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Dark Blue Wasps Hovering Over Turf - 2008 Alert

August 21, 2008
by Rick Brandenburg

Scolia Dubia, Dark Blue Wasp

Scolia dubia, the bluewinged wasp.

Normally, at this time of year we receive reports of low flying metallic blue wasps over lawns. Reports have been scant so far this year, but recent rains may cause them to show up soon. One specific such wasp is Scolia dubia.

Scolia dubia are black-colored insects with metallic blue highlights on the wings and thorax. There are two yellow spots near the middle of the abdomen and the tip is a red-brown color. Scoliid wasps are considered beneficial insects because they help control the grubs of green June beetles and other beetles. They are present in North Carolina from June to October, but they are most abundant during August. The wasps are often seen hovering a few inches above lawns, flying in loops and Figure 8 patterns. The female wasp digs through the soil in search of grubs, burrowing her own tunnels or following those made by the grubs. These are not a stinging threat and no control measures are suggested. For more information please click on Ornamentals and Turf Information Note No. 12