Understanding Wood Wasps in Oklahoma: What Homeowners Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on April 17, 2023 · 2 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Oklahoma, chances are you’ve seen wood wasps flying around your backyard. These insects are often mistaken for their more aggressive and dangerous cousins, yellow jackets and hornets. But don’t worry - wood wasps are generally harmless and can even be beneficial to your garden.

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.

What are Wood Wasps?

Wood wasps, also known as horntails, are a type of solitary wasp that can grow up to two inches long. They have long, narrow bodies and distinctive markings on their abdomens. Unlike social wasps like yellow jackets and hornets, wood wasps do not live in colonies and are not aggressive towards humans.


Wood wasps lay their eggs in trees, and the larvae feed on the wood inside. This may sound alarming, but wood wasps actually play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to break down dead trees and branches. In fact, they prefer to lay their eggs in trees that are already dead or dying.

If you see a wood wasp flying around your backyard, it’s likely searching for a suitable tree to lay its eggs in. You may also notice small holes in trees where wood wasps have already laid their eggs. While these holes may look unsightly, they are usually not cause for concern.

Dealing with a Wood Wasp Infestation

If you have a large number of wood wasps in your backyard, it’s possible that they have found a suitable tree to lay their eggs in. If this is the case, you may want to consider removing the tree to prevent further infestations. However, keep in mind that wood wasps are not typically destructive to healthy trees.

If you do need to remove a tree that has been infested with wood wasps, it’s important to do so carefully. Make sure to wear protective clothing and gear, and consider hiring a professional if the tree is large or difficult to remove.


Wood wasps are a common sight in Oklahoma backyards, but they are generally harmless and can even be beneficial to the ecosystem. If you do have a wood wasp infestation, it’s usually nothing to worry about. Just remember to take the necessary precautions when removing infested trees, and enjoy watching these fascinating insects go about their business in your backyard.