Montana Wasps: Getting to Know the Stinging Insects in Your Backyard

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 12, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner in Montana, you’ve probably seen your fair share of wasps buzzing around your backyard. While these stinging insects can be intimidating, it’s important to understand that they play an important role in our ecosystem. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different types of wasps found in Montana and 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.

What are Wasps?

Before we dive into the specific types of wasps found in Montana, let’s start with the basics. Wasps are a type of insect that belong to the Hymenoptera order, which also includes bees and ants. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most have slender bodies with narrow waists and two pairs of wings.

Identifying Montana Wasps

There are several types of wasps that are commonly found in Montana, including yellow jackets, paper wasps, and mud daubers. Here’s how to identify each type:

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are often mistaken for bees because of their similar coloring, but they are actually a type of wasp. They are most easily identified by their black and yellow stripes and their smooth, hairless bodies. Yellow jackets are aggressive and can sting multiple times, so it’s important to steer clear of their nests.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are named for the papery nests they build out of chewed-up wood fibers. They have long, slender bodies with reddish-brown or black coloring and distinctive yellow markings. While they can be territorial and may sting if provoked, they are generally less aggressive than yellow jackets.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are a type of solitary wasp that build their nests out of mud. They have long, slender bodies and are usually black or metallic blue in color. Unlike yellow jackets and paper wasps, mud daubers are not typically aggressive and rarely sting.

Dealing with Wasps in Your Backyard

While it’s important to appreciate the role that wasps play in our ecosystem, it’s also understandable to want to keep them away from your home and family. Here are a few tips for dealing with wasps in your backyard:

  • Remove any sources of food or water that may be attracting wasps, such as uncovered garbage cans or standing water.
  • Seal up any cracks or crevices in your home’s exterior to prevent wasps from building nests.
  • If you do encounter a wasp nest on your property, it’s best to call in a professional exterminator to safely remove it.

By understanding the different types of wasps found in Montana and taking steps to avoid them, you can coexist peacefully with these important insects in your backyard.