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Florida Wasps: Which Can Stay and Which Need to Be Removed

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Amidst the beauty of Florida, there lurk unwelcomed visitors that can ruin even the most perfect of days. Their presence is unpredictable and their attacks are vicious, leaving unsuspecting victims with painful stings and a lasting fear of the mysterious creature that haunts the sunshine state.

The unwelcome visitors are the wasps!

These stinging insects come in all shapes and sizes. And while they may strike fear into the hearts of Floridians, understanding the different types of wasps can help you keep them at bay. This guide will go over some of the common types of wasps in Florida.

Read on to learn more.

Which Wasps Can Stay?

Many people think of wasps as pesky insects that need to be exterminated as soon as possible. But not all wasps are created equal. In fact, some species of wasps are actually beneficial to the environment and should be protected, including:

Paper Wasps

The paper-like substance that paper wasps employ to construct their nests gives them their name. The wasp nests are generally discovered hanging from porch ceilings, eaves, and other safe places.

Paper wasps are social wasps that belong to the genus Polistes. The only time they will sting is if they perceive a threat because they are often not aggressive.

Paper wasps are beneficial because they prey on other insects to help the pest population in your garden. These include caterpillars and other pests that can damage crops and gardens.

They’re also important pollinators and help to fertilize plants. If you have a paper wasp nest on your property, it is best to leave it alone and avoid disturbing the wasps.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are a type of wasp that belong to the family Sphecidae. They are not aggressive and generally do not pose a threat to humans but their bites are lethal.

Mud daubers get their name from the mud nests that they build. These wasp nests are often found on the sides of buildings or in other protected areas.

Mud daubers are also beneficial because they prey on spiders, which can be a nuisance in and around homes. If you have a mud dauber nest on your property, it is best to leave it alone and let the wasps continue their important work.

Solitary Wasps

Solitary wasps are a group of wasps that live alone and do not form colonies. Unlike social wasps, such as yellow jackets and hornets, solitary wasps do not have a hierarchy or division of labor. Instead, every female wasp constructs and takes care of her own nest.

Solitary wasps are crucially beneficial insects in the environment because they eat a variety of pest insects that might harm crops and gardens. Certain solitary wasps specialize in preying on particular species of insects, like caterpillars, beetles, or aphids, which can aid in the management of pest insect populations.

For instance, the sphecid wasp, also called the digger wasp, feeds on a variety of invertebrates, such as grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars. These wasps build nests in the ground and lay their eggs on or near their prey, which will later serve as food for their developing larvae.

Another type of solitary wasp is the parasitic wasp, which lays its eggs on or inside the bodies of other insects. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the host insect, eventually killing it. Parasitic wasps are used in biological control programs to manage pest populations in crops and gardens.

Which Wasps Should Be Exterminated?

While some wasps are helpful, others can be dangerous to people and other creatures. If you find any wasps on your property, especially yellow jackets or hornets, call a pest control company to get rid of them immediately.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are social wasps that belong to the genus Vespula. They are well-known for their hostile attitudes and damaging stings.

Yellow jackets may be an annoyance at outdoor events since they’re drawn to sweet foods. They pose a threat to both people and animals due to their aggressive demeanor and painful stings.

To properly remove a yellow jacket nest from your house, it is best to get in touch with wasp management experts. Yellow jacket nest removal is dangerous and you should never do it yourself. In Florida, yellow jacket sightings are frequent in the late summer and early fall.


Hornets are a type of wasp that belong to the genus Vespa. They are well known for their large size and aggressive personalities.

The hornet is another species of wasp that poses a risk to humans. They are notorious for aggressive behavior and for creating large, paper-like nests.

The hornets may become furious and defend themselves by attacking if their nest is disrupted. Their sting can be painful, and in some individuals, it may result in an allergic reaction. It is best to speak with a pest management expert to remove wasp nests from your home.

Cicada Killers

Although cicada killers may not directly threaten people, they can still harm property, particularly lawns. In order to lay their eggs, cicada killers dig burrows in the earth. These burrows can be unappealing and harm grass and other plants.

Furthermore, their presence may draw other pests like moles and voles, which can harm lawns even more. Because they do not directly threaten humans, some people may decide to tolerate cicada killers. But many prefer to have them removed to protect their property.

To ensure that the removal of cicada killers is done safely, get in touch with a competent pest control agency.

Learn More About the Different Types of Wasps

There are different types of wasps in Florida, each with unique characteristics. While some wasp species may benefit the ecosystem, others may pose a threat to humans and other animals.

Take the required actions to keep these stinging insects at bay. Prevention is the key to preventing wasp infestations in your home. Contact us today for professional wasp identification and management services in Florida.

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