Identifying Common Wasps in Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 28, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky, chances are you’ve seen some wasps buzzing around your yard. While they can be intimidating, it’s important to know that not all wasps are aggressive or harmful. In fact, many species of wasps are beneficial to have around because they help control other insect populations.

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.

Here are some common types of wasps you might see in your yard, and how to identify them:

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are slender, brownish-black wasps with long legs and a narrow waist. They build their nests out of paper-like material, which gives them their name. You may see their umbrella-shaped nests hanging from eaves, trees, or other structures in your yard. While paper wasps can sting if provoked, they are generally not aggressive unless their nest is threatened.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are another common type of wasp in Lexington-Fayette. They are black and yellow and have a more robust body shape than paper wasps. Yellow jackets typically build their nests underground, but they can also be found in walls, attics, and other enclosed spaces. Unlike paper wasps, yellow jackets are very aggressive when their nest is disturbed and will often sting repeatedly.


Hornets are larger than paper wasps and have a distinct black and white or black and yellow pattern on their bodies. They build large, enclosed nests that can be found hanging from trees or buildings. Like yellow jackets, hornets are very defensive of their nests and will attack if they feel threatened.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are solitary wasps that build small, mud nests in sheltered areas such as under eaves or in garages. They are black with yellow or metallic markings and have a long, thin waist. Mud daubers are not aggressive and rarely sting, making them a beneficial insect to have around.

Carpenter Bees

While not technically a wasp, carpenter bees are often mistaken for one because of their similar appearance. They are large, black and yellow bees that bore into wood to create their nests. Female carpenter bees can sting, but they are generally not aggressive unless provoked.

In conclusion, there are several types of wasps and bees you may encounter in your backyard in Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky. Knowing how to identify these insects can help you determine whether or not they pose a threat to you and your family. Remember, not all wasps are aggressive, and many are actually beneficial to have around. If you do encounter a nest or swarm of stinging insects, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company to safely remove them.