- Color: Black, brown or reddish with yellow markings.
- Size: 3/4 to 1 inch.
- Feed on: Adults forage for nectar and insects to feed their young. They are natural enemies of many garden pests.
- Found in: Because their nests are open and lack an outer covering, these wasps often build them in enclosed areas, such as attics, outdoor restrooms, dense bushy habitats, and fences.
- The Sting: Paper wasps are much less aggressive than yellow jackets and hornets but when disturbed or threatened, they can sting repeatedly.
- Characteristics: Nests are built from wood fiber and plant stems, which can cause damage.
- Color: Yellow and black head/face with band-patterned abdomen.
- Size: Workers 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch.
- Feed on: Sweets and proteins and commonly invade outdoor activities.
- Found in: Yellow jackets can be found anywhere humans are; they nest in the ground or in cavernous areas such as eaves and attics.
- The Sting: Yellow jackets may sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. They become more aggressive in autumn when the colony begins to die out except for the queen.
- Characteristics: There are several species of yellow jackets, which experts can differentiate by their abdominal patterns.
Bald Faced Hornet
- Color: Black abdomen, with white markings at the posterior; large white patches on face.
- Size: Up to 1 inch.
- Feed on: Flower nectar, fruit juice, sap, and insects.
- Found in: Bald-faced hornets build colonies inside large enclosed carton nests that hang from trees, bushes, or buildings.
- The Sting: A hornet’s venom can cause anaphylactic shock, so it is wise to leave control to a professional.
- Characteristics: A single mated queen will start a new nest each spring, then the workers expand the nest to the size of a basketball with hundreds of hornets. By the end of the summer, the workers die out, the nest hangs empty and newly mated queens overwinter beneath the bark of trees.
Mud Dauber Wasp
- Color: black and yellow
- Size: 1″ in length and have a long body, similar to a Paper wasp
- Feed on: small, colorful spiders, such as crab spiders and other related species, orb weavers and some jumping spiders
- Nests: usually find them in and around all different sorts of plant life
- Identifying Characteristics: two body sections, but a distinct long, string-like waist section. They are independent and do not live in colonies. They are non-aggressive, and very rarely sting.
- Color: Golden-yellow with brown bands.
- Size: 1/2 inch.
- Feed on: Honey bees eat nectar and pollen from plants they pollinate. They also produce honey from this nectar to feed their young.
- Found in: They often build hives in tree crevices and shrubs, but may also build them in attics or chimneys. Colonies may contain tens of thousands of bees.
- The Sting: Honey bees can sting only once, then die. It can be very painful if the stinger is not immediately removed. Allergic persons may have severe reactions.
- Characteristics: Honey bees are beneficial insects because of their role in pollination. It is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.
- Color: Striped black and yellow or orange, brighter colored than honey bees.
- Size: 3/4 inch.
- Feed on: Bumble bees feed on nectar and pollen from plants they pollinate. They also produce honey from this nectar to feed their young.
- Found in: Bumble bees usually nest on the ground in clumps of dry grass, old bird nests, abandoned rodent burrows, under abandoned buildings, even in car cushions or old furniture.
- The Sting: This bee can be aggressive around nesting sites but rarely when foraging. Problems can occur when nests are close to human activity.
- Characteristics: Bumble bee colonies generally have fewer bees than do honey bee colonies. Most colonies contain only a few hundred bees