Wasps are predacious flying insects. Generally, they are considered a benefit to the environment as a great source of organic pest control on crops, farms and gardens. They are usually grouped into two types of wasps; social wasps and solitary wasps. Wasps are carnivorous hence they consume fleshy things for example spiders. Compared to bees, wasps are more vicious and should be handled with much caution especially when trying to clear out its nest. The best time to eliminate a wasp’s nest is early morning.

There are several types of wasps- here are some of the most common wasps worldwide.


These types of wasps are about 2 inches in size and are classified under social wasps. One nest has approximately 700 members. Hornets are the most renowned in the north east region of the US and in Canada as well. Hornets are also referred to as bald -faced hornets and have a similar resemblance to yellow jackets in color but vary in size and thickness. Some hornets are white and black. Like most wasps, hornets sting several times and their sting is usually painful. However, they are a bit less aggressive compared to the yellow jacket. A hornet’s nest resembles a ball shape which can range from basket ball to football. They mostly reside in tree branches, attics, building sides, bushes, and walls or even hallows.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are a half inch in size and are grouped as social wasps. One nest consists of up to 5,000 members. They are often mistaken for honeybees, although they are a bit quicker, smaller and a brighter yellow in color. One other thing that may help identify the yellow jackets is their fast side-to-side flight pattern just before they land. These types of wasps are scavengers and eat meat and sweets, which is why you are likely to encounter some in parks or disrupting your picnic. Yellow jackets are sometimes also referred to as sweet bees, ground bees or meat bees.

Yellow jackets nest in softball sized ground holes and are very aggressive when it comes to defending their home. Other places they nest include attics and wall voids. Unlike honeybees, yellow jackets sting repeatedly, don’t lose their stinger and neither do they die after stinging.

Paper Wasps

These social wasps are approximately three-quarters to one and a half inch long. Their nest size is about five to twenty wasps. There are several species of paper wasps and are ideally long with yellow and black or rusty brown stripes. The name paper wasp was derived from their naked grayish paper-like material, honeycomb in shape. Paper wasps are mostly found dangling under eaves, and sometimes in attics, trees and other structures. The paper wasps only attack when aggravated.

Mud Wasps

There are three types of mud wasps – mud daubers, potter wasps and pollen wasps. They got their name from their clay/mud nest constructions. They nest above the ground and also in the ground. Mud wasps are solitary wasps and vary in size.

  • Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are solitary wasps with a build of up to an inch long. Their nests are small with tube-like structures carrying a colony of 3 to 20 wasps. They are viewed as alien-like due to their skinny needle-like waist, and are sometimes referred to as thread waist wasp or dirt daubers. Their common identity is their rigid, flat oval and tube-shaped mud nests. They can sting even when not aggravated and aren’t protective of their nest like the yellow jackets. The mud daubers normally attach under porches, eaves, attics and walls. They typically prey on spiders especially the black widow spiders.

  • Potter Wasp

They are very tiny wasps of half an inch in size. They are also referred to as mason wasps. They got their name from their jug/pot shaped nests. Of all the wasps’ species, potter wasps have the greatest diversity of species, classified over 200 groups.

  • Pollen Wasps

Pollen wasps are three-quarters of an inch long, and are sometimes mistaken for yellow jackets, due to their small size but contrary to the yellow jackets, pollen wasps have large clubbed antennas. They build their nests underground out of mud and water. They generally feed on pollen and nectar, which brought about their name, “pollen wasps”.

Some of these wasps are very aggressive and sting, and their sting is very painful. Therefore, one should avoid encountering them at any cost. In the event you bump into their nest in the attic, it is advisable to call a professional to help in clearing of the nest.


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