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Wasps (Solitary Wasps)
Wasps (Solitary Wasps)

Wasps (Solitary Wasps)


  • Spider wasps, mud daubers, digger wasps and potter wasps are the most common solitary wasps.
  • Color: varies from dull black or brown to brilliant red, yellow or blue; many have a metallic sheen to the bodies or wings.
  • Size: varies from 1/4 to 2 inches in length.
  • Typical wasp body type often with a long slender connection between abdomen and thorax.

Habits of Solitary Wasps:

  • Adults emerge in the spring, then mate, and begin to construct nests which contain one or more cells.
  • Eggs are laid singly within cells which are provisioned with captured prey for the larvae.
  • Developmental time (egg to adult): typically no more than three weeks.
  • Though they have stingers, they usually are non-aggressive and sting only when handled. Solitary wasps are predators that capture and sting insects and spiders in order to provision their nests.
  • Potter wasps build tiny jug-shaped mud nests attached to twigs or structures and provision the nests with caterpillars.
  • Spider wasps burrow in the ground and provision their nests with spiders which they hide until the nest is completed.
  • Mud daubers build a variety of mud nests including organ-pipe nests and the globular nest built by the black and yellow mud dauber.
  • Digger wasps build burrows in the soil.
  • Cicada killers are the most spectacular of this group because of their large size and their unusual prey, i.e., cicadas.

Damage Caused by Solitary Wasps:

  • Solitary wasps are considered to be beneficial insects. Solitary wasp
  • Many customers are alarmed by the presence of wasps especially when they build nests on buildings or burrow in lawns, flowerbeds, and gardens.

How to Control and Kill Solitary Wasps:

  • Mud dauber and potter wasps can be eliminated easily by tearing down the nests and killing the adults with an aerosol product.
  • If needed, digger wasps, cicada killers, and burrowing spider wasps can be controlled by applying residual dusts into the burrows.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.