Identifying Wasps in Tucson, Arizona

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 02, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Tucson, Arizona, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of wasps flying around your backyard. While these stinging insects can be a nuisance, it’s important to know what kind of wasps you’re dealing with in case they pose a threat to you or your family.

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.


Yellowjackets are one of the most common types of wasps found in Tucson. These black and yellow striped insects are known for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Yellowjackets build their nests underground, often in old rodent burrows or other small cavities. If you spot a lot of activity around a hole in your yard, there’s a good chance it’s a yellowjacket nest.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are another common type of wasp found in Tucson. These insects are usually brown or reddish in color and have long, thin bodies. Paper wasps build their nests out of paper-like material, which is where they get their name. You may see paper wasp nests hanging from the eaves of your house or from tree branches.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are a type of solitary wasp that is less aggressive than yellowjackets and paper wasps. These wasps are black or metallic blue and have a thin, elongated body. Mud daubers build their nests out of mud, which they collect and shape into tubes. You may see mud dauber nests on the sides of buildings or under overhangs.

Bald-Faced Hornets

Bald-faced hornets are a type of wasp that is similar in appearance to yellowjackets. However, these wasps are larger and have a black and white striped body. Bald-faced hornets build large nests that are often visible in trees or on the sides of buildings. These wasps can be very aggressive if their nest is disturbed.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are a type of solitary wasp that preys on cicadas. These large wasps are black with yellow markings and have a wingspan of up to two inches. Cicada killers dig holes in the ground where they lay their eggs. While these wasps may look intimidating, they are not aggressive and rarely sting humans.

Now that you know a little more about the different types of wasps found in Tucson, you’ll be better equipped to deal with any nests or swarms you encounter in your backyard. Remember to always exercise caution when dealing with wasps, and if you’re unsure about what kind of wasp you’re dealing with, it’s best to call a professional pest control company.