How To Get Rid Of Great Black Wasps? Simple Tips

Did you see a great black wasp inside your house or in your garden and want nothing to do with it? Here’s how to get rid of great black wasps.

For people scared of wasps, nothing could be more frightening than a great black wasp making its way into their homes or gardens. Wasps can indeed be really dangerous as these insects are infamous for their painful bites.

While the great black wasp is a solitary wasp that does not attack without provocation, the female can still sting when she feels threatened.

But is there a way to get rid of her? In this article, let us find out if there are solutions to get rid of great black wasps from your garden.

Great Black Wasp

What Does a Black Wasp Looks Like?

The giant black wasp is a common insect in most parts of North America. These wasps have solid black bodies with no other stripes on their body.

They have a narrow constriction around their waist, a particular trait of thread-waisted wasps, also known as the Sphecidae family.

However, some may have yellow and red abdomens with dusty wings. The wasps of this species are larger than ordinary wasps.

The female wasps grow up to 0.8-1.2 inches and are significantly bigger than even the male wasps. These wasps don’t stay in colonies; instead, they burrow their nests underground (which is why they are also called digger wasps)

The mouthpiece of these wasps has an extra spike overlapping at the front, which helps them suck the bodily fluids out of prey. Like any other common wasp, they have spiny and spindly legs.

Is the Great Black Wasp Harmful to Humans?

Black wasps do not back down from protecting themselves or their nests from other predators. The females are stinging insects like other wasps.

But these creatures are not dangerous to humans. If a wasp attacks you, it is because they perceive you as a threat to them.

All kinds of wasps can sting other animals, and they can be very painful stings. Only adult female wasps have stingers, and they usually refrain from stinging humans unless they are protecting their eggs.

Black wasps do not have any form of life-threatening venom or poison in their stingers, but their stings can be enough to make a grown man whimper.

The sting takes a few hours to recover from and can cause itching and a large red rash, but it usually does not need any major medical intervention.

How To Get Rid Of Great Black Wasps

How To Kill Great Black Wasps?

Even if there are one or two of these wasps in your house, you should get rid of them. Black wasps become particularly difficult to handle when they get inside the house.

However, there are ways in which you can fight back. Before we discuss these ways, here are some protective measures you should take so that you keep yourself safe:

  • Wear heavy, covered clothes like jeans, jackets, and long-sleeves
  • Keep an insecticide handy that you can use when needed
  • Look out for the nests first before going after the wasp.

Wasps Outside The House

Most wasps can be spotted easily around a garden due to their nests around the stems and leaves of plants. You can spray them with an insecticide to get rid of them.

However, great black wasps build underground nests that can be difficult to find. Try looking at specific spots where you have seen the wasps before.

Target these areas after dark, when the wasps are sleeping, and cover the area with any insecticide.

Use insecticide dust at the entrance of the black wasp nests, which is likely to kill them or at least weaken them when they try to get out.

Finally, whatever you are doing, the important thing is to be on your feet and run away whenever you have to!

Wasps Inside The House

Killing a wasp that has entered and nested in your house is a bit more complicated than killing one outside. For one thing, it is easier to run inside if it darts at you!

Once you have taken all the protective measures, you can start to look for burrows in walls and tiny holes that are good hiding spots.

Spraying these areas with a non-toxic mint spray or some form of insecticide with a strong smell can kill the wasps or drive them out of the nest.

Once you have used the spray and drawn the wasps out, they will try flying around. Here, you can slam them down with a book, shoe, or fly swatter – all equally effective methods.

Other Effective Ways to Control Great Black Wasps

Apart from spraying insecticides on them or near their nests, here are some more ideas that you can use to hunt these big insects:

The main food source for these wasps is nectar from flowers. Keeping your plants indoors will ensure that these wasps would not like to come to your house.

Cleaning off trash cans is again important because trash cans might have leftover food that these pests can feed on.

Sticky traps can be very useful for trapping insects. Many sticky traps come with colors, patterns, and pheromones that can attract insects to them.

If you catch hold of a black wasp with one, you can take it outside and leave it somewhere. It won’t bother you.

Using non-insecticide sprays can keep indoors free from wasps. You can use natural oils and herbs to make a simple yet effective spray for these and other bugs.

Essential oil sprays like thyme, peppermint, rosemary, and cloves can also keep wasps away for a long time. Use these sprays at night when the wasps retire to their nests.

One of the best ideas to get rid of insects is to spray as much insecticide as possible on the nests if you spot on. The insects will try to fly away, and you must be careful when spraying the nests.

How To Get Rid Of Great Black Wasps

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do black wasps make their nests?

The Great Black Wasps are a form of digger wasps that make their nests by burrowing inside the ground (which is why they are also called digger wasps).

They usually dig up to a foot beneath the ground with their mouths and legs. The nests have several chambers with connecting tunnels. The wasp lays one egg in each of these chambers.

What do black wasps hate?

Great black wasps are easily annoyed by the strong smells of certain plants such as peppermint, thyme, geranium, bay leaves, and lemongrass.

Apart from these, black wasps also don’t like cinnamon, vinegar, coffee grounds, and sliced cucumber. All of these can be very effective as wasp repellants inside the home.

How do you get rid of black wasps naturally?

The most effective way to get rid of wasps is to use strong-smelling stuff like vinegar spray and herbs like peppermint, cinnamon, coffee grounds, thyme, and cloves.

All of these can help keep wasps away. Menthol is another effective remedy to keep great black wasps away from you.

How painful is a great black wasp sting?

A great black wasp sting is not the easiest thing to handle. If you get stung by one, you will feel a lot of discomfort and pain. Afterward, this sting area will turn red with swelling and itching.

The wound can cause hives for someone allergic to insect bites and, in severe cases, can lead to an anaphylactic shock.

Wrap Up

Great black wasps are usually calm and not aggressive. But they can be hard to get rid of, and if they sting you, the wound can hurt a lot.

However, there are ways to get rid of them, such as using strong smells and insecticides and keeping flowers indoors. We have laid out what to do if you want to kill a great black wasp above.

Thank you for reading!

Reader Emails

Everyone is afraid of large wasps in their gardens. Below, read how many of our readers have inquired about the best way to get rid of them and some of the tips and tricks they have used.

Letter 1 – Great Black Wasps exterminated because they were "rather annoying"

 

What is this bug that captures grasshoppers?
Location:  Eastern Ontario Canada
July 20, 2010 8:18 pm
We live in eastern Ontario between Ottawa and Montreal Canada. Last year we started to see these large ’flys’ swarming around our pool shed and down under some loose brick near the pool. There was just a few of them but what was interesting is that they captured and carried grasshoppers back under the brick where they obviously have a nest. This year there were many more of them so I got some sticky paper that’s meant to capture bugs and even mice (very sticky) and have caught nearly all of them along with a bunch of grasshoppers. There’s still a few of them left. They do not bother humans or try to bite but are rather annoying when a bunch are buzzing around. Its difficult to spray insecticide as its outside but I’m wondering how to get rid of them permanently. I’ve been at this location for 30 years but last year was the first time I’ve ever seen these bugs.
thanks,
Evan McIntosh
I’ve attached a picture
Evan McIntosh

Great Black Wasp Carnage

Dear Evan,
This is a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, and as your letter indicates, it is not an aggressive species.  We do not give extermination advice, however, it has always been our mission to educate the public with regards to insects, spiders and other creatures that might appear to be frightening, but are actually quite benign or even beneficial.  The Great Black Wasp is one of those insects.  We cannot condone a justification of eradication just because a species is “somewhat annoying” especially since you indicate that they “do not bother humans or try to bite.”  We will be filing your letter and photograph under Unnecessary Carnage in an effort to educate.  According to BugGuide, the female Great Black Wasps:  “Provision nests (in burrow in soft earth) with Katydids or grasshoppters [sic]. (Univ. Florida lists: Tettigoniidae in genera Microcentrum and Scudderia.) Usually about three are placed in a nest.”  There is a nice image on Wikipedia of a Great Black Wasp dragging a Katydid to its burrow.  We would encourage you to be more tolerant of Great Black Wasps in the future.

A Reader Chastises Us for Failing to Educate
Failing to educate
July 17, 2011 6:26 am
I was just reading your response to Evan McIntosh regarding eradication of great black wasps. You wrote, “…it has always been our mission to educate the public with regards to insects, spiders and other creatures that might appear to be frightening, but are actually quite benign or even beneficial.  The Great Black Wasp is one of those insects.” You were quick to judge Evan by classifying his post under “Unnecessary Carnage” and claim to have education as your primary mission, yet do not provide one useful piece of info in your response. Did you think to describe WHY the great black wasp is beneficial? Next time, try educating first, and judging second. For me, I’m exterminating these wasps because my 3 yr old is afraid to leave the front door, where they “patrol” constantly, and my wife doesn’t like them getting into our home through the basement. I’d rather study bees and wasps with him on my terms, not theirs. I’d be happy to send a nice photo if you want more for your “Unnecessary Carnage” file.
Signature: Paul Bradley

Educational Entry:
The Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, is a Thread Waisted Wasp that is also known as the Katydid Hunter according to BugGuide.

Letter 2 – Great Black Wasp: Unnecessary Carnage

 

Subject: Large Black Mud Dauber???
Location: Athens, Ontario, Canada
August 2, 2012 7:07 am
My family and myself noticed these insects this summer flying around and crawling between the interlocking stone and the pool this summer. They keep flying around us whenever we swim and I’m worried somebody is going to get stung. I’ve also noticed them carrying locust into their nest which I figure is in our pool area. Is there any way I can remove these from this area?
Signature: Marla

Great Black Wasp Carnage

Hi Marla,
This is a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, and it is not an aggressive species.  You mentioned seeing the female with a locust.  BugGuide notes that they prey upon Katydids which earns the species an additional common name Katydid Hunter.  Since they are not aggressive, we would urge you to just let them cohabitate with you in your yard and to refrain from killing any more individuals of this magnificent wasp.

Letter 3 – Great Black Wasp Carnage

 

Subject: Large wasp-like insect. Social.
Location: Cherokee County, Iowa
July 18, 2015 7:10 am
Hello. Last week on Thursday, I noticed a large, wasp-like insect flying around a storm drain at the place where I work. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention, but they were in an area of high traffic, and they seemed to “multiply” as the day went along. I first noticed just the one insect flying in and out of the drain Then there were two, and by the end of Thursday, there were four coming and going. Friday’s end brought with it six insects flying in and out.
Every time a truck would park near the storm drain, all of the insects would “swarm” the truck. No one was stung, however, the freight drivers did complain about the bugs. We were forced to eradicate the nest. Inside the drain was a softball-sized nest completely constructed of mud. I witnessed one of the wasps carrying a katydid, and a co-worker of mine noticed the same thing.
I live in northwest Iowa. I have included a picture of the wasp. I was unable to get a good picture of the nest as it was inside the storm drain. Thanks for your help
Signature: Sean

Great Black Wasp Carnage
Great Black Wasp Carnage

Dear Sean,
This is a Great Black Wasp,
Sphex pensylvanicus, and most of the information you have provided seems consistent with the recorded behavior of the species except the social behavior you stated.  Great Black Wasps are solitary wasps, not a social species, though we concede that if conditions for nesting are ideal, multiple females may nest in the same vicinity.  Great Black Wasps do prey upon Katydids to provide food for the brood.  In an effort to educate our readership, we are tagging this posting as Unnecessary Carnage.

47 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Great Black Wasps? Simple Tips”

  1. I live in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. I’d seen these things before, but it had been so long ago that I was beginning to wonder if I’d imagined it. Well, yesterday, one flew into (and fortunately, back out of) my garage, and today, I’ve noticed two more (hence the web search that led me to your site). If they get out of hand, or if they make life unbearable for the six year old, I’ll take aggressive countermeasures, but knowing they are not aggressive, I’ll try to coexist via avoidance for as long as I can. No promises.

    The main reason I’m posting is to paradoxically a) share in a critique against you, and b) applaud you as well. A) I agree entirely with Paul Bradley’s “failure to educate” critique and don’t need to restate what he said so well. On the other hand, B) I applaud you for being so willing to post and highlight such an unflattering post. If your intent was to mock his critique by posting it, then it is not apparent. Instead, it comes off as owning up to the offense. And if that is indeed the motive, then again I would applaud you. It earns back a lot of the respect I would’ve otherwise lost for this site.

    Thanks for the info on the Great Black Wasp. Thanks to this page, I have learned that my greatest fears about these glistening onyx monsters are unfounded.

    Cheers!

    -J

    Reply
  2. I live in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. I’d seen these things before, but it had been so long ago that I was beginning to wonder if I’d imagined it. Well, yesterday, one flew into (and fortunately, back out of) my garage, and today, I’ve noticed two more (hence the web search that led me to your site). If they get out of hand, or if they make life unbearable for the six year old, I’ll take aggressive countermeasures, but knowing they are not aggressive, I’ll try to coexist via avoidance for as long as I can. No promises.

    The main reason I’m posting is to paradoxically a) share in a critique against you, and b) applaud you as well. A) I agree entirely with Paul Bradley’s “failure to educate” critique and don’t need to restate what he said so well. On the other hand, B) I applaud you for being so willing to post and highlight such an unflattering post. If your intent was to mock his critique by posting it, then it is not apparent. Instead, it comes off as owning up to the offense. And if that is indeed the motive, then again I would applaud you. It earns back a lot of the respect I would’ve otherwise lost for this site.

    Thanks for the info on the Great Black Wasp. Thanks to this page, I have learned that my greatest fears about these glistening onyx monsters are unfounded.

    Cheers!

    -J

    Reply
  3. In recent years my home has been host to these beautiful yet intimidating creatures. In the past they have been in small numbers, but I didn’t bother to pay them much attention since they seemed relatively harmless. That was until this year; two new nests popped up near my back porch. One nest under my eves, and one directly under my back door. I nearly stepped on a wasp exiting the house one day. They seem to be getting more comfortable, and brave in their nesting habits. One even made it into our basement somehow (possibly through the dryer vent) and scared the crap out of me by flying inches from my face.
    Like I said, I have no problem with them unless they invade my home and become a nuisance. They seem to be immune to Spectracide (Wasp & Hornet killer) and wasp traps do not interest them. I sealed up the cracks in the steel siding where they were getting in, but now they just seem pissed. The parent Wasps don’t appear to inhabit the nests in my house, however they do return daily with fresh Katydids for their larva. Now that the cracks are sealed they continue to return and I fear they will continue to make new nests in and around my house. I have a problem and I don’t want to call en exterminator. I can appreciate the beauty of these Wasps, but I’d rather appreciate them from a safe distance.

    Reply
  4. In recent years my home has been host to these beautiful yet intimidating creatures. In the past they have been in small numbers, but I didn’t bother to pay them much attention since they seemed relatively harmless. That was until this year; two new nests popped up near my back porch. One nest under my eves, and one directly under my back door. I nearly stepped on a wasp exiting the house one day. They seem to be getting more comfortable, and brave in their nesting habits. One even made it into our basement somehow (possibly through the dryer vent) and scared the crap out of me by flying inches from my face.
    Like I said, I have no problem with them unless they invade my home and become a nuisance. They seem to be immune to Spectracide (Wasp & Hornet killer) and wasp traps do not interest them. I sealed up the cracks in the steel siding where they were getting in, but now they just seem pissed. The parent Wasps don’t appear to inhabit the nests in my house, however they do return daily with fresh Katydids for their larva. Now that the cracks are sealed they continue to return and I fear they will continue to make new nests in and around my house. I have a problem and I don’t want to call en exterminator. I can appreciate the beauty of these Wasps, but I’d rather appreciate them from a safe distance.

    Reply
  5. I have recently been seeing alot of these wasps around Kitchener Ontario. I’ve live here for forty years and never seen them before. Two days ago my co-workers, daughter was attacked and stung by 20 of them. She sat on a park bench and there was a nest hidden underneath. They may be benign but they are still Territorial predators. (the girl was fine, but badly frightened.) Brian

    Reply
    • Hi Brian,
      We believe you are mistaken as to the attacking insect’s identity. The Great Black Wasp is a solitary wasp that provisions its burrow with Katydids. It does not build a nest that is defended. Many wasps will sting if carelessly handled, but the Great Black Wasp does not sting to guard a nest. That is a method used by social wasps. Our money is on a species of Polistes or other social wasp, not the Great Black Wasp.

      Reply
  6. Hey geniuses who think that your backyard is some kind of bio-dome where nature stops existing: stop killing bees! Maybe the educator failed to mention WHY the Great Black Wasp is beneficial because ALL insects are beneficial! Just because you don’t see their benefit in your small little world, every creature has a great benefit and is extremely important in terms of the ecosystem. Maybe you should seal your basement properly so they can’t get in, instead of UNNECESSARILY killing them off. And killing them because they are “buzzing around and being annoying” is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Anyone with such a flagrant disregard for life should be ashamed of themselves. It is nothing short of “unnecessary carnage”. Try appreciating the natural world around you instead of thoughtlessly killing it off.

    Reply
    • Dear Andrea,
      Thank you for your comment. Some people will never learn to appreciate the wonders of the natural world. Some people will never change their belief that it is the role of humans to dominate the planet and beyond. Some people don’t realize the damage that can be done through the elimination of a single species. We share this world and we need to always keep that in mind. We often mention the interconnectivity of all things in the web of life, and we try to educate, but we often fail.

      Reply
    • Hooray for Andrea’s comment and bugman’s! Right on! Those of you talking about getting attacked get your facts straight. This species is not aggressive and is solitary.

      Reply
    • Andrea, do you have small children? I have a 5 yr old granddaughter that is allergic to bee/wasp stings. I DON’T want to find out the hard way what it feels like to be stung by these black beauties. They have parked their nest between the slabs of cement right up by our garage wall between the two doors. This is where we wash and clean our vehicles. Now, I do NOT want to find out the hard way that they don’t like getting wet. So, instead of “yelling and getting nasty why don’t you suggest how to get them to move on AND give u a a concrete link that will prove that these wasps won’t sting us. Can you do that? Can the operators of this site do that because I’ve seen what we shouldn’t do but not what we can do. When these wasps are out flying around I walk ALL THE WAY AROUND MY HOUSE to get to the other door. NOT okay… Here is a link that DOES explain things WAY better:
      http://www.doityourself.com/stry/identifying-and-removing-black-wasps-from-your-home

      Reply
    • Andrea, do you have small children? I have a 5 yr old granddaughter that is allergic to bee/wasp stings. I DON’T want to find out the hard way what it feels like to be stung by these black beauties. They have parked their nest between the slabs of cement right up by our garage wall between the two doors. This is where we wash and clean our vehicles. Now, I do NOT want to find out the hard way that they don’t like getting wet. So, instead of “yelling and getting nasty why don’t you suggest how to get them to move on AND give u a a concrete link that will prove that these wasps won’t sting us. Can you do that? Can the operators of this site do that because I’ve seen what we shouldn’t do but not what we can do. When these wasps are out flying around I walk ALL THE WAY AROUND MY HOUSE to get to the other door. NOT okay… Here is a link that DOES explain things WAY better:
      http://www.doityourself.com/stry/identifying-and-removing-black-wasps-from-your-home

      Reply
  7. They are at my friends shop and they have attacked her once before. They come after me and my husband on a regular. They sting is very painful and huge. My husband is allergic to them. Found that out the hard way, so i kill tjem as soon as i see them. Sorry if that makes you mad, but when they try to attack me they must go.

    Reply
    • Thanks . Two have got into my apartment and stung me. I hate them and will kill everyone I see. Bees are one thing but wasps are not.

      Reply
  8. These creatures are harmless, and amazing to watch. I have a bunch that fly all around the far edge of my back deck on any day that the sun is out shining. They never bother us at all. They did seem to grow in numbers over the past two or three months, which made me decide to look them up (and stumble into this site). I’m in Georgia and we have them in many locations across the state, we call them dirt devils here. I’m not going to bother the ones here, I can co-exist with non-threatening creatures living so closely. Heck, even my dog likes them. He tries to eat any type of bee, hornet, or wasp, but leaves the Great Black Wasp alone, completely.

    Reply
  9. I just looked up giant black wasp cuz my wife was chased around our driveway by one the other day in Barrie Ontario. It was huge!!!! There is no nest that I have seen and was an isolated incident. Very aggressive! Looked 4 inches long! It flew away into our front patio stone going in and out of rocks for about 20 seconds and then flew away. My wife ran in circles as it kept running into her legs over and over. Could this still be the same thing as what you described as non aggressive?

    Reply
  10. I think these are living in my wall, near a window. Occasionally they come through somehow and are inside the window in the den. Is this possible?

    Reply
  11. Found my dog playing with one of these in the window today. I chased it out of the house with broom. Through that long and comical ordeal, it didn’t try to sting me. Had to look it up and find out what it was. Man it was huge! No one (including the wasp) was harmed in this ordeal loL.

    Reply
  12. Hi, I was hoping I could find some advice on the wasps that have made a home right out my front door and garage. From what I can tell they are all black, large, fast, and seem to be territorial/aggressive around what I presume to be their nesting area. They seem to be nesting in cracks in the concrete walkway right out my front door which spans the entire front entry path of our only front entrances to our house; the garage and the front door. I can’t even walk out my front door without having to run to get away from them. I look before I go out and don’t see them so I presume it’s safe. Then, once I head out the door BAM, they’re right on me. I don’t like killing any creatures and love bees and all pollinators because I am a gardener, but I need to be able to leave my house. Yesterday I couldn’t even finish mowing the lawn because they came at me when I got close to the walkway.

    Reply
    • These do not sound like social wasps, which tend to be more aggressive, but they sound like they might be solitary wasps that nest in a social setting. The behavior you describe might be males defending territory, but since males lack stingers, there is nothing to fear. Hearing that you have been buzzed but not stung leads us to believe you have encountered male wasps defending territory. We do not offer extermination advice and relocation is not an option, so we have no advice to offer.

      Reply
  13. I happily killed one of these wasps yesterday, and I’ll kill every last one that I see in the future. They are hideous pests. One will occasionally try to make a home under the cement steps that my kids use 100 times per day. The kiddos were terrified (and don’t try telling me these are NOT Great Black Wasps. They are. We confirmed with an exterminator). So, guess what: we’re at the top of the species chain, and the wasps have to go. Fyi, A tennis racket works GREAT to knock a wasp unconscious, and then just step on it. And yesterday, the kids chopped off a wasp’s back-end to get a closer look at the stinger. And the dismembered stinger kept moving in a stinging motion for over an hour! How is that possible?! Anyway, sorry bug loves, but not everyone sympathizes with these pests.

    Reply
    • LOL, I agree, its all fun and games till one of these 1 1/2″ monsters mounts your arm and stings you! like what happened to me yesterday.

      Reply
  14. My daughter was stung by one of these today while we were at the pool. There is a city park in the same vacinity of the pool. No one was screaming or swatting at the thing, it just lit on her, stayed about 40 seconds and left her with a very painful sting.
    Non threatening my aunt fanny!
    Thank goodness I wasn’t stung since I am highly allergic to insect stings.
    I was able to make sure she got home and stayed with her for a while to make sure she was going to be ok.

    Reply
  15. I just saw the biggest wasp I have ever seen in my entire 63 years of life. It must have entered our porch through a tear in one of the screens- scared the living daylights out of me! I’m thinking it might be a Giant Black Wasp. I’m not much for flying bugs, however, I will leave it alone as along as it leaves me alone. I’m hoping it finds it’s way out- maybe when my husband gets home he can encourage it’s departure!

    Reply
  16. I was attack by one of these the other day. We have a large garden near the house with plenty of dragon flys, etc.. We also have social wasp problem of bald faced hornets and yellow jackets, i am well educated of those 2 social wasps as i have to kill them every yeat, had to erdicate 6 nests just to keep my house clear of them.

    So while i was trimming some bushes near the house i was shocked to see this monster 1 1/2″ black wasp monster that i had never seen before mount my arm and sting me. I was fortunate enou that i pushed her off me as she was stinging so i didnt get the full wallop. But i can assure you this wasp must be defended its nest. I am frightened to go outside near what I now commonly refer to as “her side of the house”.

    Reply
  17. I was attack by one of these the other day. We have a large garden near the house with plenty of dragon flys, etc.. We also have social wasp problem of bald faced hornets and yellow jackets, i am well educated of those 2 social wasps as i have to kill them every yeat, had to erdicate 6 nests just to keep my house clear of them.

    So while i was trimming some bushes near the house i was shocked to see this monster 1 1/2″ black wasp monster that i had never seen before mount my arm and sting me. I was fortunate enou that i pushed her off me as she was stinging so i didnt get the full wallop. But i can assure you this wasp must be defended its nest. I am frightened to go outside near what I now commonly refer to as “her side of the house”.

    Reply
  18. Ok, so last year I noticed a blue black bug that looked like a wasp. Right size, right shape. And since I like the dark iridescent shimmer and it responded to me telling it to ‘go away’, I let it hang out around my front step. The black and yellow wasps and hornets respond to ‘go away’ with dominance displays and dive bombing, so they do not get a free pass on my porch, but bumbles and blue blacks seemed more reasonable.

    Well, this year we have what looks like a larger version of the same bug. Two inches. Yeah, that’s huge. No, I’m not confused about what keeps flying at my face, it’s two inches and blue black and shaped like a wasp. And it’s my front step. And there seem to be several of them in that size that Spectracide does nothing for. Now maybe I have mistaken these for the great black wasp and they have no stinger, but they are large and in my face and multiplying, so they get reclassified like a surplus of large wolf spiders in my house as ‘unwelcome’.

    Sure, the rest of the yard is fair game for whatever bugs my ecosystem comes with. I even mow around some of the weeds and let nature do it’s thing. But we all have limits, and mine have been reached. For a wasp that isn’t social, there sure seem to be a lot congregating on my front step.

    Reply
  19. Ok, so last year I noticed a blue black bug that looked like a wasp. Right size, right shape. And since I like the dark iridescent shimmer and it responded to me telling it to ‘go away’, I let it hang out around my front step. The black and yellow wasps and hornets respond to ‘go away’ with dominance displays and dive bombing, so they do not get a free pass on my porch, but bumbles and blue blacks seemed more reasonable.

    Well, this year we have what looks like a larger version of the same bug. Two inches. Yeah, that’s huge. No, I’m not confused about what keeps flying at my face, it’s two inches and blue black and shaped like a wasp. And it’s my front step. And there seem to be several of them in that size that Spectracide does nothing for. Now maybe I have mistaken these for the great black wasp and they have no stinger, but they are large and in my face and multiplying, so they get reclassified like a surplus of large wolf spiders in my house as ‘unwelcome’.

    Sure, the rest of the yard is fair game for whatever bugs my ecosystem comes with. I even mow around some of the weeds and let nature do it’s thing. But we all have limits, and mine have been reached. For a wasp that isn’t social, there sure seem to be a lot congregating on my front step.

    Reply
  20. Is there another species that looks black/blue? We have so many of these at our new house with all the wildflowers in the back. We also had something at our old house, where we had a second story apartment with outdoor stairs. Those seemed more aggressive. We often saw them perching on the wooden rail. One day my husband walked out on the top landing and was stung by two. Sure enough, we found a nest below. I always assumed the black/blue wasps here were the same, but after reading this, it sounds like the first ones were different from the GBW. Anything else in New Hampshire with a blue/black tinge?

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  21. Hang in there, Bugman. You are doing good work. I was stung by a GBW this afternoon in the New York countryside when I sat on the poor thing. It did hurt like hell, but whatever. I’m from Montana. I continued to sit at our wooden patio table (where it looks like it’s made a home) unmolested the rest of the day as it flew back and forth around me.

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    • Thanks for the support. We suspect getting “sat on” caused the Great Black Wasp that stung you to feel threatened.

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  22. The first comment after the initial post by the person that was supposedly chastising you, I feel they were spot-on as far as how you treated the person with the initial post. We have some of these Dreadful creatures inside our machine shed. Don’t tell me that they’re not aggressive because I see otherwise when I walk into the shed and if they are anywhere nearby they have a stance of a bulldog and they stop what they’re doing and rear up and just sit there waiting. I have been stung by normal black wasps. As a matter of fact a whole nest of them. I recall how painful it was but I really don’t want to try to experience what it feels like to be stung by such a large wasp. Like I said they have the characteristics of aggression. And maybe when you get around to it you could put a little bit more information out there about this creature as you promised. Otherwise just remain silent and we will continue to assume that you don’t know anything about them. In the meantime I plan to kill them. I also kill flies and spiders if you really want to know. So send your little followers to my door to judge me for killing a bug.

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  23. I think some of these comments are aggressive and rude! This is an informational site not a bashing people site. My experience with them has been a harmless one. Yes, they are annoying but they tend to mind there own business. They are on a mission for food. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone. I believe they are pollinators as are bees, right bugman? Therefore, I let them be. That’s just me though.

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  24. I live in bay city Michigan and I was stung by one of these monster’s four days ago and I wouldn’t ever want anyone to go through what I have in the past four days .it landed on the inside of my left elbow and I tried to stay as still as possible but it stung me and the paid was so bad I collapsed and although the worst of the pain stopped in about ten minutes but I still hurts now and my skin felt like it was on fire for days today is the first day since it happened that I’ve been able to do anything but sit on my phone and learn everything I could about it and all I’ve read has has said that they are not aggressive which my be true .but I tell you this do not allow yourself to be stung by this beast of a wasp its not like any other wasp still I have an 8th inch hole in my arm and the pain and sickness that monster caused me was unimaginable and I would never wish it on another human being

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  25. For a long time I was mixing up great black wasps and bald-faced hornets. It is true that the wasps are not aggressive and do not congregate. If you are seeing groups of black wasp-like insects, they are probably bald faced hornets. The hornets at my farm in Texas are all black, live in large groups, and can and have stung me. The hornets build their nests in wall-cracks and infest my sheds and storage buildings. These are not the great black wasps. The black wasps are actually pretty and leave you alone.

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  26. Oh no these are lethal wasps. Not outright aggressive but they WILL attack and the female can sting. She can sting multiple times and it is VERY painful to say the least. If you are me anyway and I only was stung 4 separate occasions over 10 years for a total of 5 times, the last time twice and sent me to the hospital in an ambulance that had to administer an emergency dose of awesome Epipen! No these are Native wasps and I have lived in Michigan (S Central upper) my whole life and have NEVER encountered something so precise in her aerial attacks. They can colonize, not sure what the chemical composition of the venom so little info thus far, but so far I’ve heard one of the toxins to be a dendrotoxin like a black mumba. (Snake) They are in every state except well, WA. Even the Caribbean. Up to Canada and they overwinter underground in footlong tubes that she digs or uses abandoned nests. Been but by big horse flies and this hurt. My leg muscle cramp up, and I went into anaphylaxic reaction. A delayed reaction but one nonetheless. Only about 3% of adults have those kind of reactions. More tests I guess but now I need to carry an Epipen in me at all times because of one and the sting wasn’t even all of it. I had to go back to the ER with cellulitis which is a bacterial infection under the layers of the skin, life threatening and I had to get in heavy dose of antibiotics. This wasp is dangerous and areas where they congregate should be avoided by people sensitive to insects. They live near waters edge, rocky places, meadows and fields; woodlands. She will come out at you with zero warning.

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