Identifying and Dealing with Ground Wasps in Florida

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 19, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner in Florida, you may have noticed small insects buzzing around your backyard, especially near the ground. These are likely ground wasps, which can be a nuisance if not dealt with properly. In this article, we’ll discuss how to identify these pests and what you can do to get rid of them safely and effectively.

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.

Identifying Ground Wasps in Florida

Ground wasps, also known as digger wasps, are a type of solitary wasp that burrows into the ground to create nests. They are typically about 1/2 inch long and have a slender body with black and yellow stripes. Unlike other wasps, ground wasps are not aggressive and will only sting if threatened.

One common species of ground wasp found in Florida is the cicada killer wasp. These wasps are larger than other ground wasps, measuring up to two inches long. They have a black body with yellow markings and large, powerful jaws used to capture cicadas, their primary prey.

Dealing with Ground Wasps in Your Backyard

If you have ground wasps in your backyard, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them safely:

  • Avoid disturbing the nest: If you come across a ground wasp nest, try to avoid disturbing it as much as possible. Ground wasps are not aggressive and will usually leave humans alone, but they may become defensive if they feel threatened.
  • Use insecticides: If you need to get rid of ground wasps, you can use an insecticide specifically designed for wasp control. Look for products containing pyrethrin or permethrin, which are effective against ground wasps. Follow the instructions carefully and apply the insecticide in the evening when the wasps are less active.
  • Call in a professional: If you’re unsure of how to deal with ground wasps or have a large infestation, it’s best to call in a professional pest control service. They can help you safely remove the nest and prevent future infestations.

Preventing Future Infestations

To prevent ground wasps from building nests in your backyard, consider taking the following precautions:

  • Keep your lawn maintained: Ground wasps prefer to build nests in areas with sparse vegetation, so keeping your lawn well-maintained can help deter them.
  • Cover up holes and gaps: Seal any holes or gaps in your yard where ground wasps could potentially build a nest.
  • Remove potential food sources: Ground wasps primarily feed on insects, so if you have a lot of bugs in your yard, consider using insecticides to reduce their numbers.

In conclusion, while ground wasps can be a nuisance in your Florida backyard, they are not typically aggressive and can be dealt with safely and effectively. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can identify ground wasps, remove the nest, and prevent future infestations.