Types of wasps and how to get rid of wasp nest


Wasp sitting on it's nest


Are you looking for different types of wasps and various methods to get rid of them? Then this post will help you learn about the different types of wasps and home remedies to get rid of them and their nests. Wasps are one of the biggest nuisances for humans, during the summer season. A wasp sting occurs when you approach the wasp aggressively and it can be quite painful. On the other hand, wasps have proven to be very beneficial to humans in killing other pests, insects and for agricultural purposes. They are also a gardener's friend once we are aware of what do wasps eat - which is a wide range of invertebrates. These include spiders, caterpillars, bees, ants, flies, and nesting birds. Wasps play an important role in the ecosystem and don’t live very long, despite their occasional aggression.

Types of Wasps :


To help you identify or distinguish between wasps and bees, below we have listed for you 17 types of wasps:

Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus): Found in North America and northern Mexico, the great black wasp is up to one and a half inches in length. As the name suggests, these wasps are large and black with smoky wings - the females being much larger than the males. A black wasp nest can easily be found dug into the ground, by the solitary black wasp. 

Cicada killer/Ground Digger Wasp (Sphecius Speciosus): These wasps prefer digging their nests 10 inches deep in sandy soil. The perfect spot to do so is near flagstones or patio homes as they are found east of the Rocky Mountains. The ground wasp is about one and a half inches long and is a solitary insect with a black and orange-red color body.

Mud Dauber Wasp: These wasps divided into three categories - mud daubers, potter wasps, and pollen wasps. Mud wasps are not protective of their nests and therefore rarely harm or sting anyone. Their nests can easily be spotted under porches or in attics and one nest can hold up to 20 wasps.

Potter Wasp: These are solitary wasp which is only half an inch in length and their nest is smaller than a lemon. They are commonly found in the western and southern eastern regions of the United States. They are also known as mason wasps and have a beautiful black and yellow stripes on their bodies.

Spider Wasp: These wasps are solitary and adult spider wasp mostly feeds on nectar and various plants, mainly eucalyptus plants. They are mostly dark blue or black in color and look like large flies - while the other species are mostly bright in color. The sting of these wasps is extremely powerful and painful.

Yellow Jacket: Yellowjacket vs wasp, sting repeatedly without losing their sting, only when they feel threatened or by accident. They have a side-to-side flight pattern and are bright yellow in color. They also do not carry yellow pollen or forage on flowers and their nests can accommodate up to 5000 members each.

Banded Horntail (Urocerus Gigas Flavicornis): These wasps may look threatening due to their brown, black or blue color, but are quiet passive in nature. The adult wasps usually grow up to 1.5 inches and length and can easily infest broad or needle-leaved trees. There are around 150 species available of the banded horntail and they can be identified by the long spikes that are projected outwards from their abdomen.

Black Shield Wasp (Vespa Bicolor): The dark-brown sulphur-yellow colored wasp is docile in nature and hurt you with it’s painful sting, unless provoked. They enjoy human food to a large extent and are often found around open food sources. These wasps grow up to ¾” which makes them one of the smallest of the species. 

Ichneumon Wasps:These wasps are also known as a gardener's friend as they feed on the pest population such as - tomato hornworms, wood-boring insects and boll weevils. Where as adult wasps feed on nectar, trees and shrubs and use grubs and caterpillars as hosts. As soon as the young ones are born, the female wasp feeds on it’s own host.

Paper Wasp: These social wasps who may be aggressive when threatened are commonly found in the United States and Mexico. A paper wasp nest identification can be done by identifying the small, open cells that resemble round honeycombs. The nest can hold up to 30 members of the one and a half inches long paper wasp.

Sand Wasp (Bembicini): Sand wasps have elongated upper lips which appear like beaks and are used to build their nests in sand. These solitary wasps grow about one inch in length and are usually yellow and black in color. Some of them are also black and white in color with bright green eyes.

Tarantula Hawk Wasp: As the name suggests, these spider wasps hunt tarantulas by stinging and paralysing them. Though these wasps are fairly docile, their sting is one of the most painful stings known to man. They are bluish-black in color with brown colored wings and long legs, which help them catch their prey.

American Pelecinid Wasp (Pelecinus Polyturator): Found throughout America from mid-summer to early fall, these black glossy looking wasp are found in wood or crop fields. The female wasps are speculated for reproducing without male wasps and use their long abdomen to deposit its eggs into grubs’. These wasps can also be found underground or in suburban gardens.

Black-Tailed Hornet (Vespa Ducalis): These docile non-aggressive hornets have a short life-span of four months - starting from mid-May and ending in September. The black-tailed hornet grow up to one and a half inches and are commonly found in Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. The literal translation of their name means “princess sparrow bee”.

Japanese Yellow Hornet (Vespa Simillima): These aggressive hornets are known for their venomous sting and as a delicacy in the mountain villages of Japan. The venom of their sting is strong enough to damage the tissues, the nervous system and is lethal for those who are allergic or not to the hornet. They also consume various insects which helps in protecting the crops.

Vespa Luctuosa: Found commonly in the Philippines this hornet is known to carry a large amount of venom in its sting. People who are stung by Vespa Luctuosa present with symptoms such as - discoloration in the urine and skin, and convulsions. They build spherical nests that can hang in bushes and trees which later turn out to be more elongated.

Bald-Faced Hornet (Dolichovespula Maculata): Also known as the Black Hornet Wasp; this wasp is approximately 5-8 inches long with striking black and white patterns, white face and dark eyes. They are also a gardener's friend as they eat harmful bugs like caterpillars, crane flies and flies. Black hornets are social creatures, but will sting repeatedly when they feel threatened.

Wasps can also be used as a natural way to control pests in your garden or crop fields, by identifying what do wasps eat. A normal wasp diet includes - spiders, lizards, insects, dragonflies, centipedes, bullfrog, birds and bats.

Now unlike bees, wasps are more aggressive and protective in nature about their nests - they can and they will sting you multiple times without dying or losing their sting. Living in close proximity to wasp nests can be dangerous and fatal in some cases.

Below we have listed a few natural methods on how to get rid of wasp nest:

1. Peppermint Oil: An all-time favorite in most homes, peppermint oil is easily available in any store - both online and offline. The fragrance of peppermint oil works as a natural repellent for wasps. You will need to mix 1 tablespoon of peppermint oil with 4 cups of water and then place it in a spray bottle. Use this mixture to spray around the affected areas of your home or garden. Be sure to spray the wasp nest or wasp at night and wear protective gear while doing so. Even though the oil is not as potent as mint oil, it works quite effectively in riding the area of wasps.

2. Clove-Geranium-Lemongrass Oil Blend: A well balanced combination of clove, geranium and lemongrass essential oils can effectively repel worker wasps completely. Paper wasps are known to repeatedly re built their nests in the same location, therefore, you must specially target the spots where you have previously found old nests. Collect all the mentioned essential oils and mix several drops of each oil with water and dish soap. Place the solution in a spray bottle and begin coating areas outside your house - porch roofs, ledges, crevices, under eaves and walls. You will need to repeat this process every few days to completely get rid of wasp nests.

3. Soap and Water: A simple mixture of soap and water is known to suffocate the wasp, which kills them almost instantly. Place the soap and water solution in a spray bottle and mix it well before spray it on small nests. It is advised to spray the nests at night, as there is less wasp activity and less chances of getting stung. Incase you come across large sized nests, simply attach a garden hose to the end of the spray bottle and spray away. When doing so, be sure to wear protective gear at all times and maintain a safe distance from the nest.

4. Vodka Repellent: Vodka mixed with essential oils makes for a fancy outdoor wasp repellent. To begin with you will need a 16 ounce spray bottle, 1 and a half teaspoon of lavender oil, 5 teaspoons of tea tree oil, 5 teaspoons of eucalyptus oil, 3 teaspoons of citronella oil, 5 teaspoons of pennyroyal oil and 2 cups of vodka. This strong-smelling solution is ideal for discouraging wasps to build a nest and also discourage  new home seekers. Not only wasp, but this solution will help keep other insects at bay as well. Spray this solution for a week, make yourself a vodka martini and enjoy!

5. Hot Chilli Peppers: If you are wondering on how to kill a wasp nest - hot chilli peppers is a permanent and effective solution that will not only keep wasps away, but also kill them. Chop a bunch of hot peppers and start by boiling them for about five minutes in three cups of water. After the mixture has reached a boil, set it aside and let it cool before straining it into a spray bottle. Once again, use this mixture preferably at night while wearing protective gear. The application of this strong wasp-repellent spray can agitate the wasps and they can attack you instead.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar Wasp Bait: You can prepare any kind of trap you wish, but be sure to put in effective repellents, that don’t also attract other insects. To prepare this bait you will need two cups of sugar water, a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar, a quarter teaspoonful of dish soap and half a tablespoon of jam or jelly. This mixture generally does not attract other types of flying insects, but if it does you can always use - beer, fruit juice, soft drink and sweet-scented laundry soap. Prepare the solution according to the trap that you have prepared and watch wasps fly away.

7. Diatomaceous Earth or Boric Acid Powder: An effective solution for aggressive and testy wasps and hornets, who tend to build deeply hidden nests - DE or Boric Acid. DE is known for drying out the wax coating of the wasps body, which helps in making way to the joints and the exoskeleton. Though it does not kill the wasp instantly, it is known to significantly reduce the insect population. On the other hand, Boric Acid is poisonous to wasps once they come in contact. The advantage is that the wasps will carry back these agents to their nests, which will help in killing the hidden population.

Bottomline is, wasps generally do not bother you, if you do not bother them. With that being said, many times wasps build their nests in inconvenient places, where it may be difficult for you to avoid them. And to avoid any stinging mishaps it is wise to take precautionary measures like - keeping you house in good repair, avoid large gestures such as swatting the wasps, and safely discard leftover food.

Hives or Nests

Wasps generally live in nests known as hives or combs. These nests are always found often under the shade of trees or under roof tops  where it's cooler.

Fear of wasps / best time / identification

Scientifically fear of wasps is known as Spheksophobia, which is derived from the Greek word spheco which meaning wasps and Phobos meaning fear or dread.

Anybody who has been stung by a wasp can develop a lifelong fear of wasps. Wasp sting can be quite painful and can make any man fear them.

Treating and overcoming your fear of wasps

Hypnosis is known to be one of the most effective methods to treat the fear of wasps, If you suffer from Spheksophobia. Hypnosis helps you relax your mind and re-evaluate the reason for your fear of wasps.

Wasp nest look like/Wasp nest identification

Having a wasp nest in your vicinity might freak you out, but having wasps around is beneficial for the environment as they naturally pollinate the plants. Wasps are also known to be beneficial as natural pest control as they help by eating other pests.

Are you wondering What do wasp nests look like and how do you know whether you have a wasp nest? So let me tell you that A wasp nest defers from species to species of wasps. These nests have amazing structures. The size of the nest and materials used to build it may vary depending on the factors below:

  • The species of the wasp
  • Geographic location
  • Type of wasp i.e. social or solitary wasps


You may find that certain wasp have nests in the ground like those of the yellow jackets while others have nests hanging from branches or eeves of houses like those of paper wasps.


Hope you got all information about Types of wasps, spider - mud wasp, what do wasps eat, ground and yellow jacket vs wasp, get rid of their nest, redhornet, pollinate, black hornet wasp, remove wasp nest, how to kill a wasp nest, ground digger wasp and lots more in this article.