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Pest Information

Scoliid Wasps

Scoliid Wasps

  • Latin Name: Scoliidae
  • Common Name: Scoliid Wasps
  • Other Names: Grub Hunter Wasps

Pest Details

Scoliid Wasps
Scoliid Wasps
Scoliid Wasps


These are native species in North America, with most species found in the southern states.


These solitary wasps may resemble yellowjackets, but a close look shows their very hairy body and lack of a narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen. There are about 20 species in North America and all are parasites of scarab (June beetle) larvae. The female wasp detects a grub in the soil, digs down to reach it, stings it to paralyze it, and then deposits an egg on the grub. She may sting many grubs without even laying an egg on them, but the result is the death of the grub. Following ovipositing she digs deeper to create a cell for the paralyzed grub and for her offspring to develop in. Adult wasps visit flowers for nectar.


Adult wasps may be anywhere from ¾ inch to nearly 2 inches in length, and this size may frighten people unnecessarily. The body is usually clothed with hairs and the colors may be gray with black and yellow ringed abdomen or all black with the posterior half of the abdomen orange-red.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

These highly beneficial insects should never be harmed. The likelihood of a sting is exceedingly low.

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