Garden Care

Flying Insects That Dig Holes In Ground 2023 Updated List

Flying insects that dig holes in ground list is a fascinating world. These remarkable creatures exhibit unique behaviors and play a vital role in our ecosystem.

In this article, I will unveil a list of flying insects that burrow into the ground. Join me as we explore their intriguing habits, diverse appearances, and the incredible contributions they make to nature.

Get ready to be amazed by these dynamic aerial adventurers!

What Are Flying Insects?

flying insects that dig holes in ground

Definition Of Flying Insects That Burrow In Ground

Flying insects are small creatures with wings that can move through the air. They have many sizes, shapes, and colors. 

Some say they’re as busy as a bee because they’re always buzzing around doing important tasks like pollinating flowers and helping plants grow. 

Flying Insect Burrows Ground Benefits

Flying insect burrows ground benefits
Soil aerationNutrient recyclingPest controlEcosystem balance
When flying insects that burrow into the ground, they create tunnels and passageways. The deep tunnel helps air and water reach deep into the soil, making it healthier for plants to grow.Some flying insects that burrow in the ground, like ants and beetles, break down dead plant material and turn it into nutrient-rich compost. They’re nature’s recycling experts, transforming waste into valuable resources for plants.Certain insects that burrow in the ground, such as predatory wasps and ground beetles, help keep pest populations in check. They hunt down other insects that could harm crops or gardens. They even play an essential role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. They supply food for other animals like birds, contributing to the delicate balance of nature. 

List Of Flying Insects That Dig Holes In Ground

1. Sand Wasps (Cicada Killer Wasps)

Sand Wasps

Cicada killer wasps are ground burrowing flying insects that are similar to bees. They are called “cicada killers” because they hunt and capture cicadas.

Cicada killer wasps can live either in colonies or by themselves. Each wasp has its burrow, or hole, in the ground. They build these burrows to lay their eggs.

The female cicada killer wasp hunts cicadas and paralyzes them with her sting. Then she carries the paralyzed cicada back to her burrow. She puts the cicada inside the burrow and lays her eggs on it. When the cicada killer wasp eggs hatch, the cicada will be the food supply for baby wasps.

Cicada killer wasps benefit your garden as they support control of the cicadas’ population. Cicadas can be harmful to plants and trees because they feed on them.

By hunting and capturing cicadas, the cicada killer wasps help keep their numbers in check, which can protect your garden from damage.

2. Solitary Bees

Solitary Bees

Solitary bees, or digger bees, or solitary wasps are burrowing flying insects that we want to introduce to you. They dig these holes to create nests for their offspring.

Unlike social bees, solitary bees live alone and do not form colonies. These solitary insects dig a hole and make individual nests for the eggs.  

Solitary bees help pollinate plants.

When these bees visit flowers, they inadvertently transfer pollen from the stamen part of a flower to the pistil part, enabling the plants to reproduce and produce fruits or seeds.

This process is basic for the plant’s growth and reproduction.

If you grow bougainvillea on a trellis, you love the presence of the pollinator.

Having solitary bees in your garden can improve the pollination of your flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Solitary bees, like honeybees, are often less aggressive than social bees and are unlikely to sting unless provoked.

They are also valuable because they do not produce honey, so they spend most of their time collecting pollen and flower nectar, benefiting your plants.

3. Spider Wasps

Spider Wasps

Spider Wasps are one of the special flying burrowing insects. They dig these holes to create nests for their offspring.

Spider wasps live alone and do not form colonies. Each female spider wasp digs her hole and makes individual nests for her eggs.

The female wasp captures spiders, paralyzes them with her sting, and then places them inside the burrow as a food source for her offspring.

She lays eggs on the paralyzed spiders, seals the burrow, and leaves. When the Spider Wasps’ eggs hatch, the wasp larva will eat the spiders until they grow into adult wasps.

Besides, spiders can sometimes be pests, and their presence in large numbers may negatively impact your garden.

Therefore, spider wasps help control the population, reducing the potential damage they can cause.

Having spider wasps in your garden can also benefit you by providing natural pest control.

By preying on spiders, they help maintain a balance in the ecosystem and contribute to reducing the number of unwanted pests.

4. Scoliid Wasps

insect burrows ground

Scoliid wasps are flying insects that burrow in the ground creating nests for their offspring.

Female scoliid wasps search for beetle larvae, which are often found underground. They sting and paralyze the beetle larvae and then lay their eggs on them.

The paralyzed beetle larvae serve as a food source for the wasp larvae when they hatch. The female wasp buries the immobilized larvae within a cavity she excavates beneath the soil.

She seals the hole and leaves.

Scoliid wasps are solitary creatures and do not live in colonies. Each female wasp digs her hole and makes individual nests for her eggs.

These wasps are beneficial to your garden because they help control the population of beetle larvae, which can be harmful to plants.

For example, beetle larvae, such as Japanese or June beetles, feed on plant roots or the foliage of plants.

By hunting and parasitizing beetle larvae, scoliid wasps help keep their numbers in check, reducing potential damage to your garden.

Having scoliid wasps in your garden can provide natural pest control by preying on beetle larvae. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy ecosystem and to protect your plants.

5. Termites & Ants

Termites & Ants

Termites live in colonies. They construct nests called “termite mounds” or “termite hills.” 

Termites do not dig extensive holes in the ground but create intricate tunnel systems within their nests.

Ants, like termites, are social insects that live in colonies. They establish nests in various locations, such as soil, wood, or debris.

Ants do not dig deep holes in the ground but may create shallow tunnels or chambers within their nests.

Both termites and ants are beneficial to your garden in different ways. Termites help break down dead plant material like wood, contributing to decomposition.

They enhance soil fertility by releasing nutrients through their waste.

However, termites can also be destructive if they infest and damage wooden structures in or around your garden.

Ants play an indispensable role in the ecosystem. By creating tunnel entrances underground, they facilitate soil aeration, enabling the infiltration of air and moisture essential for nourishing plant roots.

Ants also assist in seed dispersal and help control pest populations by preying on insects.

However, some species of ants, such as Linepithema humile, Camponotus spp, Monomorium pharaonis, etc.) can become pests if their colonies grow excessively or disturb garden plants.

6. Yellowjackets


Yellowjackets commonly use existing underground burrows, abandoned rodent burrows, or other protected spaces to establish their nests.

Yellowjackets live in colonies. They belong to the social wasps’ category. Each colony consists of a queen, female workers, and males.

The queen yellowjacket establishes the colony by finding a suitable location, such as an underground cavity.

Yellowjackets are predatory insects. They feed on various insects, including caterpillars, flies, and other pests, helping to control their populations.

However, yellowjackets can also be a potential threat if something disturbs them or when they are in search of sugary foods, such as fruits, sodas, or picnic leftovers.

Even if sometimes they become a nuisance, never use gasoline to kill yellow jacket nests in the ground.

Long-term environmental harm and disruption to the subterranean ecosystem can occur. A friendly coexistence would be the ideal solution, benefiting both worlds.

7. Immature Insects

Immature Insects

“Immature insects” refers to the nymphs or larvae of certain insects, including cicadas.

The nymphs, or immature cicadas, reside in the ground and feed on plant roots.

When it is time for them to transition into adulthood, they excavate exit holes in the soil to emerge and live their adult lives above ground.

Immature insects, like cicadas and beetle larvae, in your garden bring benefits.

Cicada nymphs create exit holes in the soil, allowing adult cicadas to emerge and pollinate flowers, aiding in plant reproduction.

Beetle larvae, known as white grubs, recycle nutrients by feeding on plant roots, enriching the soil. Their digging activity also aerates the soil, improving drainage and nutrient availability.

Additionally, some beetle larvae act as natural predators, controlling garden pests and reducing the need for pesticides.

These immature insects contribute to a balanced ecosystem, promoting healthier plants and a thriving garden.

8. Predatory Bugs

Predatory Bugs

Tiger beetles are one of the famous predator bugs. They are small insects known for their fast movements and hunting skills. They live alone and do not form colonies. 

These beetles dig burrows in the ground, usually in loose or sandy soil. From their burrows, they patiently wait to catch their prey, which includes other insects.

With their strong jaws, they swiftly capture their victims.

In the garden, tiger beetles help control the other insects’ populations. By preying on pests, they assist in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

These predators contribute to natural pest control. As a result, it will reduce the amount of chemical pesticides.

Observing tiger beetles can be an exciting experience due to their quick movements and vibrant colors.

They are a fascinating addition to the biodiversity of your garden, ensuring a healthier and thriving environment.


ground burrowing flying insects

I hope you enjoyed this fascinating exploration of flying insects that dig holes in ground.

These remarkable creatures showcase the wonders of nature and the intricate connections within our environment.

If you found this article intriguing or have questions about your garden or these insects, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 I would love to hear from you and support you and your garden. Stay curious and come back for more exciting topics and gardening insights. Thank you.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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  1. Samuel, Good article. We live in central Florida. We have a number of small holes (probably 20 or more in 12 ft) in our flower garden along a cement slab for which we are trying to identify the cause. Any idea the insect or other critter that might be the cause.

    1. Hi Mike,

      As your description, my first thoughts come out is Ants or Ground-nesting Bees ( It can be a worm but need more phenonmenons). To know exactly the causes, I highly recommend to inspect it at night or install a camera near that.

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