Understanding Wasps in Detroit, Michigan

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 24, 2023 · 3 mins read

As a homeowner in Detroit, Michigan, it’s important to understand the wasps buzzing around in your backyard. While they may seem like a nuisance, wasps play an important role in the ecosystem by pollinating plants and controlling pest populations. In this article, we’ll go over the different types of wasps you may encounter in Detroit 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.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are a common type of wasp found in Detroit. They have long, slender bodies and can be identified by their brownish-red color with yellow markings. Paper wasps build nests made out of a paper-like material, which is why they are named as such. These nests are usually found hanging from branches or eaves of houses.

Paper wasps are not typically aggressive unless their nest is threatened, so it’s important to keep a safe distance from their nests. If you do need to remove a paper wasp nest, it’s best to call a professional exterminator.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are another type of wasp you may encounter in Detroit. They have black and yellow stripes and are slightly smaller than paper wasps. Yellow jackets are social insects and live in large colonies, often building their nests in underground burrows or hollow trees.

Yellow jackets can become aggressive if their nest is disturbed, so it’s important to keep a safe distance from their nests as well. If you find a yellow jacket nest on your property, it’s best to call a professional exterminator to remove it.


Hornets are larger and more aggressive than paper wasps and yellow jackets. They are usually brownish-red with yellow markings and build large, papery nests that can be found high up in trees or under eaves of houses.

If you encounter a hornet nest, it’s important to stay away from it and call a professional exterminator to remove it. Attempting to remove a hornet nest yourself can be dangerous as hornets can become very aggressive when their nest is threatened.


While bees are not technically considered wasps, they are often confused with them due to their similar appearance. Bees are typically more robust and fuzzy than wasps, and are important pollinators for flowers and crops.

If you see bees in your yard, it’s important to leave them alone as they are not normally aggressive unless their hive is threatened. If you do find a bee hive on your property, it’s best to call a local beekeeper who can safely remove the hive without harming the bees.

In conclusion, understanding the different types of wasps and bees in Detroit, Michigan can help homeowners coexist peacefully with these important insects. Remember to keep a safe distance from nests and always call a professional exterminator if you need to have a nest removed.