LaGrange Co. park closed due to wasp infestation

ONTARIO, Ind. (WANE)  A park in LaGrange County is closed because of an infestation of insects at its baseball diamond. A sign is posted to warn people about the large number of wasps that were found in the ground about two weeks ago.

LaGrange County Parks Department Naturalist Scott Beam said the bugs are actually a beneficial and harmless member of the wasp family, known as the “cicada killer” or “cicada hawk.” The females capture and paralyze cicadas and then drag them back to their burrows to provide nourishment to the eggs they lay.

Cicada killers are one of many kinds of wasps in the county, according to Beam.

Beam told NewsChannel 15 the insects are large and can look intimidating, but there is little chance that they will sting someone. “The only ones that should worry are cicadas,” he said.

Beam maintains the insects are harmless and plans to host a “Wasp Watch” at Ontario Park at 12:15 Friday afternoon. He encourages people to bring a camera with the hopes of recording video of a cicada killer carrying a cicada back to the burrow.

He said the ball diamond would probably remain closed for another two or three weeks to allow nature to run its course with the insects.

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