Different Types of Wasps and Hornets

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There are many different types of wasps and hornets which can be found in every region of the world. The following articles details facts and information about many different types of wasps and hornets. There are also facts and information about the size of the different types of wasps and hornets, the habitat in which they live and an indication of how long they live. Everything you wanted to know about wasps and hornets, facts and info for kids, children and their teachers and for everyone interested in the facts about wasps and hornets.

Did You Know?

Did you know the following facts about wasps and hornets?
  1. Wasps are not bees.
  2. Wasps can create a nest out of wood or mud where bees make their nests from honey.
  3. Wasps are most aggressive from August to October.
  4. They eat insects, food and rubbish.
  5. Wasps become inactive at night.
  6. They are normally found in their nest.
  7. They are very sensitive to light.
  8. They eat caterpillars.
  9. Male wasps don’t have a stinger.
  10. Females have the stinger and it is also their sex organ.
  11. Females protect the nest.
  12. Not all female wasps are fertile.

Getting Rid of Wasps

A wasp on its own is not difficult to get rid of. Depending on the time of year, it may not even bother you. The loan wasp may be on the hunt for flies or grasshoppers so may not need getting rid of. If the wasp does begin to irritate, then getting rid of it shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Solitary wasps are normally rather docile as they don’t have a nest to protect and normally lay eggs in their prey. On the other hand you have social wasps that are more aggressive as they have a nest they will protect and will need to be gotten rid of.

If you have a wasps nest, the best time to get rid of them is after the sun has set or before the sun rises as they retreat to the nest at this time. With this important piece of information, you can now get rid of the wasps with either the many products that are available or if it is possible, by lighting a fire under the nest and smoking them out. With fire, the smoke suffocates the wasps although some may leave, with the nest destroyed, they won’t return.

Wasps that build their nests underground can be got rid of by pouring fuel down the hole and covering the entrance with a shovel or a wet cloth. The fumes from the fuel should suffocate the wasps getting rid of them. Protecting your self while getting rid of wasps is very important as stings, while be very unpleasant, can be very dangerous for some people. It may be necessary to get professionals in to get rid of a wasp problem you may have.

Identifying Some Different Types of Wasps

Wasps look much like ants, having slim bodies with a narrow waist. Wasps are also mistaken for bees, where bees are covered with tiny hairs and wasps are not, wasps are shinier in comparison. Colouring between bees and wasps may be similar, but that will be all. Wasps can be aggressive with some species being more so than others, so it is best you avoid all wasps.

There are many types and species of wasps with most differing in colour. Paper wasps can be identified by their black bodies with bright yellow markings, normally stripes and grow as large as 25 millimetres long. The spider wasp has long back legs compared to the rest as is black, blue or red with white or orange markings. Potter wasps tend to be black with yellow stripes around their legs and abdomen. A bald-faced hornet is metallic blue, green or red with black markings on its body.

bald faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata
A bald faced hornet or Dolichovespula maculata

The size of a wasp can also help in identifying it. A potter wasp can grow as long as 6 millimetres, sphecid wasps 50 millimetres and the spider wasp 12 millimetres in length.

The type of nest and were it lives can also help in identifying the wasp. Paper wasps build nests in quiet secluded places such as lofts, under eaves of buildings and crevices. Other wasps such as sphecid and potter wasps build their nests in the ground, predominantly sandy soil. Other sphecid wasps can be found nesting from tree branches. Yellowjacket wasps can be found in many places such as in the ground or in the eaves of a building or in rock.

wasp nest on fence for removal

The material the wasps' nest is made of also helps in identifying the type of wasps. A paper wasp constructs its nest from wood and plant fibres and creates a waterproof nest with a light brown honeycomb appearance. Potter wasps build a nest from mud that resembles a pot and a spider wasp will have many paralyzed spiders around and inside its nest.

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