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  Sunday, June 25, 2017
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How and Why Wasps Sting Cicadas   
Cicada Killer Wasps use their sting to paralyze, as you already guessed, cicadas. This is completely different from other types of Wasps that use sting to fend off predators from their nests. As a result, Killer Wasps are not aggressive as other types. However they can sting if disturbed by directly touching it. Male wasps do defend their nests and actually can be very aggressive when they fill danger to nests that contain eggs. Killer Wasps to your surprise do not feed on Cicadas but rather on flower nectar so they are not different then bees in this regard.

Cicadas are used to feed Wasps youngsters. The process is quite elaborate since Cicada Killer Wasp has to captured, paralyze and drug Cicada back to burrow where eggs are ready to hatch with young wasps. It’s not an easy task to sting Cicada that fighting for its life as well. Many times during this fight both Cicada and Wasp plop to the ground and continue the battle until the victim is stung. Eggs are usually dropped in late July through August and hatch in two or three days. Larva completes development in 5 to 20 days. Only one generation of Cicada Killer Wasps can be grown per year.

Adult Wasps live for about a month and during this time they are preoccupied with only one task, which is to produce offspring for the next year. We can expect population of Cicada Killer Wasps exploding after this year due to large volume of Cicadas that are mating after 17 years of hibernation.

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