Beneficial Scoliid Wasps and Your Lawn

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With lawns being one of my favorite topics, late summer is a good time to mention a beneficial insect that is often found hovering above lawns in search of prey. The scoliid wasp is often found flying a figure eight pattern about two feet over the top of a lawn in search of grubs to lay her eggs on. The wasp is about one inch long mostly black with black wings and two yellow dots about two thirds of the way down its abdomen.

When the female detects a grub feeding in the turf, it tunnels down to find the grub, stings it to paralyze it and lays an egg on the grub. The egg will hatch and the larvae will feed on the grub until it is ready to pupate in the soil until next summer when they emerge as adults and begin the cycle over again.

Scollid wasp

Scoliid wasp (Scolia dubia) by Royal Tyler, Pro Pest and Lawn Store, Bugwood.org (CC BY-NC 3.0 US)