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Monday, July 16, 2007

Cicada Killer Wasp Sting Danger

Someone asked if Cicada Killer Wasps ever sting or bite people and if they are a danger to people or pets.

Apparently the Cicada Killer rarely stings unless they are disturbed. Although males are aggressive and territorial they have no sting. Females are difficult to provoke, but may sting if provoked. The sting descriptions range from mild, and dissipating within an hour, to medium, and persisting for a week; most information that I've found seems to imply the the sting is relatively minor.

However, note that sting allergies may make the situation potentially very serious. Our Great Dane was stung on the face a couple of times and his entire body became covered in lumps within minutes. Anti-histamine, in this case benadryl, was administered orally immediately, to good effect, and we monitored him to ensure that he didn't require an emergency trip to the vet. It would be nice to be able to say that he learned from his mistake but alas no, there were several re-matches and I think he lost every time.

If you have any comments please let me know and if you have any other questions which you'd like me to answer for free please send them to Ben Dash at


Anonymous john said...

please update soon!

9:59 AM  
Blogger Ben Dash said...

What kind of update is needed?

10:21 PM  
Blogger Mardee said...

Ha! I was stung yesterday (twice) by two cicada killers, and the sting on my inner arm was excruciatingly painful (the other one not so much, but I think it's because I was stung through my clothing). I'm not sure what provoked them as all I was doing was watering my tomatoes, but they were annoyed. It's now a day and a half later, and my arm is still throbbing. And no, I'm not allergic.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know they lay eggs on dead cicadas but do they lay eggs on humans once stung ?

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i seen one of these at work in the motorpool and i started to ask around i was told that if you are get stung by this monster of a wasp that it would if not kill you then put you in the hospitle is this true?

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not unless you're allergic.. I'm disturbed that you misspelled hospital though.. Lol

11:39 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn Ann Carroll said...

Me too! Went to water the garden and there were like 10 of them and two flew by and stung me. It really hurts!

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's surprising that people haven't figured out the contradicting accounts of mild vs severe pain. Don't you see? All accounts are correct! Those that said it only hurts a little got hit immediately after the wasp discharged its venom into its prey. Those who report extreme pain got stung when the wasp's venom sac was full. This variety is less aggressive than the common red wasp; however, not respecting its potential to make you suffer is folly.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Mr. or Ms. 11:39 AM on the comments. How do you know that this person 2:26 PM on the comments, isn't just learning english? If you're going to give english lessons, why don't you do the whole paragraph? Starting with capitalization on the "I", "saw" instead of "seen", "them" instead of "these", "you were" instead of "you are get". And then trade "put you in the hospital", with "if not kill you" leaving out "then". And don't forget all punctuation marks. Also, to top it all off, you didn't even answer 2:26's question properly. To answer the question properly.Bites and stings can make your skin red and itchy with swelling that lasts up to 5 days. If you scratch, the
area can become infected. You can have a bad allergic reaction, even if you’ve never reacted to stings
before. Signs of allergy include hives, flushed skin, itching, feeling sick, fever and trouble breathing. If
you think you’re having an allergic reaction, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room at once.

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your info on these wasps! I just found out what they are. I thought it was moles and my kids were outside and saw big wasps going in the holes. We caught one and did some searching on the Internet. I just dont want any kids getting stung! I will keep them away from there. Thanks!

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got stung by one of those and it stung really bad for a day and after it stopped stinging it itched like crazy. There was a quarter sized swelled red dot on my leg for about a week. It landed on the back of my leg and I swatted away and it stung me. The initial sting is incredibly painful.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who got stung, especially if unprovoked, are probably stung by hornets. Cicada Killer wasps look similar to some hornet species.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

July 3rd 2015 and Still no Update??!!!!

2:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Easton said...

I am a landscaper from Harrisburg Pa. that deals with the CK on a daily basis in July and August at town homes I take care of in Etters Pa. . It is almost impossible to get the female to sting. In over 20 years of removing hundreds of burrows and eggs with my hands and a shovel I have been stung 3 tim twice in the hands and once in the cheek. The Pain is no where close to other wasp and bee stings. . Many are confusing the CK with the much more aggressive and also huge hard stinging European Hornet. I know I cant spell if it bothers you than get a life and find some way to feel better about yourself A hole .

4:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got attacked by a nest that I apparently ran over with the mower. I was also running over the branch-ends that had fallen to the ground and dried out after the new cicadas hatched and went underground...makes me wonder if that's how I disturbed them, if the wasps were in there. Felt the first on on my hip, stinging, then they were all over. Got hit on the forearm and upper lip before it was over. No allergies, mild pain and swelling, itchy, that's about it. Lots of middle aged white guy dancing around the yard yelling the f word over and over. That was probably pretty entertaining. Happened 2 hours ago.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Gregrs400 said...

Thank you 10:16. You see, it can't take that much venom to Parylize something a tenth of your size. So, the sting must be VERY mild. My guess is that it's less than a pinch, but I've never gotten stung.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was stung on my arm yesterday when I was closing the windows out side of my cabin while at gs day camp... They sent me home and it burned for a few minutes, but nothing else happend to me that day so I took so benadryl and went to bed... This morning when I woke up there was a big rash on my arm and it inches super bad... I don't know if I should go to a hospital or not ( I'm not allergic to bees, wasps, or hornents)

11:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Stepped on a female in the house, their nest is right outside the door where it happened. Foot is swollen and itchy with little pain.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think my 16 week old Standard Poodle puppy was stung by a Cicada Killer Wasp. I do not know for sure. She is a bug chaser flower sniffer kind of girl. And the other night, with no yelp or evidence of disturbance we observed her face to begin to swell. By Midnight we were at the Emergency Vet for a steroid shot and more Benedryl. I did not want to keep giving it to her, because she is just a baby, without having the vet check her. She is recovering nicely, and the wasp has been removed. We think it was this wasp though because she never gave a sign of significant injury though. We will keep a close eye going forward though, now that we know she is allergic to stings.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The sting is minor" uh, no it feels like being stabbed with an icepick then wiggling it around, and no i'm not allergic

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sat in a chair outside last night and disturbed one, because I got the sting of my life on my back. I'm not allergic either to bee or wasp stings but this one first felt like the stinger was an inch long and intense pain, for hours.

Put baking soda mixed with a little water on it immediately, then some Lidocain pain ( sunburn ) ointment on it overnight with a couple of Benedryl. Very uncomfortable last night but only slight itching this morning. So they can inflict a lot of pain. ( 200lb adult male ).

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sting feels like being gored by an elephant. Stinging pain for 15 minutes. Worse than childbirth.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous NEXTFLY Phoenix SEO Company said...

I have seen these kill horseflies and houseflies – horse people find these extremely beneficial and they do not sting people which is even better.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Ron Owens said...

My daughter just got stung in the pool. I guess the CK was in distress. She just started screaming and I took her out of the water I couldn’t figure out what had happened. The stinger was so big I thought it was an insect buried into her thigh. It wasn’t even just a sting like a poke it looks like it slashed its way in. After we got the stinger out and calmed her down the only insect I could tell was near where she was was a CK.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Joseph Piekarz said...

Used to walk through swarms of them in the sand traps at golf course I worked at as a caddy. Raked through the nests after golfer chipped out of the sand. Did it for 12 years and never got stung - was paranoid every time though. They are HUGE!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I got stung yesterday around 8:30p.m took Benadryl and this morning I woke up couldn't make a fist can't see my knuckles. My whole hand is swollen and bout 2-3 inches past my wrist. It throbbing constantly and I can't hold anything with that hand or do anything. Any advice???

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These things sting and it goes away after fifteen minutes. It hurts then just goes away as soon as you get the stinger out. I grabbed one thinking it was dead and it stung my finger about and inch below my nail. I was 13 at the time and it did not hurt that bad.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know that this is off topic but for those that have nothing better to do then critize others spelling and the way their word placement is, needs to get a life and grow up, there are alot of people that can't spell or don't word things the right way, but that doesn't give you the right to be an ' a hole ' towards those that have those problems, why don't you just go rub one off instead of making fun of the way other people spell or word things

8:24 PM  

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