Types of Wasps

Wasp on a Leaf - Types of Wasps

Most wasps we encounter are not native to North America but have found their way here as invasive species.

Wasps are beneficial in the ecosystem but damage property and can be dangerous to people. A wasp sting, for instance, is painful. And they can sting multiple times.

But more concerning are the pheromones some wasps release to attract others to join in the attack. This species commonly build a hidden wasps nest on manmade structures such as roof eaves, sheds, and decks or off the ground in bushes or trees.

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Paper Wasps

The paper wasp is a social species that builds a large umbrella-style nest. It looks like its made of paper, thus their name. Unlike a hornets nest, it is open on the bottom. You can see the combs from below (though we don't recommend you take a peek when the hive is active).

Paper wasps look similar to yellow jackets. They damage plants and homes as they build their nest and will defend their territory aggressively. Twenty-two species of Polistes paper wasps have been identified in North America, including Western, Red Paper, and European.

Mud Wasps

Named for the material they use to build their nests, common types of mud wasps include:

Mud Daubers
Up to an inch in length, they have thinner than usual needle-like waists. They are black with yellow marks and orange wings. They build small mud nests, feed primarily on spiders, are solitary, and one of the least aggressive wasp species.

Potter Wasps
Black with yellow stripes, they build small pot-style nests in branches and the eaves overhanging the edge of your roof.

Pollen Wasps
Often mistaken for yellow jackets, these solitary wasps build nests in the ground. They are great pollinators but will sting to protect their nest.

Other Types of Wasps

  • Cuckoo Wasps
    Brightly-colored parasitic wasps, they prey on other types of wasps and lay eggs in their nests. Their larva then consumes the original inhabitants and their food.
  • Velvet Ants
    Black with a fuzzy red stinger, the females of these solitary wasps are wingless. Also called cow killers, they have a painful sting, and some have been known to squeak at threats.
  • Digger Wasps
    A large black wasp with white stripes and red marking, they are widespread. They dig nests in the ground, aerating the soil and acting as pollinators. They feed mostly on cicadas and have little fear of humans.
  • Great Golden Digger Wasps
    A large, solitary ground dweller found in sandy soil. They're orange and black with golden hairs on head and thorax. These wasps are not aggressive and are beneficial pollinators.
  • Great Black Wasp
    A form of digger wasp, the black wasp is entirely black with smoky wings. They are large, reaching an inch and a half long. Their legs dangle in flight, in part because they sting a prey insect three times and then carry it to their nest where they lay an egg on it. The great black wasp has a sting that is painful, but unlike other wasps, it does not swell.
  • Red Wasp
    Red and orange wasps are both known as red wasps. They are a form of paper wasps that build huge nests. They will aggressively defend it if they feel threatened. Mahogany wasps, which are pollinators and caterpillar eaters, are often mistaken for the red wasp.
  • Spider Wasp
    While different species have varying coloration, most spider wasps are metallic black-blue. They have long, spindly legs. They hunt spiders and lay their eggs on them. The spider survives until devoured by the larvae. As you might expect from a wasp that kills spiders, they have a painful, venomous sting, rated second-highest of all insect stings.
  • Giant Wasp
    When people say giant wasp, they may refer to a giant wood wasp (below), Asian giant hornets (which attack birds), or the recently discovered species of South American wasps with oddly shaped giant stingers. The latter two may be found in the United States, but are rare, and call for immediate removal.
  • Wood Wasp
    From the giant wood wasp to the horntail, these wasp species lay eggs in rotting wood. Usually, they prefer decaying trees, but will also nest in felled trees turned into lumber. Larvae take two to three years to develop before bursting free. They damage new construction homes and may also get inside firewood. The giant wood wasp has found a home in Colorado as an invasive species. They are best avoided and eliminated.

Professional Wasp Control and Removal

No matter which of the types of wasps you have, Croach® pest control technicians are experienced and thorough in both the removal process and ongoing prevention.

One of the first steps is identification to determine whether we're dealing with wasp removal or getting rid of wasps.

Croach® Pest Control Services

Initial Inspection
A Croach® licensed pest control technician will perform a thorough inspection of your property and discuss potential problems. A customized plan for extermination and ongoing management is presented. Then your home’s interior and exterior are treated to begin pest control services.

Regular Services
Ongoing pest control and management are in your best interest for the health and safety of your home, family, and pets. We will fortify a protective barrier around the outside of your property and apply exclusion methods as needed. Your technician uses environmentally-friendly products whenever possible.

Free Retreats Guarantee
If you experience pest activity in between regularly scheduled services, Croach® will return and retreat the affected areas free of charge. If we have not fixed the problem after two retreats, we will refund your last full payment.

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