Wasps & Hornets of Connecticut

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Wasps & Hornets in Connecticut

As July moves on the wasps and hornet hives around Connecticut will be populated enough with drones that homeowners will begin to take notice. Hopefully this doesn’t happen while mowing or trimming the hedges.


Paper Wasps

Polistes exclamans

Wasps come in a few different varieties in Connecticut. Like the brown wasps you see above, yellow and black ones that resemble yellow jackets and a redder orange color wasp. Paper wasps will build hives in locations that provide a bit of shade but is warmed by the sun. Common areas are behind shutters, under overhangs, under deck rails and other inconspicuous places. Paper wasps don’t typically sting unless you are directly messing with their hive or slapping at one that has flown too close. When they do it hurts as they can sting you many times in a row.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jacket Wasp
Vespula vulgaris (Linnaeus)

There are three types of yellow jackets in Connecticut. The two we see the most is The Yellow Jacket, Black Jackets (instead of yellow they have white and black) and German Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jacket is the larger of the species. They will produce hives the size of a large watermelons, if left untreated through the year.

Some noteworthy traits of the Yellow Jacket is that they will bud throughout a hot summer. Budding is when a supplemental queen will decide to take off and start her own hive. The drones she laid the eggs of are likely to follow her when she leaves. This budding is what causes “sudden” hives to appear in late summer early fall. The Yellow Jacket will make a round paper hive which it hides in bushes, the ground or any other void it finds. The German Yellow Jacket is about the same as The Yellow Jacket except it is about 1/3 to 1/2 the size. The Black Jacket has the same habits. It resembles a White-Faced Hornet but is much smaller.

White Faced Hornets

Bald-Faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) 

The White-Faced Hornet is one of the largest in the family. It packs a powerful sting that it uses over and over. The White-Faced Hornet are nasty insects that will come out and sting you just for casting a shadow on their hive. They build large paper hives in bushes, trees or the overhangs of a structure. The only advice for a White-Faced Hornet is bee very careful. Best to call a professional.

Thank you for reading!

Christopher M. Mojo Associate Certified Entomologist – Owner Bee Smart Pest Control

(860) 446-7500