer wasps have been flying their way around the eastern Iowa area.

The black and yellow wasps can grow to be two inches long, and got their name for a reason, said Jenny Ammon, the Dubuque Country naturalist.

"'Cicada killers' is actually a name that they are given because they actually do kill cicadas," she said. "It is the female that will take a cicada and bury them underground and lay their eggs in them."

Once those eggs are laid, Ammon said, the next summer those young will come out.

Cicada killers are frequently seen during the summer months of July and August. The insects are not dangerous to humans, but can sting if they are aggravated.

"Females are the ones that would be stinging," Ammon said. "They are not really aggressive in nature in general. So if they are being teased or approached in a dangerous manner, they could sting."

Dubuque County Conservation officials say this year their is an increase in Cicada Killers, as well as other types of wasps.

"I think it just has to do with the normal cycle, there are all sorts of cycles as to why we see more of certain animals than others," Ammon said.

Dubuque Country Conservation officials say cicada killers can burrow their nests at almost any location. Because the insects are digger wasps, they prefer places that are easier to dig, such as sand and soil.

They say we will see fewer of them towards the end of August.

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