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Wood Wasp Facts & Information

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

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Family Siricidae
Long body
.5 to .75 inches


How do I get rid of wood wasps?

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage wood 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 wood wasps in their place and out of your home or business.

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Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Wood Wasps


Their common name is appropriate because they have long body parts that extend out from the back of the abdomen (tail). While horntails resemble typical wasps, these projections are not stingers, but are used by the female wood wasp to lay her eggs in trees that are weakened or dying. Therefore, this wasp does not sting and inject venom or bite pets or people. Wood wasp adults are fairly large, being from about ½ to ¾ inches long. They will infest both hardwoods and softwoods.

Life Cycle

The wood wasp’s life cycle begins with a fertile female adult drilling into the tree’s bark and then using her ovipositor to lay eggs. When the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae bore further into the tree, living there for as long as 2-3 years. When the insect’s pupal stage is complete, adult wasps emerge after chewing through as much as an inch of wood and bark. Evidence of emergent adults includes the exit hole they leave behind.


Wood wasps do not sting, but they may cause other problems for the homeowner. Although they do not re-infest seasoned wood such as lumber, their long life cycle may create a situation whereby live larvae remain in logs that are sawed into lumber. When the larval and pupal stages are complete, adults are able to emerge inside the home.

Also, wood wasps may be introduced to the inside of the home when infested firewood is brought inside and not used for a while.

Should wood wasp control be required, contact your pest management professional for advice about what is required to eliminate a wood wasp problem.

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