Pest Library: Wasps


Wasps are insects known for their ability to sting, often evoking fear in people. This article provides an overview of wasps, including their characteristics, behavior, and habitats.


  • Size: Wasps come in various sizes, ranging from small species around 1 centimeter to larger species several centimeters in length.
  • Body Structure: Wasps have slender bodies with a narrow waist, two pairs of wings, and powerful stingers used for defense and capturing prey.


  • Stinging Defense: Wasps have a well-developed stinging apparatus and may sting in response to threats or nest disturbance.
  • Social Structure: Many wasp species live in colonies with a queen, workers, and male drones.
  • Predatory Nature: Wasps are carnivorous and play a vital role in controlling populations of insects, spiders, and other arthropods.

Common Wasp Species:

  • Yellowjackets (Vespula spp.): Social wasps with yellow and black markings, often nesting in the ground or aerial locations.
  • Paper Wasps (Polistes spp.): Construct distinctive papery nests, known for their slender bodies and long legs.
  • Mud Daubers (Sceliphron spp.): Solitary wasps that build mud nests and capture spiders as food for their larvae.


  • Ground Nests: Some wasps, like yellowjackets, construct nests in underground burrows or abandoned rodent burrows.
  • Aerial Nests: Paper wasps and some yellowjackets build nests in sheltered locations such as eaves, tree branches, or building crevices.
  • Mud Nests: Mud daubers build their nests using mud, attaching them to structures, walls, or protected areas.

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