Common types of wasps in our area include mud daubers, yellow jackets, hornets, cicada killers, great black, digger and paper wasps. Wasps are social insects who build nests resembling paper where they live in colonies.
Paper wasps are common around houses and other structures. There nest is a single comb of hexagonal cells made of a papery material the wasps form by chewing wood and mixing it with saliva. It can house up to 75 wasps.
Yellowjackets and Hornets
Yellowjackets and hornets build large nests in areas such as attics, crawl spaces and voids between walls. Yellow jackets are notorious stingers. Hornets are larger yellow jackets who make their nests hanging off trees. They also sting, and their venom can be more dangerous because of the chemicals found in it.
Digger Wasps; Cicada Killers and Great Black Wasps
Digger wasps, such as Cicada killers and Great Black wasps, build their nests underground. Digger wasps like sunny areas of ground to build their nests, near trees where cicadas can be found. While larger than other wasps, their stings are not as severe. The cicada killer will paralyze the cicada with her sting and drag it back to the nest. They lay eggs on the cicada, who feed on it when hatched. Great black wasps prey on katydids and grasshoppers, stinging them multiple times and then dragging them back to their nest, where they lay eggs on their prey. When the eggs hatch, they feed off the prey until they are large enough to leave the nest. The sting of a black wasp is painful. They usually sting only when provoked.