TYLER (KYTX) - They're huge, mean-looking insects that are actually doing a lot to help us out this summer. Cicada Killer Wasps have invaded East Texas.
They're a natural control for cicadas. If we didn't have these wasps, experts say we'd be waist-deep in cicadas this summer.
"It's pretty bad in the afternoons, but in the mornings as well, whenever we're trying to leave." says Tyler Allmon.
He says the swarm of wasps outside his front door is enough to keep his family inside.
"I have a six-year-old daughter and she just will not leave. It's almost like we're hostage in our own homes."
The Cicada Killer Wasps and are making nests in the ground all over East Texas.
"They're really intimidating because they're huge." he says.
They may be larger and look scarier than the average wasp, but Tommy Treadwell with Town & Country Pest Control says we're not the prey they're after.
"They actually will sting the cicada and lay their egg inside the cicada, then bury him in the ground." he says. "And, that's where you see the little tunnel. And, next year, the new wasp will eat the cicada, then emerge."
Treadwell says when they're not after cicadas, the wasps are trying to ward off predators. If you see one flying toward you, it's actually not trying to sting you. Experts say it's more of an intimidation factor and what they're really trying to do is just protect the nests they've made.
"The only way you'll ever get stung by one is grabbing ahold of him." says Treadwell.
Allmon says he definitely won't be attempting that.
"Leave them alone. They'll be gone." says Treadwell.
Treadwell says it's normal for the wasps to start coming out in July. They'll only be around for another three or four weeks.