Digger Wasps PestID

Golden Digger Wasp
Sphex ichneumoneus

Golden Digger Wasp

Description
A rather large solitary wasp, often seen feeding busily from flowers. The abdomen is orange or rusty-red in front and black at the end. The head and thorax have golden hairs. Like all solitary wasps, they are not aggressive. There size is about 1.5 inches the females are larger than males. As with most wasps and bees the food for a digger wasp is pollen.
The golden digger wasp is in the family Hymenoptera which is in the same family of ants, bees, and wasps.

Biology
The golden digger wasp spends about 1-2 months as an adult before dying. Females excavate long vertical main tunnels in the ground, with nest cells located in short side tunnels. Most nests have 2-3 cells, and a female usually digs 5 or 6 nests during her few months of summer activity. They capture and paralyze insects such as katydids and crickets, then fly them to their burrows, as food for their young. The young pass the winter underground in their nest burrows before emerging as adults the following year.

Where do they live?
As stated above digger wasps are a nonagressive species and is commonly seen visiting flowers for nectar. They prefers fields and other grassy, rather open areas. Nests are dug in sandy or loose soils. These are not social wasps, but nesting aggregations ranging from a few to hundreds can occur. They are normally found in open sunny sites.