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Cicada-Killing Wasps Buzzing Around Chicago

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The cicada-killing wasp. (Credit: Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Jacopo Werther.)

The cicada-killing wasp. (Credit: Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Jacopo Werther.)

CHICAGO (CBS)–People have no worries but newly emerged ferocious looking wasps definitely mean trouble for cicadas.

They’re called Cicada Killer Wasps for a reason.

The wasps paralyze cicadas and lay an egg inside the insect, which serves as host to the next generation of wasp grubs. The grubs eat the still living Cicada before hatching next fall.

They can be seen throughout Chicago, including the south end of the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, where the wasps are searching through the evergreens for their prey.

Lurie Garden director Jennifer Davitt says the Eastern Cicada Killer Wasps are an important part of the environment.

They help keep Cicadas in check, preventing too much damage being done to the trees.

However, she says the wasps are kind of creepy–like something from the movie “Aliens.”

Davitt says the Lurie Garden uses no insecticides, so she’s actually asking people not to step on or swat the two-inch long glossy black and yellow bug.

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