32 Different Types of Wasps in Nebraska

Types Of Wasps In Nebraska
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If you live in Nebraska, you know how pesky wasps can be. Wasps are some of the most common insects in the state and can be a real nuisance.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most common types of wasps in Nebraska. We’ll also discuss their habitat, behaviors, and how to keep them away from your home.

Read on to learn more about the different types of wasps in Nebraska that may be buzzing around your backyard.

1. Squarehead Wasp

The Squarehead Wasp is a species of ground-nesting solitary wasps found throughout Nebraska.

These wasps are typically dark brown or black with a yellowish tinge along the edges of their abdomens and legs. They measure around 7mm in length and have a unique square-shaped head. 

The larvae of Squarehead Wasps feed on wood-boring beetle larvae, and the adults feed on nectar and pollen from plants.

These wasps rarely sting and are considered beneficial because they help to control wood-boring beetle populations.

However, it’s important to be cautious when dealing with them, as some people may be allergic to their venom. 

The best way to get rid of these wasps is by removing the nest or using a chemical insecticide.

It’s also important to check for signs of infestation around your home and yard, such as small holes in wood, to prevent an infestation from worsening. This is the first on our list of the types of wasps in Nebraska.

2. Spider Wasp

The Spider Wasp is a species of wasp found in Nebraska and other parts of North America.

This comes second on our list of types of wasps in Nebraska, and it is small, black and white, and around 3/8 of an inch long.

The female has a yellow or white band running across the midsection and a large black spot on the head. These wasps use their long ovipositor to lay eggs in burrows made in the soil.

Spider Wasps hunt for spiders and paralyze them with their sting before dragging them back to their nest as food for their larvae.

They usually nest in the ground and can often be found near woodpiles, stumps, and logs.

Spider Wasps are not known to sting humans unless provoked, but it is still important to be cautious around them.

3. Thread-Waisted Wasp

The thread-waisted wasp (Eremnophila aureonotata) is one of Nebraska’s interesting wasps.

This wasp is quite large and can grow up to 1 inch in length. Two bright yellow stripes mark the abdomen of the thread-waisted wasp. 

The body of the thread-waisted wasp is slender and elongated and has a long, narrow waist. The thread-waisted wasp feeds on spiders, their larvae, and other insects.

In Nebraska, these wasps can be found in wooded areas, gardens, meadows, and roadsides. They are beneficial predators that help keep insect populations in check.

4. Weevil Wasp

The Weevil Wasp (Cerceris spp.) is a species of wasp found in Nebraska. These solitary wasps are members of the family Crabronidae, and they have long, slender abdomens with black and yellow coloration.

Weevil Wasps build their nests in the ground and feed primarily on beetle larvae. 

They are known to be very active in the summer when they are seen searching for food on flowers or hunting for prey.

They, which are types of wasps in Nebraska, can also be found near sandy areas, using the soft substrate to create their nests.

Weevil Wasps play an important role in controlling beetle populations and are generally considered beneficial insects.

5. Short-Tailed Ichneumon Wasp

The Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp is a type of wasp found in Nebraska. These wasps have black bodies with yellowish markings on their wings. They are small in size and are approximately 1/4 of an inch long. 

These wasps feed on the larvae of other insects, making them beneficial for the environment. They usually build their nests in the ground or rotting wood, making them difficult to find.

These wasps can be a nuisance if they become aggressive or sting humans, so it is important to take care when dealing with them. 

However, they are not typically very dangerous to humans since they do not usually sting unless provoked.

When confronted, these types of wasps in Nebraska may release a strong odor that can be unpleasant.

It is important to note that these wasps should not be handled as they can deliver a painful sting. If you come across a Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp, it is best to leave it alone.

6. Scoliid Wasp

The Scoliid Wasp is also one of the types of wasps in Nebraska that can be found there. It has a slender, shiny black body with four yellow spots along the thorax and two yellow spots on the abdomen.

These wasps are most commonly found in tall grasses and other vegetation, where they nest underground. 

They feed on other insects, including crickets and spiders, and help control pest populations.

These wasps typically measure 10-13 mm long and have long antennae, reaching up to twice their body length.

Scoliid Wasps benefit Nebraska’s ecosystem and play an important role in controlling pests.

7. Sand Wasp

The sand wasp is part of the common types of wasps in Nebraska. These wasps are small and black and can be found nesting in sandy soils or around the foundations of buildings.

Their nests are made from sand or soil and are used to store food and protect their eggs. 

Sand wasps feed on insects, including flies, bees, and caterpillars, which they use as food for their young.

Sand wasps are harmless to humans and provide an important role in controlling pest populations.

8. Ringed Paper Wasp

The Ringed Paper Wasp, also known as the Annular Paper Wasp, is a species of wasp found in Nebraska.

This species is recognized by its yellow and black rings on the thorax and abdomen. The female has black wings and an orange-brown head and body. 

The Ringed Paper Wasp, one of the types of wasps in Nebraska, typically builds small paper nests in sheltered areas.

They feed on nectar and other small insects, such as caterpillars, aphids, and spiders. They are non-aggressive wasps and generally will not attack humans unless they feel threatened.

These wasps are beneficial to the environment as they help to reduce pest insect populations. They can be found in gardens, parks, woodlands, and other open areas.

If you find a nest, it is best to leave it alone as they are not a threat to humans and provides a valuable service to the environment.

9. Red Paper Wasp

The red paper wasp (Polistes spp.) is not left out of this list of the types of wasps in Nebraska.

They are easily recognizable due to their striking red color, and they measure 3⁄4 to 1 inch in length.

Red paper wasps build open, umbrella-shaped nests in sheltered areas, such as eaves or under the eaves of homes. 

They can be beneficial because they feed on caterpillars, flies, and other insects that may be considered pests.

Red paper wasps typically avoid humans and sting only when disturbed. If left undisturbed, they are harmless to humans.

The nests of red paper wasps are made of gray-brown paperlike material from chewing up pieces of wood and mixing them with their saliva.

The nests usually contain around 12 cells, and the female wasps lay their eggs in the cells.

After the larvae hatch from the eggs, they are cared for by the male and female wasps until they emerge as adults. 

Red paper wasps are solitary insects and do not live in colonies like other types of wasps in Nebraska.

It is important to remember that if you find a nest on your property, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Instead, contact a professional pest control service for assistance.

10. Potter Wasp

The Potter Wasp is a type of wasp found in Nebraska. It is a solitary, solitary-nesting wasp and can be found around logs, rocks, and other hiding spots.

Its diet consists of small caterpillars, other larvae, and other soft-bodied insects. 

The Potter Wasp has a unique body shape characterized by the black and yellow stripes on its abdomen. It builds its nest out of the mud and then uses it to catch food.

The Potter Wasp is relatively small, measuring only 1/3 of an inch long, making it one of the smaller species of wasps in the region.

This type of wasp is not known to be aggressive but can sting if threatened or disturbed. Coupled with being one of the types of wasps in Nebraska, its sting is not very painful and produces no serious effects.

However, caution should be taken when near this species of the wasp as it can still cause irritation or mild discomfort to those sensitive to its venom.

11. Paper Wasp

Paper wasps are a common type of wasp found throughout the state of Nebraska. They are relatively large and typically have black or brown bodies with yellow markings.

Paper wasps are social insects that build their nests out of paper-like material, which they form by chewing wood fibers and mixing them with their saliva. 

These types of wasps in Nebraska feed on nectar, honeydew, and other sweet substances. They also prey on other insects, such as caterpillars, to provide food for their larvae.

Paper wasps are considered beneficial because they help keep the populations of some pests in check.

12. Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp

Norton’s Giant Ichneumon Wasp is a species of parasitic wasp that is native to Nebraska. This species is mainly found in deciduous forests and meadows, and its distinctive appearance makes it easily identifiable.

These types of wasps in Nebraska have blackheads and bodies with bright yellow bands across their wings and body segments. 

The female wasps have an exceptionally long ovipositor used to lay eggs in the trunks of hardwood trees.

The larvae feed on wood-boring insects such as wood wasps, long-horned beetles, and horntail larvae. Thus, helping to protect the trees from these damaging insects.

13. Northern Paper Wasp

The Northern Paper Wasp is a type of wasp native to Nebraska. It is a social insect that forms colonies and builds paper nests in trees and shrubs.

The female wasps are around 11-13 mm long and have yellowish or brownish bands on their abdomens.

On this list of the different types of wasps in Nebraska, they also have longer antennae than other species. 

These wasps feed on caterpillars, insects, and sweet substances such as honeydew and tree sap. Northern Paper Wasps are beneficial to humans because they are predators of harmful insects such as caterpillars and aphids. Although they can sting, they rarely do unless threatened or provoked. 

To keep these wasps away from your home, it’s important to seal any potential entry points. Then, ensure there are no food or water sources near your property.

If you find a nest, it’s best to contact a pest control professional to remove it safely.

14. Metric Paper Wasp

Metric Paper Wasps are one of the most common types of wasps in Nebraska. These wasps are found throughout the state, from rural areas to urban centers.

They are medium-sized and have a reddish-brown coloration with black markings.

They typically build their paper nests in sheltered areas like under the eaves of homes and other structures. 

Metric Paper Wasps prefer to feed on nectar and other small insects and do not generally sting unless threatened or provoked.

It is important to be mindful when outdoors in Nebraska, as many different types of wasps may be present.

Metric Paper Wasps can become aggressive when disturbed, so it is best to keep a distance and avoid contact with these insects. 

When dealing with a nest, it is recommended to use an insecticidal spray or dust to reduce the population of these wasps.

Contact your local pest control professional for assistance if you have any questions about dealing with a nest or other pest problems.

15. Leucospid Wasp

Speaking of parasitoid types of wasps in Nebraska, Leucospid wasps are one. These wasps are small and black, with their wings held horizontally at rest.

They have a characteristic “waist” between the abdomen and thorax and bright yellow bands on the wings. 

Leucospid wasps are often seen in fields and gardens, feeding on aphids, mealybugs, thrips, scales, and other plant pests.

They can help to reduce pest populations and improve plant health. While they are not considered a threat to humans, they can sting if they feel threatened.

16. Large Four-Spotted Scoliid Wasp

The Large Four-spotted Scoliid Wasp (Pygodasis quadrimaculata) is a wasp species found in Nebraska. These solitary wasps have long bodies and reddish-brown wings with yellow spots.

They prefer to nest in wood piles and logs but also inhabit sandy or gravel areas where they can burrow and lay their eggs. 

The female will lay her eggs in tunnels and then fill them with nectar, pollen, or insect prey as food for the larvae. Adult males will search for female mates while females build the nest and hunt for food.

These types of wasps in Nebraska are important pollinators and can help reduce the population of destructive pests like cicadas.

17. Ichneumon Wasp

The Ichneumon Wasp is a solitary wasp found in Nebraska and other North America. The female wasps are typically dark brown or black, while the males are yellow and black.

They measure around 7-11 mm in length and have a long ovipositor that they use to lay eggs.

Ichneumon Wasps feed on caterpillars, using their long ovipositor to inject their eggs into the caterpillar’s body. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed off the caterpillar until it is ready to pupate.

This species of wasp is important for its role in controlling caterpillar populations. This is also one of the many types of wasps in Nebraska.

18. Hyperparasitic Wasp

There are numerous types of wasps in Nebraska, and Hyperparasitic wasps are characterized by their slender, black bodies and long antennae.

These wasps feed on the larvae of other insect pests, such as caterpillars, and can be an effective means of natural pest control. 

The Hyperparasitic Wasp (Taeniogonalos gundlachii) is one of Nebraska’s most common wasps. It is typically seen flying around gardens and fields during the year’s warmer months. 

The wasp is a beneficial species as it helps to control populations of other pest insects.

This species has a long, narrow body that can reach up to 1/2 inch in length, with a distinct yellow-orange mark at the tip of its abdomen. It also has four large black eyes and two large wings spanning up to 4 inches.

19. Horntail Wasp

Horntail Wasps are a large species of wasp found in Nebraska. They are easily identifiable due to their long antennae and large size.

The body is striped black and yellow, with the abdomen banded in yellow and brown. 

Horntail Wasps are also types of wasps in Nebraska, and they feed primarily on wood-boring beetle larvae. They can be found around dead trees or decaying wood.

They are considered beneficial because they help control wood-boring insect pests. While they can deliver a sting, they rarely do so unless provoked.

20. Great Golden Digger Wasp

The Great Golden Digger Wasp, also known as Sphex ichneumoneus, is one of the most common types of wasps in Nebraska.

These solitary wasps are large, with black and yellow bands, and have long wings that span 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches.

They usually nest in the ground, using their strong mandibles to dig tunnels where they lay eggs. 

Their main food source is other insects, which they capture by paralyzing them before carrying them back to the nest. They are also known to feed on nectar and honeydew.

Great Golden Digger Wasps rarely sting humans and are typically very docile unless provoked.

21. Great Black Wasp

The Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) is one of the most common types of wasps in Nebraska. It is black and yellow with a large body, about 1.5 inches long.

This species is solitary and builds nests in the ground. They hunt for prey such as spiders, flies, grasshoppers, and other insects. 

Great Black Wasps are considered beneficial insects since they help to control pest populations. They are also important pollinators in the local environment.

The Great Black Wasp is a solitary hunter and rarely interacts with other wasps. They prefer to hunt alone and usually only come together to mate and form new colonies.

These wasps can be seen in many places around Nebraska, but they are especially prevalent in prairies, meadows, and grasslands.

The Great Black Wasp is important to Nebraska’s ecology and should be respected and appreciated.

22. Giant Ichneumon Wasp

The Giant Ichneumon Wasp, also known as a Megarhyssa Wasp, is a large parasitic wasp native to Nebraska.

These solitary wasps are black and yellow with long antennae and ovipositors that can be over two inches long. 

They can be found hovering around the entrance of the nests of wood-boring beetles, where they lay their eggs.

These wasps do not sting humans and are beneficial to their environment because they help control the population of certain beetle species.

We are still on this list of the various types of wasps in Nebraska that you should know!

23. Four-Toothed Mason Wasp

The four-toothed Mason Wasp is undoubtedly one of the most common types of wasps in Nebraska. It is usually seen hovering around mud nests on trees and shrubs, which it builds for its young.

The female Mason Wasp has four distinct teeth on its mandibles that excavate mud from the nest and feed her offspring. 

Its body is mostly black with yellow stripes and a white collar that marks the junction between the thorax and abdomen.

The wasp has a wingspan of up to 0.5 inches and typically feeds on aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other insects.

These wasps can be beneficial in controlling pest populations as they feed on harmful insects.

However, they can also be a nuisance when their nests are built near humans. If you encounter one of these wasps in your yard or home, it’s best to leave them alone as they are rarely aggressive unless disturbed.

If you need to remove their nests, contact a professional exterminator who can safely handle the problem.

24. Five-Banded Thynnid Wasp

The Five-banded Thynnid Wasp is not excluded from this list of the most common types of wasps in Nebraska.

These wasps are relatively small, measuring only up to 8 mm in length. They have distinctive yellow and black stripes across their bodies and a long ovipositor used for laying eggs. 

The Five-banded Thynnid Wasp prefers to live in gardens, fields, and meadows, where they can find a variety of food sources. They feed on nectar, fruit, and insects such as caterpillars and beetles.

Additionally, they are important pollinators, helping to spread the pollen of many plants throughout the state. They are an important part of the ecosystem and should be left alone if possible.

25. European Paper Wasp

Next up on our list of the types of wasps in Nebraska is the European Paper Wasp, a common sight in the area.

This wasp species is recognizable by its black-and-yellow coloring and long body. Its head and thorax are typically black with yellow stripes, and its abdomen is usually yellow with some black bands. 

It builds nests from paper-like materials and hangs them from a branch or twig. This wasp species are most active during the day and is sometimes considered beneficial because they consume pests like caterpillars.

They can be defensive when their nests are disturbed, so it’s best to stay away from their nests if possible.

26. Double-Banded Scoliid Wasp

The Double-banded Scoliid Wasp, also known as Scolia bicincta, is a species of wasp found in Nebraska.

These wasps are known for their large size and vibrant coloration. They are easily recognizable by the two black stripes that run down the length of their bodies. 

This type of wasp can fly around gardens and meadows in late summer and early fall. They usually nest in burrows in the ground or sometimes underneath logs or rocks.

Their diet consists mainly of small insects such as caterpillars, beetles, and aphids. They are types of wasps in Nebraska that are not aggressive and pose no harm to humans.

27. Cuckoo Wasp

Cuckoo Wasps, also known as Thread-waisted Wasps, are a type of wasp found in Nebraska.

They are solitary hunters, and they get their name from their behavior of “cuckooing” or laying eggs inside the nests of other species of wasps.

These wasps have black bodies with a red or yellow band around their waist and transparent wings. 

They are typically about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length and can be identified by their short antennae.

Cuckoo Wasps do not threaten humans and help control pests such as flies, caterpillars, and aphids. If you want to know the various types of wasps in Nebraska, this is one of them!

28. Common Thread-Waisted Wasp

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp, also known as the Ammophila procera, is one of the most commonly seen wasps in Nebraska.

This species of wasp is most active during late summer and early fall when they will be found near open grassy areas searching for food.

This wasp can reach up to 1.5 inches in length and has a slender black body with yellow markings on its abdomen.

It is characterized by its long thin waist, which is visible when it opens its wings.

The Common Thread-waisted Wasp is a solitary wasp species that live in burrows and preys on cicadas and other small insects.

These wasps typically make their nests in the ground, often creating large colonies containing hundreds of individuals.

The nests are built using a combination of mud, plant fibers, and saliva, giving them a strong protective layer.

These types of wasps in Nebraska are not aggressive and rarely sting humans unless provoked.

29. Common Paper Wasp

The Common Paper Wasp is also one of the most commonly seen wasps in Nebraska. This species is a social insect, forming colonies managed by a queen.

They are found in wooded areas and agricultural regions and live in paper-like nests made from chewed wood fibers. 

The Common Paper Wasp has a distinctive yellow and black color pattern with reddish brown legs and abdomen.

They feed on caterpillars, flies, and other insects, making them beneficial species around your home or garden.

These wasps, one of the numerous types of wasps in Nebraska, can be distinguished by their long antennae and nesting behavior.

30. Braconid Wasp

The Braconid Wasp (Atanycolus spp.) is a type of wasp commonly found in Nebraska.

These wasps are small, measuring between 1/8 to 1/4 inch long, and are black or brown with white markings.

Of the different types of wasps in Nebraska, these are parasitic wasps, meaning they feed on other insects. 

The Braconid Wasp injects eggs into the host, and the larvae feed on it until they emerge as adults.

These wasps are beneficial because they help control populations of other insect pests. They can be found in gardens, fields, and other outdoor areas in Nebraska.

The Braconid Wasp is an important pollinator for many plants and flowers in Nebraska.

They can be found actively foraging for nectar and pollen in the early morning and late afternoon hours.

Because of their small size, they can access nectar from flowers inaccessible to larger insects.

As a result, the Braconid Wasp helps to maintain plant health by providing essential pollination services.

31. Blue-Winged Wasp

As we draw toward the end of this list of the types of wasps in Nebraska, the blue-winged wasp comes up. This is native to Nebraska and one of the most common types of wasps in the state.

This species of wasp has a black body with light blue wings. It has a large head and long antennae, and the legs are yellowish-brown. 

The larvae of this species feed on the larvae of other insects, while the adults feed on nectar and pollen.

They are important pollinators, helping to fertilize flowers and other plants. They are also a beneficial predator, helping to control the population of other insect species.

32. American Pelecinid Wasp

The American Pelecinid Wasp is a large, robust insect native to Nebraska. It measures 1 to 1.5 inches in length and has a bright metallic green coloration with black wings and legs.

This species is unique because it uses its extremely long abdomen to catch its prey. 

Unlike other types of wasps in Nebraska, it does not possess a stinger. Instead, the wasp will capture its victim and carry them away in its curved abdomen to be eaten or laid as an egg on the prey’s body.

This solitary species can often be seen hunting or resting in gardens and meadows throughout Nebraska.

Conclusion

Nebraska is home to a wide variety of different species of wasps.

From the large and intimidating European hornet to the smaller and more docile yellow jacket, there are many types of wasps in Nebraska, the Cornhusker State. 

In this blog post, we took a closer look at the most common types of wasps in Nebraska. Read the above to learn more about these species and what makes them unique.

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2 comments
  1. This is written so badly it isn’t funny. And the definitions of parasitoid and parasitic are entirely incorrect.

    You should ALWAY include the scientific name as common names are just that. Common.

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