Digger wasp on Long Island property - get digger wasp facts from the experts at Suburban Exterminating

The presence of wasps can make your outdoor space uninviting as few other things can. Imagine one minute you and your loved ones are enjoying family time outside; then, suddenly, your kids are scrambling inside and you’re looking for something – anything, really – to swing or spray at the unwelcome buzzing intruder. But, wait: these aren’t your typical wasps. These are digger wasps, or as they’re sometimes called, ground digger wasps. Should you still be concerned? Let’s discuss the facts about digger wasps.

Read on to learn more digger wasp facts, including their unique behavior, and what kind of threat they pose.

Why Are They Called “Digger Wasps”?

Digger wasps are called such due to their digging behavior. Their favorite habitat is a self-dug tunnel in the dirt between the cover of grass and plants, although they’ll also settle for any unoccupied space in mulch, pine straw, or other similar organic material. In some cases, digger wasps may even burrow into the gap below your sidewalk or driveway or the cement joints of your house. Once they’ve constructed a suitable nest in these areas, digger wasp females will lay their eggs.

What Do Digger Wasps Do?

As with most stinging insects, ground digger wasps are mainly interested in survival and propagation. Most of their lives are spent building nests, gathering food, or creating offspring.  If you see a digger wasp flying around, it’s likely on the hunt for something to eat.

Do Digger Wasps Sting Humans?

Only females have stingers, but the good news is that they’re not aggressive. Still, it is possible to get stung by a digger grab or step on one. They mainly keep to themselves, foraging and preparing to lay eggs, unless you force them to defend.

Do Male Digger Wasps Sting?

Male digger wasps, unlike females, don’t have stingers. However, they can be, also unlike females, aggressive and territorial. If you go into their space, male digger wasps may try to go after you. The good news is that, since they don’t have a stinger, they can’t cause much damage. However, it can be quite frightening to see an angry wasp (even without a stinger) flying toward you.

Are Digger Wasps Poisonous or Venomous?

Digger wasp stingers contain a small amount of venom, but it’s worth remembering that only female diggers have stingers, and it’s extremely rare for them to sting humans. They mainly use the venom in their stingers to paralyze prey.

Do Digger Wasp Stings Hurt?

Digger wasp stings hurt on a similar level to bee stings. It’s not pleasant, but the good news is that for most people, the risk of complications is minimal. If you do find yourself experiencing extreme pain, shortness of breath, other allergic reactions, or any other unusual symptoms, seek medical help right away.

Why Do Ground Digger Wasps Always Fly Low to the Ground?

Digger wasps build their nests in the ground, so they tend to stay low as a way of protecting their eggs and also as a means of detecting food. Digger wasps feed on grubs and larvae, and there’s no better way to find those than by flying low to the ground. This is good for the wasps, but not if you’re cutting your grass or trying to have a picnic!

Once a female wasp has secured and paralyzed her prey, she brings it back to the tunnel victoriously. But before taking it inside, she will inspect the tunnel to make sure nothing is amiss. Whether it’s an intruder or a collapsed tunnel, she performs a quick inspection to make sure she isn’t walking into a trap.

Are Digger Wasps Social or Solitary?

Ground digger wasps are relatively rare among stinging insects in that they’re solitary creatures. One of the reasons you may have noticed so many nests in your yard and around your home is that they each operate independently of one another. If you’ve spotted a dozen nests, you have that many digger wasps. The problem is it’s difficult to see them all, so you undoubtedly have many more than the ones you’ve spotted.

What Do Digger Wasps Eat?

It mostly depends on what is readily available in your yard. Some eat small bugs and larvae, while others will feast on pollen. Pollen is an especially large part of their diet in the spring as flowers begin to bloom. At first glance, you may think you’re looking at a bee when in fact it’s actually a digger wasp.

Why Are Ground Digger Wasps Difficult to Detect?

Digger wasps can be especially difficult to detect during their first year after they arrive in your yard. This is because, like most infestations, digger wasps don’t arrive all at once. But they can quickly multiply. And since they never use the same nest more than once, their tunnels and tiny mud homes can create soil issues and become an eyesore. It isn’t uncommon for yards in our area to experience an influx of digger wasps in the thousands after several years without intervention.

For homeowners concerned about the gradual increase in digger wasp (and other pest) populations in their yards, we highly recommend signing up for PestFree365+. With PestFree365+, you’ll be protected all year long.

What Should You Do If You Have Digger Wasps in Your Yard?

This is where Suburban Exterminating stands ready to protect you, your family, and your property. Our team of residential pest control experts has years of experience dealing with ground digger wasps. We know where to find them and how to eliminate them from your yard, and the exterior of your home, and keep them from coming back. 

With warmer months just weeks away, you need pest control experts you can count on to make sure your yard isn’t overtaken. Call us today to put our team to work for you!

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