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11 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Cicadas

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11 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Cicadas

Have cicadas emerged once again? While the noise can drive you crazy, cicadas are harmless. But if you want to enjoy your yard without constant buzzing, there are some natural ways to get rid of cicadas.

This article will walk you through effective natural repellents and other easy DIY solutions.

Trees That Cicadas Affect

Cicadas love deciduous trees, especially oaks, maples, and hickories. If you live in an affected area and you have these trees in your yard, there’s a good chance cicadas will flock to them.

Females lay eggs in small slits they cut in tree branches. The eggs then hatch into nymphs that fall to the ground and burrow into the soil [1].

The egg-laying process, called ovipositing, can damage tree branches.

How to Get Rid of Cicadas Naturally

The good news is that the cicada invasion will pass. But by taking action, you can protect your yard during their temporary takeover. Below are some home remedies and natural solutions to try.

These natural methods should help limit damage in an environmentally friendly way.

1. Wrap Tree Trunks

Wrapping your tree trunks is an easy way to stop young cicadas from climbing up trees. As cicada nymphs emerge from the ground, they will climb up vertical surfaces, including tree trunks.

By physically blocking access to the trunk, you make your tree much less appealing to them.

You’ll want to use netting, burlap, or a similar porous material so you don’t damage the tree yourself. Wrap the material securely around the entire trunk.

While not aesthetically pleasing, wrapping tree trunks is an organic method of cicada control that avoids the use of pesticides.

2. Cover Trees and Shrubs

Covering trees and shrubs with netting is an easy way to block these pests.

Buy netting that is specifically meant for gardening use. Netting with holes that are half an inch or less works well for keeping cicadas out.

Also, check the netting regularly to ensure there are no holes or tears. Repair any damage to the netting immediately so cicadas do not have an opportunity to access the plant.

3. Hose Trees Down

Cicadas are clumsy fliers. Therefore, the powerful spray of water will knock them right out of the trees.

You’ll see them fall to the ground, where they’ll struggle to get airborne again.

Once on the ground, cicadas are vulnerable. They make easy pickings for birds, squirrels, and other predators.

4. Pluck Them Off by Hand

Another method of cicada removal is to pluck them from leaves and branches by hand. Gently grasp the pest and pull firmly to remove it from the plant.

Next, put them in a plastic bag and dispose of them. However, you can also eat them! In some countries, cicadas are a delicacy [2].

While plucking cicadas by hand may sound tedious, it can be an effective way to quickly reduce small numbers. This home remedy works great to get the critters out of your house.

5. Prune Trees

Whenever these critters are around, pruning trees around your home is key. Cicadas lay their eggs on small branches, so by pruning trees, you remove their breeding spots.

You’ll want to prune trees in the early spring before the cicadas emerge.

Focus on branches that are about half an inch in diameter. That’s the perfect branch size range for many cicadas to lay eggs [3].

6. Cover Open Pools and Hot Tubs

Another way to avoid damage from these pests is to cover any open pools, hot tubs, or bird baths on your property.

Cicadas may accidentally land on standing water. Afterward, they will be unable to get out because their wings are now wet.

Therefore, cover up your pools and hot tubs. Keep the covers on for the duration of the cicada season in your area.

7. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural insecticide that may very well kill cicadas. This remedy works to kill or repel many pests on plants and around the home, so do not hesitate to give it a try.

To use neem oil on cicadas, you’ll need to spray it directly on the insects.

Make a homemade cicada spray by mixing 2 tablespoons of pure, cold-pressed neem oil with a gallon of water in a spray bottle. Also, add a bit of dish soap. Shake well to combine.

Finally, spray the neem oil mixture directly on the cicadas when you see them. Aim for complete coverage, drenching the insects.

Neem oil can also be used as a repellent spray to deter other pests from feeding on your plants.

8. Birds

Some birds can also help control cicada populations in your yard. Once cicadas emerge from the ground, birds like cardinals, bee-eaters, chickadees, and pipits will feast on these insects.

You can attract more birds to your yard by providing them with food sources, water, and shelter.

Put up bird feeders with seeds, nuts, etc. Also, add a bird bath or fountain so they have access to fresh water.

When cicadas are actively buzzing in your area, the birds will focus their attention on this abundant food source. While birds alone may not completely eliminate a cicada infestation, they can help reduce cicada numbers.

9. Arber Bio Insecticide

The organic insecticide Arber Bio Insecticide is highly effective at killing a wide range of insect pests. It works well at killing leafhoppers, so it might work on cicadas as well.

Use it according to the package instructions.

10. Essential Oils

Some essential oils, like peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus, can repel cicadas. Their strong scents will deter cicadas, driving them away from the area.

To make a DIY repellent spray for these pests, add a few drops of the oil of your choice in a spray bottle filled with water.

Next, spray it on the affected trees. The potent aroma will send cicadas elsewhere.

11. Cicada Killer Wasps

Are those pesky cicadas driving you crazy? Cicada killer wasps may be your new best friend.

Cicada killer larvae feed on cicadas. Each female cicada killer captures and paralyzes cicadas to provision her underground nest.

So, rather than trying to eliminate cicada killers, simply avoid and ignore them. Cicada killers are not aggressive like other wasps.


Give a couple of these methods a try to see what works best for your yard. With some persistence and patience, you’ll have those cicadas cleared out in no time. And just remember, they won’t be around forever.

Image via commons.wikimedia.org

Sasha Brown

Sasha Brown is a blogger and lover of all things natural.

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