Getting to Know Wasps and Bees in Reno, Nevada

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 26, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you live in Reno, Nevada, chances are you’ve seen wasps buzzing around your backyard during the summer months. While they may look scary, wasps are actually an important part of our ecosystem. In this article, we’ll go over the different types of wasps you might see in Reno, how to identify them, and what to do if you come across a wasp nest.

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.

Types of Wasps in Reno

There are many different types of wasps that can be found in Reno, but the most common ones are paper wasps, yellow jackets, and mud daubers.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps get their name from the paper-like material they use to build their nests. These nests are often found hanging from eaves, tree branches, or other protected areas. Paper wasps are generally not aggressive, but they will sting if they feel threatened.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are a type of social wasp that live in large colonies. They are often found in underground nests or other protected areas like attics or wall voids. Yellow jackets can be aggressive and will sting if they feel their nest is threatened.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are a solitary wasp that build small nests out of mud. They are often found under eaves or on walls. Mud daubers are not aggressive and rarely sting unless they are provoked.

Identifying Wasps

Wasps come in many shapes and sizes, but there are a few key characteristics that can help you identify them. Look for these features:

  • Thin waist: Wasps have a narrow waist that separates their thorax from their abdomen.
  • Smooth body: Unlike bees, wasps have smooth bodies without any hair.
  • Pointed lower abdomen: The lower part of a wasp’s body is usually pointed, while a bee’s is rounded.

If you’re having trouble identifying a wasp, try taking a picture and doing a quick Google search. There are many resources online that can help you identify different types of wasps.

What to Do if You Encounter a Wasp Nest

If you come across a wasp nest on your property, it’s best to leave it alone. Wasps will usually only attack if they feel threatened, so if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you. If the nest is in an area where people frequently walk by, however, you may want to have it removed to prevent anyone from accidentally disturbing it.

If you do need to remove a wasp nest, it’s best to call in a professional. Trying to remove the nest yourself could result in multiple stings, which can be dangerous if you’re allergic to wasp venom.


Now that you know more about the types of wasps you might encounter in Reno, you can feel more confident when you spot one buzzing around your backyard. Remember, wasps are an important part of our ecosystem, so it’s best to leave them alone whenever possible. And if you do need to remove a wasp nest, call in a professional to do it safely.