How to Get Rid of Cicadas
To get rid of cicada, you need to be aware of the following:
Knowledge of Cicada killers
Cicada killers, otherwise known as Ground-digger wasps (GDWs) are huge (a little bigger than green hornets), passive and aggressive wasps that “build” their nests in arid unfertilized earth. They are usually large and black in color with yellow stripes at the back. Once fully mature, they measure around one and a half inches (or more) in length with about a one and a quarter-inch wide wing span.
Signs to look out for
You’ll know you’ve got Cicada killers in your garden when you see small coarse mountains of dirt piled up. At the base of the mound there will be a finger-sized hole with a trail of dirt leading out from it. Cicada killers do not like, but can live in, moist soil.
Find out the life cycle
In the Northeast US, the life-cycle of a Cicada killer is around one month beginning in mid-July and ending around late August (depending on where you live, their life-cycle may start earlier or later). They grow from young, vibrant creatures playing with each other, to full-range adults in about two-to-three weeks.
They attack only when attacked
Whilst they are menacing looking, they are reactive stingers – meaning, only if they are in jeopardy, will they sting. You’d basically have to begin digging into its nests while they fly around looking to hurt you (so, don’t do that!). If not, they usually buzz around to check you out and to frighten you away. Make out that they’d instead continue with their business of killing cicadas, back in the trees, than sting you. Remember that they tend to attack only when you disturb them.
While the method mentioned principally kills the wasps in their nests, I have found no other (pet friendly) way to wipe them out from my garden, than this method. I still catch hold of nests from year-to-year, but only one, maybe two now. The ploy is to eliminate all of them when they’re in their nests, so their off springs will not come back to the same place they were born.
1. To destroy a huge number of Cicada killers, purchase the following from a local store and supermarket: a) A huge bag of WHITE plastic knives, and b) Up to three or four jugs of regular or lemon ammonia.
2. During the course of the day, when the wasps are out hunting for cicadas in the trees, make a note of every nest you find with a plastic knife pushed into the ground as near the hole of the nest as possible (without unsettling the hole). Leave the knife sticking out of the ground so you can see it.
3. Around 10:30 or 11pm, (the later the better), that night, using a flashlight, search for the knives you positioned and cautiously decant about two-to-three cups of ammonia into each of the holes. At this moment the wasps are possibly resting/sleeping, so you’ll be catching them unaware while they’re in the nest. (You can increase the quantity of the ammonia by adding a one-to-one ratio of water to the ammonia. The diluted power will still be enough to eliminate them.) Do not remove the knives.
4. The following day, repeat the practice on any other new nests that you find in the ground. You’ll be able to identify the new nests from the older ones because you’ll still have the knives in place from the night before. Once you’ve identified the new nests, remove the old set of knives.