There are many types of wasps that inhabit the Ohio area ranging from yellow jackets to mud daubers to cicada killers. While yellow jackets form their nest from chewed up paper pulp scavenged from trees and other wooden structures, other wasps form mud tubes or hide out in underground burrows. Ranging in aggressiveness, most wasps only sting if they feel threatened and/or are defending the queen or nest. Wasps can be especially bothersome because they are opportunists when it comes to forming a nest or a burrow. Nests can be found in old rodent burrows, air vents, outdoor play houses, crevices or gaps in homes, mailboxes, etc. The longer the nest is left untreated, the larger the nest will become and ultimately the more difficult it will be to treat.
Mud Daubers are a fairly docile wasp and are rarely aggressive. They can be about an inch large and range in color from black and yellow to an iridescent blue. These wasps have a distinctive pinch waste that extends from the thorax to the abdomen. Mud daubers construct their nests out of mud, and form tube or ball like structures under eaves or on the sides of walls.
The Paper wasp is a thin and darker colored wasp that forms its nest from chewed and softened wood debris. This wasp is not particularly aggressive but will sting to protect its nest. Nests can be found hanging on the sides of structures, under eaves and porches.
The yellow jacket is very aggressive wasp that forms its paper nest underground. Often mistaken for bees, these wasps have a thicker yellow and black body. Nests can be found in old animal burrows or wasp made holes in the ground.
Bald Faced Hornets
Bald Faced Hornets are similar in appearance to the yellow jacket, but they are black and white and bigger. They are extremely aggressive, and caution should be used if a nest is discovered. Large and intricate paper nests are found hanging from trees and usually have patroller wasps guarding the opening. A Bald Faced Hornet’s stinger is smooth and allows for multiple stings if they feel threatened.