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Digger Wasp

Digger Wasps are predators that can sting and paralyze prey insects. Although they are solitary, they tolerate the activity of other diggers in the neighborhood, so you may find other tunnels nearby, and there are records of “colonies” nesting in favorable soil year after year.

Paper wasp

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasps are slender and about 3/4 inch long

Digger wasps are easily recognized by their flight and nesting behavior. They fly over the lawn during the day looking for grubs. Because they kill the grubs, they are considered a beneficial insect. When a digger wasp finds a grub, it paralyzes it, digs a chamber in the soil, and lays an egg on the grub. The soil that is dug for the chamber appears on the lawn as a fist-sized mound. There can be a few mounds to hundreds of mounds in a lawn, depending on the severity of the grub problem.

Digger wasp flying and hovering on a sandy foot path near a sub-urban street. After landing on different positions, it chose a place and started to dig into the ground. It digging a hole of about 10mm deep. Then it reached the hard part of the ground. It tried for one more minute then give up. It flied away and never returned. Digger Wasps are also known as Sand wasps. Female Digger Wasp constructs burrow under the ground, drags their paralyzed prey in and lay an egg in the burrow. Adult Digger Wasp feed on nectar.

Digger Wasp

Digger Wasp

Life Cycle: Digger wasp spend the winter in their nest. When the new generation of adults emerge they contain the genetically-programmed behaviors that are required to carry out another season of nest building. During the summer, a female might build as many as half a dozen nests, each with several compartments for her eggs. The building and provisioning of the nests takes place in a stereotypical, step-by-step fashion.

Digger wasp lays one egg on each insect, placing it horizontally on the prey’s thorax. The eggs are yellow, less than a ¼ inch long and has a slightly curved cylindrical shape. They hatch within 2-to-3 days of oviposition, and without moving, they begin to feed on the prey’s abdomen or at the junction of its leg. The feeding phase is very rapid.

There is one generation per year with the developing the winter in their nests and emerging in summer. Once this new generation of adults comes out, they contain the inbred behavior that is only seen in this species.

how to get rid of wasps: Purchase carbaryl (Sevin), bendiocarb (Ficam D) or diazinon dust to treat the area. You can use liquid pest controls, but dust generally works better, as liquids soak into the ground. Purchase plugs specifically for digger wasp nests; they looks similar to tapered corks. The plugs seal the holes, keeping the wasps in the nest as well as keeping out water that could dilute the dust in the nest.

Digger Wasps

Digger Wasps Nest

Determine where the wasp nest entrance is on the ground. The easiest way to do this is to watch for the nest entrance during the day. Wait until dark to treat the area after you have determined the location of the nest. Treat an area slightly larger than the nest. Use a hand duster to squeeze the insecticide dust into the nest and plug.

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