Spider Wasp Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from spider wasps by learning techniques for identification and control.
How do I get rid of spider wasps?
What You Can Do
If you need to exercise control against spider wasps:
Use the garden hose to spray water and drive the wasp away, or swat the wasp with a rolled up newspaper or fly swatter.
Pesticides are not recommended, especially where insecticide deposits could be picked up by honeybees and carried back to their hive.
Since it is unlikely that more than one spider wasp is encountered by the homeowner, doing nothing except letting the wasp escape is recommended.
If you need expert assistance, call your pest management professional who will advise and provide you with recommendations.
What Orkin Does
Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage spider wasps and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique treatment program for your situation.
Orkin can provide the right solution to keep spider wasps in their place…out of your home, or business.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Understanding Spider Wasps
Color: Spider wasp color varies by species, but many are black or blue with dark, large black, blue, or orange-yellow colored wings.
Size: Adults range in size from about 1/2 - 2 inches long.
Characteristics: A prominent characteristic is a curled antenna at the front of the wasp’s head. If you see a wasp with the abovementioned coloration running on the ground, flickering its wing with a spider in its grasp, more than likely it is a spider wasp.
Like most other solitary wasps, this species is not aggressive and would prefer to run or fly away than stick around to sting someone. This meek behavior is common for most wasps that live alone and are self-reliant, making their own nest, and caring for their own young.
Spider wasps have earned their common name as the result of being such efficient hunters and killers of spiders, which they use to feed to their offspring. Adult spider wasps do not eat spiders, but get their nourishment from plant nectar. Spider wasps are one of the many ground burrowing solitary wasps whose survival depends on capturing prey and bringing it back to the nest to feed larvae.
Spider wasps are distributed throughout most of the United States.
The spider wasp life cycle has four distinct stages:
Soon after the adult female wasp emerges from the burrow, she begins to hunt for spiders. Upon finding suitable prey, the wasp attacks and stings the spider, a sting that paralyzes but does not cause the spider to die. She then drags the spider back to her burrow, lays an egg on the spider, and that spider becomes food for the wasp’s larval stage.
Larvae and Pupae
Its annual life cycle begins in the spring when the overwintering pupal stage of the wasp changes into an adult. Since most species of spider wasps are ground burrowing wasps, the pupa is protected from the effects of the cold weather while spending the winter in the burrow.
The spider wasp has only one generation per year.