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Dark Blue Wasps Hovering Over Turf - 2009 Alert

August 20, 2009
by Rick Brandenburg

At this time of year you may notice low flying metalic blue wasps over lawns. Recent rains may have caused them to show up. 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 
http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/insects/scoliid-wasp

Fall armyworm
Scolia dubia