International Member of National Pest Management Association, USA
  • Wasps and bees are beneficial insects, although they are generally considered to be pests because of their ability to sting
  • These insects are beneficial in their activities, particularly as predators of pest insects and as pollinators
  • It is important to distinguish between these insects because different methods may be necessary to control them if they become a nuisance:-
  • Wasps appear smoothed-skinned and shiny
  • Bees are fuzzy and more robust in appearance
  • Wasps are predators, feeding insects and other arthropods to their young
  • Bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers
  • Wasps build nests out of a papery material. Wasps may nest in the ground, in trees and shrubs, under horizontal surfaces such as eaves, and in buildings where they occupy wall voids and similar spaces
  • Bees build combs made of wax



  • Yellowjackets are banded yellow or orange and black and are commonly mistaken for honey bees, but they lack the hairy body and are more intensely colored
  • Yellowjackets typically nest underground using existing hollows. Occasionally nests can be found in dark, enclosed areas of a building, such as crawl spaces or wall voids
  • Yellow jackets are excellent predators of potential pest insects
  • When temperatures cool in late summer, yellowjacket numbers peak just as their insect food supply begins to decline. They scavenge more aggressively at this time, taking food from trash containers and picnickers
  • When disturbed, yellowjackets can sting repeatedly; their stingers are not barbed nor lost after stinging like those of honey bees


  • The so-called bald-faced hornet about ¾-inch long, black and white, with white face, is actually a larger yellowjacket species
  • Its nest is the familiar basketball-size papery oval hanging from tree limbs and sometimes structures
  • Nests occur in trees and in attics and wall voids of structures near forested areas
  • Nests often attract attention because of their large size, but hornets rarely sting unless the colony is seriously disturbed
  • Hornets feed their young live insects and do not share the scavenging habit of yellowjackets
  • Baldfaced hornets are beneficial because they capture other insects


  • Paper wasps are about 0.7 to 1.0 inch long, slender and variously colored with brown, red and yellow
  • They build their single-comb unprotected nest from the eaves or porches of buildings or other sheltered locations
  • Paper wasps are beneficial predators of caterpillars and other insects and do not scavenge


  • Mud daubers vary in length from 0.5 to 1.25 inches and are very slender with threadlike waists
  • Mud dauber wasps are named for their habit of constructing tubular nests of mud plastered on the exterior surfaces of structures
  • Its nests are about 2 inches long
  • Mud daubers usually sting only when pinned against the skin


  • The cicada killer wasp is 1.5 to 2.0 inches long, and is brownish black with yellow markings on the abdomen and face
  • The female digs a burrow in the soil. It captures cicadas, paralyzing them by stinging, and places them in the burrow
  • Inside it lays an egg on the cicada, then covers the burrow with soil
  • Larvae consume the paralyzed cicada and emerge as adult wasps the following spring
  • The only damage these wasps cause is the unsightly dirt piles dug out to create nests


  • Honey bees are about 0.5 inch long with a fuzzy light brown to black appearance, with striped brown and black abdomens
  • They are considered to be the most beneficial species of insect because they pollinate plants and produce honey and bee's wax
  • Honey bees live in extra large colonies of up to 50,000 individuals
  • The nest consists of several tiers or combs made of beeswax. It is located in cavities of trees, rock formations and buildings
  • There is a lower risk of being stung around a swarm because it is a period of vulnerability and the colony has no hive or honey to protect


  • Bumble bees are robust and densely covered with black and yellow hairs
  • They range in size from about 0.5 to 1.0 inch long
  • Bumble bees inhabit nests in old rodent burrows, under porches and in wall voids
  • Bumble bees usually are not overly aggressive, but they will sting if molested


  • This bee is a bumble bee look-alike that has a shiny, all-black abdomen, whereas the bumble bee’s abdomen is fuzzy, black and yellow
  • Carpenter bees make their nests in beams, rafters, telephone poles, and other wooden structures
  • Females chew ½-inch diameter holes in wood and bore tunnels that run several inches into the wood Inside, eggs are laid and the resulting larvae develop on a mixture of pollen and nectar


Residual spraying

  • Colonies of these social insects can be controlled by treating the nest directly with liquid insecticide
  • The best time to control stinging insects is after dark when foraging adults have returned to their nests
  • Late evening or early morning treatments are preferred since these insects are generally less active at cooler temperatures
  • When preparing to treat for stinging insects, always wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants tied at the ankles, socks and shoes. A hat covered with netting to protect the face and gloves to protect the hands and wrists also are recommended
  • If a flashlight is used, cover the lens with red cellophane wrap. Insects do not see well in red light and will not be attracted to the light
  • Nest may be covered with plastic and insecticide be introduced to the confined space
  • Upon removal of the nest, the nest should be burned in case of any survivors