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Giant wasps prominent in Texas

Posted On: 08/09/2012

Giant wasps, also known as cicada killers, have been a problem in Texas since June, the Country World News reported.

The pests are two inches long and have orange wings, making them easy to spot. Residents often have no idea what they are, and report the insects as hornets, bees or scud missiles.

The wasp stings and paralyzes the cicadas before taking them back to their wasp burrow. There, the female wasp lays her eggs on the cicada and seals the nest. When the eggs hatch, the grubs can feed on the cicada.

Female cicada killers have stingers, but tend to rarely attack humans. Male cicada killers are territorial pests that can become aggressive, and although they lack stingers, they can prick humans with sharp spines on their abdomens.

The wasps can be a nuisance because of their tendency to dig tunnels in yards. They burrow into the ground where bare dirt patches are readily available, such as in gardens and around trees. Parents are also concerned about nests in yards where young children play.

Watering, fertilizing and putting mulch on bare dirt can assist residents in keeping the large pests out of their yards and gardens. Pest control measures and pesticides may be recommended by a professional if the cicada killer infestation is severe.

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