Blue Winged Wasp: A biological control for Japanese Beetles

Did you know that most wasp species aren’t aggressive? When we hear ‘wasp’ we tend to think of the aggressive species, living in nests, that swarm us.

Wasp are carnivores, and actually can do a lot to help control pests in our gardens.

Today I saw a blue winged wasp, Scolia dubia, in my yard. It is a non aggressive species that is desirable to have in our yard. It can sting, but only maybe if it is highly threatened.

After reading about it, I learned that the female burrows into soil and lays its eggs on Japanese beetle grubs in the ground, which then eat the grub as the larvae grows and matures.

According to Penn State, this species of wasp especially likes goldenrod and mountain mint, of which I have several large clumps in my yard. So if you’re looking to decrease the Japanese beetle population in your yard, think about planting species of Solidago and Pycnanthemum in your garden.