This Digging or Blue-Winged Wasp (Scolia dubia) is a beneficial insect in my lawn and garden, as it is a natural control agent for the destructive grubs of the June Bug (Beetle). Here, the female is feeding on the wildflower Frostweed (Verbesina virginica) which I let grow among the vegetable beds to attract pollinators.
They will not sting unless greatly aggravated. Soon she will burrow into the soil to spend the nights, and eventually will sting and paralyze a grub onto which she will lay her eggs. Although I have not yet seen it, Scoliid wasps are said to fly just a few inches above ground infested with grubs in a loose figure-eight pattern.
As a naturalist, I have a confession to make. Although I don't mind beetles, and I practice kindness towards most insects, their grubs just give me the willies. I would much rather hold a snake than a grub! When I find one in the garden, I use a trowel to toss it onto the path in hopes a bird or chicken will find it for a snack!
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