Identifying Delaware Wasps: What Homeowners Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on April 26, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Delaware, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of wasps buzzing around your backyard. While some wasps are harmless or even beneficial, others can be aggressive and pose a threat to you and your family. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of wasps you might encounter in Delaware and teach you how to identify 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.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are perhaps the most recognizable type of wasp thanks to their distinctive nests made from chewed-up wood pulp. These nests are often shaped like umbrellas and attached to tree branches, porch ceilings, or other high places. Paper wasps are generally not aggressive unless threatened, but they can still sting if provoked.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are another common type of wasp found in Delaware. They are social insects that live in large colonies, often underground or inside walls. Unlike paper wasps, yellow jackets can be very aggressive and will defend their nests aggressively. If you see a lot of yellow jackets in your yard, it’s best to call a professional exterminator to remove the nest.

Cicada Killer Wasps

Despite their intimidating name, cicada killer wasps are actually quite harmless to humans. These large wasps are solitary and don’t live in colonies like paper wasps or yellow jackets. Instead, each female cicada killer digs her own burrow in the ground, where she lays her eggs on paralysed cicadas. While cicada killer wasps may look scary, they are not aggressive and rarely sting unless provoked.

Other Types of Wasps in Delaware

In addition to paper wasps, yellow jackets, and cicada killer wasps, there are several other types of wasps that you might encounter in Delaware. These include:

  • Bald-faced hornets
  • Mud daubers
  • European hornets

While these wasps are less common than paper wasps or yellow jackets, it’s still important to be aware of them and know how to identify them. Bald-faced hornets are black and white and build large, grayish-brown nests in trees or shrubs. Mud daubers are solitary wasps that build mud nests on walls, under eaves, or in other sheltered areas. European hornets are large, brownish-red wasps that build paper-like nests in hollow trees or wall voids.


By learning how to identify the different types of wasps in your Delaware backyard, you’ll be better equipped to deal with any potential problems. Remember, many wasps are beneficial because they prey on other insects that can damage your garden or home. However, if you do have a wasp problem that needs to be addressed, it’s always best to contact a professional exterminator who can safely and effectively remove the nest.