Digger Wasp Facts
The digger wasp (sometimes confused with the related cicada killer wasp) is one of the more beneficial pests to have at your residence. They are named for the female’s nesting behavior of digging into dry dirt to create a nest for its offspring to grow in.
These non-social burrowing wasps can also fly, and use this as their primary means of hunting for other bugs. Their diet includes grubs that are harmful to the growth of a healthy lawn, making them a potentially useful resource to homeowners.
Digger Wasp Stings
The females of this species are not aggressive, but the males are. The stinger on females is used almost exclusively for hunting and paralyzing prey, but even still be careful around them! While the males don’t have a stinger their means of defense/attack is swarming or “dive-bombing” any threats.
Digger Wasp Infestation
As their name implies, these wasps dig, creating nests about 30 cm below the surface. These nests are similar to ant colonies, with multiple chambers branching off of the main entrance. Each chamber is a cell for an egg, as well as a paralyzed insect for the offspring to eat after hatching. Nests are usually built in May.
The holes can be identified by their wide openings (around 3 inches in diameter), and small piles of dirt next to the entrance. The best place to look for these burrows is in areas with already thinning grass, or soft, dry dirt.
These wasps primarily eat katydids, crickets, and other grass harming insects in the early stages of life. Adults feed on nectar.
Much of their time is spent flying low to the ground, digging, or remaining below the surface. As such, sightings are less common than other species of wasp. These insects, while frightening at first glance, are mostly harmless if left alone.
Types of Digger Wasps
Digger Wasp Identification
Commonly described as: blue-winged wasps, scoliid wasps
As one of the larger of the wasp species, these flying pests may seem quite threatening at first glance. There are many different subspecies, and with those come different appearances. The most common of the digger wasps are the great golden digger wasp and the blue digger wasp. The great golden digger has a bee-like appearance with gold or amber stripes along its thin torso, while the blue digger has a similar body type but a blue-metallic sheen. All female digger wasps have rigid front legs, which are used to burrow their nests.
Digger Wasps In The Garden & The House
Detection is based primarily on knowing your property and being aware of changes in the landscape. It can be too easy to send friends and family out into the yard without thinking to check for wasps. It is recommended that a perimeter search of your yard is done to account for any wasp sightings, especially burrowing kinds.
Frequently Asked Questions About Blue-Winged Wasps
What is the difference between digger wasps and bees?
When compared with bees, digger wasps have smoother bodies, thinner legs and a pinched waist. Bees are broader with visible hairs and larger-looking legs.
What is the difference between digger wasps and hornets?
Hornets are a type of wasp that tend to be broader and rounder than other wasps like digger wasps.
Are digger wasps aggressive?
Digger wasps are very mild-natured insects. They will only sting if strongly provoked.
Benefits of Professional Digger Wasp Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a digger wasp problem. Finding and treating the digger wasp nest can be challenging, especially if the main nest is hidden somewhere outside. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify and determine the best possible solution to resolve the digger wasp infestation.