Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cicada Killer Wasp

Saturday morning there was a pile of sand on our patio (our patio is slate pavers laid on a bed of sand.) By Sunday afternoon the pile of sand was quite large and a paver was starting to sink.
We thought the culprit was a mole or vole, but late Sunday night we saw it.
It is a Cicada Killer Wasp. Alan saw it pushing about 1cc of sand behind it as it backed out of the hole. Apparently these wasps are solitary, do not sting unless provoked, and dig tunnels, then catch a cicada and drag it into the tunnel. The female lays one egg in the cicada and then buries it in the tunnel. I also found a picture of the wasp taking a stink bug down it's tunnel.
This is a very good article on the wasp from The Atlantic magazine. So we will let this one do it's thing and move the table away. I'm not sure we will be able to wait a year (for the new wasp to emerge) to fix the sinking paver though.

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