If you’re living in or visiting Texas, you may encounter several types of wasps.
Wasps can range from harmless to dangerous, and it’s important to identify the species of wasp you’re dealing with.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at five of the most common types of wasps in Texas and how to identify them.
Knowing which wasps you’re dealing with can help you determine the best course of action if you need to eliminate them.
1. Guinea Paper Wasp
The Guinea Paper Wasp is found throughout Texas and can be identified by its unique black and yellow striped body. They are medium-sized wasps ranging from 0.5 to 0.75 inches long.
These wasps have commonly seen nesting in the ground or on eaves, window sills, and porch ceilings.
The adult Guinea Paper Wasps are active daily and feed primarily on nectar and pollen from flowers.
They will also scavenge for small insects, but these wasps do not attack humans or animals.
While they may look intimidating, these types of wasps in Texas generally don’t pose a threat to people.
2. Yellow-legged Mud-dauber Wasp
The Yellow-legged Mud-dauber Wasp is a large solitary wasp that can be found in Texas and throughout the US. They are black or dark blue in color with yellow legs.
Also, they are about an inch long, and their abdomens are long and slender. They prefer to build their nests in sheltered places like under eaves or in other sheltered locations.
These wasps are generally not aggressive and will not sting unless provoked. It is best to leave them alone if you come across one in your yard or garden.
3. Eastern Yellowjacket
The Eastern yellowjacket is among the types of wasps in Texas and can be found in abundance. Its yellow and black stripes easily identify it.
The Eastern yellowjacket has an aggressive temperament and will attack if provoked or disturbed.
They are especially known for their very painful sting, which can cause serious allergic reactions in some people.
In terms of appearance, the Eastern yellowjacket is relatively small compared to other types of wasps.
They typically range from 10 to 16 mm in length and have a distinct yellow and black banded pattern along their bodies.
The Eastern yellowjacket’s wings are also held at an angle from their body when flying, making them very easy to spot.
These wasps are often seen hovering around flowers or other sweet-smelling things as they feed on nectar.
They also feed on insects like caterpillars and flies, which makes them useful in helping to control insect populations in some areas.
The Eastern yellowjacket’s nest is usually underground in abandoned rodent burrows or cavities.
Their nests contain hundreds of cells filled with eggs, larvae, and pupae, and these wasps can live in colonies of up to several thousand individuals.
Overall, the Eastern yellowjacket is an important part of the Texas ecosystem, but due to their aggressive behavior and painful stings, it’s best to admire them from a distance!
4. Common Thread-waisted Wasp
The Common Thread-waisted Wasp (Ammophila pictipennis) is a species of wasp that is native to Texas.
This species is found in open woodlands and grasslands and can sometimes be seen nesting in cracks or crevices in buildings.
The adult wasps measure around 0.5 to 1 inch long and are typically brownish-black in color. These types of wasps in Texas are solitary and feed on nectar from flowers.
The nests of the Common Thread-waisted Wasp consist of a single layer of paper-like material, which the female wasp creates from chewed-up plant fibers. The nests are often found under rocks, logs, or in trees.
The Common Thread-waisted Wasp is an important predator of soft-bodied insects, such as caterpillars, beetles, and crickets.
It also helps to control pest populations by preying on insect pests such as aphids and leafhoppers.
As with many other types of wasps in Texas, the female of this species will provide her nest with paralyzed prey, which she feeds her larvae when they hatch.
5. Great Black Digger Wasp
The Great Black Digger Wasp is one of the most common types of wasps in Texas. These wasps are typically found in sandy, dry habitats and are black in color.
The adult wasp feeds on nectar and pollen, while the larvae feed on insect larvae, such as caterpillars.
These wasps have a unique behavior of burrowing into the ground to create nests. This behavior allows them to protect their eggs and young from predators.
The Great Black Digger Wasp can also sting multiple times, so it is important to be cautious around them. However, if left undisturbed, they are not aggressive and do not pose a threat.
6. Dark Paper Wasp
The Dark Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus) is a type of wasp that can be found in Texas. These wasps are easily recognized by their dark, smoky coloration and their social behaviors.
The dark paper wasps build their nests in sheltered locations such as eaves, porches, and other areas around the home.
These types of wasps in Texas are most commonly seen in the spring and summer months when they actively search for food and build their nests.
These wasps form large colonies and can be quite prolific in their numbers. The queen wasp will lay up to 600 eggs during the summer season, which she will protect until they mature into adults.
As they mature, they take on the roles of either worker wasps or reproducing females.
7. Mealy Oak Gall Wasp
The Mealy Oak Gall Wasp is a type of small wasp that can be found in Texas. It is a member of the Cynipidae family and is usually found on live oaks.
These wasps are very small and usually between 1/10th to 1/8th of an inch in length.
The female wasps lay their eggs inside the oak tree leaves, producing a chemical reaction that creates a gall.
The gall is what provides food and shelter for the larvae as they develop. The larvae then emerge from the gall as adult wasps and fly off to start the cycle all over again.
The Mealy Oak Gall Wasp has very distinctive markings. They have light brown bodies with black and yellow markings on their wings and heads. They also have long antennae and long legs.
8. Mexican Honey Wasp
The Mexican Honey Wasp (Brachygastra mellifica) is a large species of social wasp native to Mexico and parts of Central America and South America.
It is commonly known as the bee-killer wasp due to its aggressive behavior towards honeybees. The adult wasps are black in color with yellow markings on their thorax and abdomen.
The Mexican Honey Wasp is a eusocial insect, meaning it lives in colonies with a single queen who lays eggs and several workers who take care of the nest and the young. The nest is usually built in a sheltered area such as hollow trees or rock crevices.
The Mexican Honey Wasp is a very successful predator of honeybees and has been known to decimate hives in some areas.
It will sting and kill bees that enter its territory, allowing it to steal the bee’s honey for its own use.
These types of wasps in Texas are not typically considered a threat to humans unless their nest is disturbed. If this happens, they will swarm and attack anyone who gets too close.
If you come across a nest, it’s best to leave it alone and contact a professional pest control company for help.
9. Metallic Bluish-green Cuckoo Wasp
The Metallic Bluish-green Cuckoo Wasp is a species of wasp found in the state of Texas. This wasp is about 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch long and has metallic bluish-green coloring with bright yellow stripes. It is found around flowers, wooded areas, and gardens.
These wasps are predators that feed on other insects, such as caterpillars, aphids, and small grubs.
They do not sting humans, but they can bite if handled. They are beneficial to gardeners as they help to keep pests under control.
It is important to note that while these wasps are generally harmless, they can be aggressive if threatened or disturbed. Therefore it is best to leave them alone and let them do their business.
10. Coarse-backed Red Paper Wasp
The Coarse-backed Red Paper Wasp is a wasp species native to Texas and the Gulf Coast region.
This type of wasp has a bright red-orange body with a deep black head, thorax, and legs. The abdomen is marked with yellow stripes.
These types of wasps in Texas are social, meaning they live in large groups and can often be seen hovering around their paper nests.
The Coarse-backed Red Paper Wasp’s nests are made of a combination of paper, mud, and saliva.
These nests are usually located in protected areas such as under eaves, sheds, or buildings. While these wasps can be aggressive, they typically only sting when provoked or threatened.
If left undisturbed, the Coarse-backed Red Paper Wasp will generally go about its business without issue.
11. Spongy Oak Apple Gall Wasp
The Spongy Oak Apple Gall Wasp (Amphibolips quercuscalifornica) is a type of wasp found in Texas that belongs to the family Cynipidae.
These wasps are a dark brown color and can reach up to a quarter of an inch in length.
The Spongy Oak Apple Gall Wasp feeds on the sap from oak trees, which helps them form their galls or plant tumors.
When female Spongy Oak Apple Gall Wasps lay their eggs inside the gall, the resulting larvae feed on the sap and cause the gall to expand. The adult wasps then emerge in the late summer months.
These types of wasps in Texas can benefit oak trees, as they help create galls that protect the tree from pests and diseases. They can also become a nuisance when they nest near homes and gardens.
If you spot a Spongy Oak Apple Gall Wasp in your garden, it’s best to take precautions to avoid being stung.
Wear gloves and protective clothing when working around oaks, and remove any galls you find.
12. Wool-bearing Gall Wasp
The Wool-bearing Gall Wasp is a type of wasp found in Texas. It has an oval-shaped body and is about 1/4″ long with black, white, and yellow coloring.
The wings are greyish-brown with yellow markings. The head is black with a white “face,” and the antennae are reddish-brown.
The Wool-bearing Gall Wasp makes its home in oak tree galls, which are abnormal growths on the tree caused by the wasps’ larvae feeding off the tree’s sap.
These galls can be found on red, willow, and pin oaks. The Wool-bearing Gall Wasp feeds on the sap and nectar from flowers and dead insects.
The Wool-bearing Gall Wasp is generally not aggressive unless provoked, and their sting is mild compared to other wasps.
They are not considered a pest but can be annoying when they fly around looking for food.
13. Four-toothed Mason Wasp
The four-toothed mason wasp (Monobia quadridens) is a species of solitary wasp found in Texas. They are typically around an inch long, with a black and orange coloration.
These types of wasps in Texas build their nests in pre-existing structures like wood siding, tree trunks, and man-made structures.
Females use mud to construct nests of cells with brood chambers made of chewed wood pulp, which they fill with paralyzed caterpillars or other insects to provide food for their larvae.
These wasps are most commonly seen in late summer and early fall. They are non-aggressive but will sting if handled.
They are important pollinators, feeding on nectar and pollen from flowers, and their larvae feed on pests like caterpillars.
If you see these wasps in your garden, leaving them be is best, as they are beneficial to your plants.
14. Fraternal Potter Wasp
The fraternal potter wasp, also known as the mud potter wasp, is native to Texas and can be found all over the state.
These large and black wasps measure 1-1/2 inches in length and are characterized by their light-colored yellowish abdomen, which has two thin dark stripes running along it.
The fraternal potter wasp is solitary, meaning it does not form colonies like other types of wasps.
It typically builds its nest from mud and dung, which it kneads into balls and then attaches to vertical surfaces such as rocks, walls, or tree trunks.
The female fraternal potter wasp builds its nest for the purpose of laying eggs. Each nest contains a single egg, which is protected by a layer of mud.
The larvae that emerge from the eggs feed on small insects such as beetles and caterpillars.
The fraternal potter wasp is not aggressive and will rarely sting unless provoked. These wasps can benefit humans as they help control insect populations in the area.
They are an important part of the natural ecosystem and should be protected.
15. Nearctic Blue Mud-dauber Wasp
The Nearctic Blue Mud-dauber Wasp, also known as the Chalybion californicum, is one of the most common types of wasps found in Texas. It can be identified by its metallic blue color and thin body.
This wasp builds nests made of mud, which it uses to store paralyzed spiders and other insects for food.
The female wasps sting the spiders and paralyze them before placing them in the nest. The nest of the Nearctic Blue Mud-dauber Wasp usually consists of several tubes or cylinders that are made of mud.
The Nearctic Blue Mud-dauber Wasp is solitary and rarely interacts with other wasps. It is not considered to be aggressive and typically only stings when threatened or disturbed.
They are usually found around mud puddles or areas with large insect activity. They feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and are important pollinators.
The Nearctic Blue Mud-dauber Wasp can benefit gardens and crops because it helps control spider populations.
It is also an important part of the ecosystem as it helps maintain a balance between prey and predators.
If you find a nest of these wasps, it is best to leave it alone and not disturb it, as it could potentially cause the wasps to become aggressive.
16. Red-marked Pachodynerus Wasp
The Red-marked Pachodynerus Wasp (Pachodynerus erynnis) is a solitary wasp found in Texas. This species belongs to the Vespidae family and is typically found near water.
This wasp is small and reddish-brown in color, with a yellowish-white stripe along its abdomen. Its thorax is also covered in short yellowish-white hairs.
This wasp has a curved ovipositor that helps it to bore into wood, which it uses to build nests and lay eggs.
The diet of the Red-marked Pachodynerus Wasp consists mainly of nectar and pollen, as well as small insects, such as caterpillars.
These types of wasps in Texas are not aggressive and will only sting if threatened.
If stung by a Red-marked Pachodynerus Wasp, the symptoms may include redness, swelling, and itching at the site of the sting. If necessary, medical attention should be sought.
17. Ringed Paper Wasp
The ringed paper wasp is a species of wasp that is native to the United States. These wasps are gray or brown in color and have black and yellow stripes on their bodies. They are roughly ½ inch to ¾ inch in length.
Ringed paper wasps are predators and use their stingers to kill prey. They typically eat insects but have also been known to eat other small animals.
These types of wasps in Texas build their nests out of paper. They will take bits of plant material and chew it to form a pulp, which they then use to construct their nests.
Ringed paper wasps are not considered to be a major pest species. However, they can be a nuisance if they build their nests near human dwellings.
If you find a nest on your property, it is best to leave it alone and let the was
18. Blue-eyed Ensign Wasp
The blue-eyed ensign wasp is a brightly colored wasp that is native to North America. It gets its name from the blue eyespots on its wings, which are used to startle predators.
The wasp is also notable for its long, thin body and black and white stripes.
The blue-eyed ensign wasp is a solitary creature that is rarely seen in groups. It is a shy creature that is not known to sting humans.
However, if threatened, the wasp will sting its attacker with its long, needle-like mouth.
19. Golden Digger Wasp
The great golden digger wasp is among the predatory types of wasps in Texas. It is a large wasp with a body length of up to 2.5 cm (1 inch). The female wasp is golden-yellow in color, while the male is dark brown.
The great golden digger wasp preys on other insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles. It paralyzes its prey with a sting and then buries it alive.
The wasp then lays an egg on the paralyzed prey. When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the living prey.
20. Fine-backed Red Paper Wasp
The Fine-backed red paper wasp is also among the types of wasps in Texas. This wasp is red in color and has a black stripe running down its back.
The Fine-backed red paper wasp gets its name because it builds its nests out of paper.
The Fine-backed red paper wasp is a predatory wasp, meaning that it feeds on other insects. This wasp is known to prey on various insects, including flies, mosquitoes, and termites.
The Fine-backed red paper wasp is an important species because it helps to control the population of these pests.
The Fine-backed red paper wasp is not considered to be a threat to humans. However, this wasp can become aggressive if it feels threatened. If you see a Fine-backed
21. Southern Yellowjacket
The southern yellowjacket is a wasp that is native to the southeastern United States. It is a social wasp, living in colonies of up to 3000 individuals.
The southern yellowjacket is a yellow and black striped wasp with a black head. It is about 12-15 mm in length.
The southern yellowjacket is a predator of other insects. It is also a scavenger, feeding on carrion.
The southern yellowjacket is attracted to spoiled food and garbage. It is also attracted to sweet smells, such as perfumes and colognes.
The southern yellowjacket is a nuisance pest. It is aggressive and will sting if it feels threatened. It is also attracted to humans, making it a bother at picnics and outdoor events.
22. Apache Paper Wasp
The Apache Paper Wasp is also one of the types of wasps in Texas. It is a solitary wasp that builds nests out of paper.
The Apache Paper Wasp is not aggressive and will only sting humans if provoked. If you see an Apache Paper Wasp, it is best to leave it alone.
23. Metric Paper Wasp
The metric paper wasp (Polistes metricus) is a species of wasp that is found in the southern United States.
This wasp is a part of the family Vespidae, which includes other stinging wasps, such as yellowjackets and hornets. The metric paper wasp gets its name because it builds its nests out of paper.
This wasp is black and yellow in color, and it is about 12 millimeters in length. The metric paper wasp is a solitary creature that is not known to be aggressive.
However, if the wasp feels threatened, it will sting. The metric paper wasp’s sting is not considered dangerous to humans.
The metric paper wasp is not considered a pest and is actually beneficial to humans.
24. Hunter’s Little Paper Wasp
The name “little paper wasp” is a misnomer, as these insects are fairly large compared to other wasps. The little paper wasp is one of the types of wasps in Texas.
These wasps are distinguished by their small size, black and yellow stripes, and their paper-like nests.
Little paper wasps are important predators of crop-damaging insects. However, they can also cause significant damage to crops themselves if their populations become too large.
Farmers may need to control little paper wasp populations using chemical insecticides to prevent crop damage.
25. Eastern Cicada-killer Wasp
The Eastern Cicada-killer Wasp (Sphecius speciosus) is a large, solitary wasp that is found in eastern North America.
These wasps are most active in late summer and early fall, when they can be seen flying about in search of their prey – cicadas.
Though they may look menacing, Eastern Cicada-killer Wasps are actually harmless to humans. These types of wasps in Texas are not aggressive and will only sting if they are provoked.
So if you see one of these wasps flying around, there’s no need to be alarmed. Just sit back and enjoy watching this amazing creature go about its business.
Texas is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including various wasp species. Wasps can benefit the environment, controlling other insects and helping pollinate flowers.
However, they can also be a nuisance, as they can sting and be aggressive when disturbed.
If you live in Texas or plan to visit, it is important to know the types of wasps in Texas that may be encountered.