Getting to Know the Wasps in Tampa, Florida

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 20, 2023 · 2 mins read

As a homeowner, it’s important to know what kind of wasps you might come across in your backyard. While wasps can be beneficial in controlling other pests like aphids and caterpillars, they can also be aggressive and have painful stings. Here are some of the most common types of wasps you might see in Tampa, Florida:

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 medium-sized wasps that are brownish-red in color with yellow markings. They build paper-like nests out of wood fibers and saliva that resemble an upside-down umbrella. These nests are often found hanging from eaves or tree branches. Paper wasps are not usually aggressive unless their nest is disturbed. If you see a paper wasp nest in your yard, it’s best to call a professional to remove it.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are small, black and yellow wasps that are commonly found in the Tampa area. They build their nests in the ground, under logs, or in wall voids. Yellow jackets are aggressive and will sting if their nest is disturbed. If you need to remove a yellow jacket nest, it’s best to call a professional.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are long and slender wasps that are black or metallic blue in color. They build their nests out of mud and lay their eggs inside. Mud dauber nests are often found on walls, under eaves, or in attics. Mud daubers are not usually aggressive and are considered beneficial because they prey on spiders.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are large, solitary wasps that are black with yellow markings. They are often mistaken for hornets because of their size. Cicada killers are not aggressive towards humans and only sting if provoked. They typically build their nests in sandy soil and prey on cicadas.

If you’re unsure about whether or not a wasp you’ve seen is harmful, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and leave it alone. If you do need to remove a nest, it’s important to call a professional who has the right equipment and training to do so safely.