my unwanted summer guests

So last summer, my backyard was invaded by a swarm of these bad dogs:

 

 

Hesslich, nicht wahr?  The photo’s of a female with a cicada.  The wasps fly into the trees, snatch unsuspecting cicadas who are sitting around all fat and buzzy, sting them, then drag them off to the wasps’ underground nests.  There, they lay their eggs inside the paralyzed cicada, and a little while later, the eggs hatch and the young eat the ‘cada.  From the inside out.  Such nastiness.

 

At first, I was cool with the occasional wasp skimming around the grass in my backyard: I mean, they’re just following their programming.  But once about 20-some odd of their friends showed up and stuck around, turning my backyard into their own private summer residence, well, that’s when I decided to evict them.  They’re too fast for knocking them down in flight with standard bug spray, but after some research and massive applications of foamy insecticide at twilight (in their burrows, when they’re resting), the wasps went away. 

 

But now they’re back this summer, and just as many as before.

 

Fortunately, they’re not aggressive: if you’re out in the backyard, one might fly over to check you out, but they prefer not to get too close to you or stick around so that you can do something about them.  So far, they haven’t stung anyone.  But I still ought to get rid of them because if I don’t, Lord knows how many might show up NEXT summer.   

 

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