My astute brother-in-law, Bob, sent me a little more information on CKW, or Cicada Killer Wasps. Turns out they are considered to be a beneficial insect after all! According to Wikipedia,
Cicada killers exert a natural control on cicada populations and thus may directly benefit the deciduous trees upon which cicadas feed.
As he points out, they’re Tree Huggers. I’m okay with that, although I still cringe at their killing methods.
I did manage to get a couple of close-ups as one feverishly tried to dig in our freshly laid compost:
That is one big Mother! I believe I saw a male hovering around, and he was about half her size.
According to the sources, they like well-drained soil. I guess that’s a compliment, but I still really don’t want them hovering around our patio.
To keep them out of your yard, experts suggest that you keep the area that the wasps favor on the wet side so as to make them think their burrow will flood.
Sounds like a plan.