The Lowdown on Black Wasps: What Homeowners Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 11, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you seeing black wasps flying around your backyard and wondering what they are? As a homeowner, it’s important to know what type of insects are buzzing around your property. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at black wasps, including their behavior, how to identify them, and what to do if you encounter them.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

What are Black Wasps?

Black wasps are a type of solitary wasp that belong to the Sphex genus. They are also known as cicada killers due to their habit of hunting cicadas to feed their young. Unlike social wasps, which live in colonies, black wasps are solitary creatures and generally do not pose a threat to humans.

Identifying Black Wasps

Black wasps are large, shiny black insects with wings that can span up to three inches. They have long, thin bodies and slender legs. You can identify black wasps by their distinct body shape and coloring, which sets them apart from other types of wasps and bees.

Behavior of Black Wasps

As mentioned earlier, black wasps are solitary creatures and do not form colonies. They are generally non-aggressive and will only sting if threatened. Male black wasps can often be seen flying low over lawns and patios in search of female mates, while females can be found digging burrows in dry, sandy soil where they lay their eggs.

How to Get Rid of Black Wasps

If you have a small number of black wasps in your yard, it’s best to leave them alone. These insects are beneficial to the environment and help control the cicada population. However, if you have a large infestation or if the wasps are causing a nuisance, there are steps you can take to get rid of them.

One way to discourage black wasps from nesting in your yard is to make the area less hospitable to them. Keep your lawn well-watered and mowed, and eliminate areas of bare, dry soil where they like to dig their burrows. If you need to remove a black wasp nest, it’s best to call in a professional pest control service to do the job safely and effectively.

Bee vs. Wasp

While black wasps may look similar to bees, there are some key differences between the two. Bees are a type of pollinator and are generally harmless unless provoked. Wasps, on the other hand, are predators and will attack other insects, including bees. If you’re unsure whether you’re dealing with a bee or a wasp, look at the insect’s body shape and coloring. Bees are typically rounder and fuzzier than wasps, and their bodies are usually striped with yellow and black.

In conclusion, black wasps are fascinating insects that play an important role in our ecosystem. While they may look intimidating, they are generally harmless to humans and should be left alone unless they become a nuisance. If you do need to remove a black wasp nest, be sure to hire a professional pest control service to do the job safely and effectively.