Wasp Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from wasps by learning techniques for identification and control.

Wasp illustration
Order Hymenoptera
Pinched waist
Black, blue or metallic green

IDENTIFY

Types of Wasps

What do wasps look like?

Wasps vary tremendously depending on species. Most have two pair of wings and a pinched waist. They range in colors from black to metallic greens and blues, and vary in size from almost microscopic to several centimeters long.

Sawflies

Sawfly

Hymenoptera Symphyta

Mud Dauber Wasps

Mud Dauber Wasp

Family Sphecidae & Crabronidae

Eastern Cicada Killer Wasps

Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp

Sphecius speciosus

European Paper Wasps

European Paper Wasp

Polistes dominula

Great Black Wasps

Great Black Wasp

Ground Wasps

Ground Wasp

Hymenoptera

How to Identify Paper Wasps | Get Rid of Wasps

Paper Wasp

Genus Polistes

Red Wasps

Red Wasp

Polistes carolina

Spider Wasps

Spider Wasp

Family Pompilidae

Western Yellow Jacket Wasps

Western Yellow Jacket Wasp

Wood Wasps

Wood Wasps

Family Siricidae

Treatment

How do I get rid of wasps?

What Orkin does

Orkin uses an integrated approach that employs a variety of effective and efficient methods to control wasps. Our integrated program includes using:

  • Inspection – determining what is needed to provide an effective wasp control plan.

  • Documentation – explaining the specifics of the overall control plan and the findings and results of, not only the initial inspection, but scheduled follow-up services as well.

  • Education – explaining the behavior, diet and habitat of wasps and how this information will be helpful to the homeowner.

  • Cultural controls – modifying the area around the home or business to reduce the number of sites that are suitable for wasps to nest.

  • Exclusion – making it hard for wasps to get inside the structure.

  • Sanitation – keeping the area clean and efficiently reducing access to the wasp’s sources of food.

  • Selection of the best wasp control methods – traps, light modification, mechanical and insecticidal controls, physical removal.

  • Emergency services, if needed.

For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Orkin branch office.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Wasps

Wasp Colony Facts

Wasp species are categorized as social or solitary. As their name implies, social wasps live in colonies, which may number in the thousands. Within these colonies, female workers perform all duties within the nest. Solitary wasps live alone and therefore do not have a colony. They do lay eggs, but their eggs are left alone to hatch.

Some wasps are predatory, while others are parasitic. Predatory wasps kill and consume other insects as well as other animals which they often feed to their larvae.

Parasitic wasps typically lay their eggs in the bodies of living creatures like caterpillars or spiders. The larvae feed on the still-living host. Wasps can assist in the management of other pests, particularly in agriculture as biological control agents. Many wasps also feed on nectar from flowers and therefore function as pollinators.

Some wasps are aggressive species and can sting when threatened. Unlike honey bees, wasps often are capable of stinging multiple times.

Are wasps pollinators?

There are many species of wasps that are important pollinators. However, taken as a group, wasps do pollinate, but are not as effective at pollinating as the bees. This is primarily because bees have hairier bodies than wasps, so pollen is more likely to stick to a bee’s body and be transported from one flower to another.

Life Cycle of Wasps

Late in the summer, the queen of some species will produce unfertilized eggs. These will develop into males. The males will fertilize the wasps that will become the queens of the following year. These fertilized females will overwinter in a sheltered location. In most cases, the rest of the colony will perish when winter comes. Next spring, the queen will start laying eggs. The fertilized eggs that they produce will become workers, building the nest and feeding the larvae produced by the queen.

More Information

Wasps often are beneficial to mankind. Several species are used by humans as parasites to control pests, such as in agriculture. Others are predators that help maintain insect populations. Others function as pollinators and help with plant fertilization.

How to Prevent Wasps From Building Nests

Although wasps can be a nuisance, it’s important to keep in mind that most species are actually beneficial. By keeping other predatory insects at bay, different types of wasps should be carefully removed or left alone. In order to prevent wasps from building nests in the first place, it’s good to know which measures work best as a wasp deterrent.

Here are a few things you can do to help prevent wasps from nesting in or around your home:

  • Seal up and repair any damaged window sills, vents, or screens

  • Cover any open compost bins or garbage cans

  • Keep doors and windows shut and make sure that screens are installed

  • Remove sources of wasp-friendly food (such as ripe or rotten fruits and vegetables or hummingbird feeders) from around frequently trafficked areas such as porches, decks, and front doors

  • Cover holes in the ground

  • Check for current or empty nests

Even if you take the necessary steps to help prevent wasps from making a home on your property, it’s not always 100% effective. Since every home is different, an Orkin Pro will design a unique wasp repellent program for your situation. Through a specialized approach to pest control, Orkin can help protect your home with a plan suited to your specific needs. We can provide the right solution to help keep wasps away and out of your home.

If you’re experiencing wasp activity or you notice a nest around your home, it’s best to contact a trained professional. Orkin Pros are experts in identifying different types of wasps and the most effective ways to remove wasps nests.

To learn more about how to get rid of wasps and protect your home, contact your local Orkin branch.

Learn More

Wasp Stings

While various species display different degrees of aggressiveness, learn why wasps sting and how it can be harmful to humans.

Bees vs. Wasps

Explore the differences and similarities between bees and wasps and how they’re valuable to the environment.

Difference Between Hornets and Wasps

Acquire the knowledge necessary to tell these two flying insects apart from one another.

Wasp Nests

Learn how to properly identify a wasp nest and the dangers associated with removal.

Wasp Infestation

Dive into wasp facts and how to control, remove and prevent wasp-related issues.

Wasp Species

Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp

Explore how to properly identify and get rid of these pesky insects.

European Paper Wasp

To prevent killing these beneficial insects, explore helpful measures to remove wasp nests.

Great Black Wasp

Since great blacks wasps aren’t aggressive and are important predators of harmful insects, learn preventative measures if you encounter a nest.

Ground Wasps

Learn the best way to manage a ground wasp population near your home.

Mud Dauber Wasps

Explore how these wasps are beneficial to the environment.

Paper Wasps

Read about what to do if you encounter a paper wasp infestation.

Red Wasps

Learn about red wasps and the helpful things you can do to prevent them from building a nest on your property.

Sawflies

Find out how these pesky insects can destroy trees and plants and what to do if you discover an infestation.

Spider Wasp

Read about these wasps and learn the steps to take if you encounter them on your property.

Types of Wasps

Gain an understanding of the different types of wasps, their appearance and the best techniques for wasp control.

How to Locate Wasps Nests

Yellow jackets and wasps can find their way into your home through any gap or crack in your home's siding or roof.

Should you knock down wasps nests?

Knocking down wasps' nests can be very dangerous if they're not dormant and wasps are present.

Wood Wasps

Learn what you should do if you come across a wood wasp nest around your home.

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