Understanding Wasps in Cincinnati, Ohio: What You Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 27, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you tired of seeing wasps buzzing around in your backyard? Do you want to learn more about these stinging insects so you can avoid getting too close? Look no further! In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about wasps in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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?

Wasps are a type of insect that belong to the Hymenoptera order. They are closely related to bees and ants, but unlike bees, wasps have smooth bodies with little or no hair. Most wasps have two pairs of wings and a narrow waist.

Types of Wasps in Cincinnati

There are several types of wasps you might encounter in your Cincinnati backyard. Here are some of the most common:

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are brown with yellow markings on their abdomen. They build papery nests that look like upside-down umbrellas. These nests are often found hanging from eaves or tree branches. Paper wasps are not usually aggressive, but they will defend their nests if threatened.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are black with yellow markings on their body. They are smaller than paper wasps and build their nests in the ground or in cavities like tree stumps. Yellow jackets can be very aggressive and will sting multiple times if provoked.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Bald-faced hornets are black with white markings on their face and body. They build large papery nests that are shaped like footballs. These nests are often found in trees or shrubs. Bald-faced hornets are very aggressive and will attack anything that comes near their nest.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are large wasps that are black with yellow markings on their abdomen. They hunt cicadas and are not usually aggressive towards humans. However, they can appear intimidating due to their size.

Identifying Wasps

If you want to identify a wasp, start by looking at its color and markings. Then, look at its body shape and wings. Paper wasps have long, slender bodies with narrow waists, while yellow jackets have shorter, thicker bodies. Cicada killers are much larger than other wasps and have distinct yellow markings on their abdomen.

Keeping Wasps Away

To keep wasps away from your home, make sure to keep all food and garbage properly contained. Seal up any holes or cracks in your home’s exterior to prevent wasps from building nests. If you do encounter a wasp, stay calm and try to move away slowly. Swatting at a wasp will only provoke it and increase your chances of getting stung.


Now that you know more about wasps in Cincinnati, Ohio, you can feel more confident when spending time in your backyard. Remember to stay aware of your surroundings and take steps to avoid attracting these stinging insects. If you do have a wasp problem that you can’t handle on your own, consider calling a professional pest control service for help.