Great Black Wasps

GREAT BLACK WASPS

What do they look like and when do they become a nuisance?
Great black wasps are very large wasps (approximately 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ long) that have an entirely black body with smokey wings. The males are smaller than the females. The females paralyze and gather insects (grasshoppers, cicadas and similar insects) and take them to their nests to feed to their larvae. These wasps are not aggressive. The male wasp does not have a stinger and the female wasp will very rarely sting (they can if they are disturbed however). These wasps are solitary wasps and their nests are subterranean.

These wasps are typically active from July through September and are usually found on perennials. With the exception of individuals who are allergic to stings, these wasps are not considered to be a harmful pest, despite their intimidating size. They control grasshopper and other pest species in the area that they are in and pollinate many plants.

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