Wasps & Hornets

Close up of wasp.


Color: Varies by species.

Characteristics: Unlike honey bees, wasps and hornets do not have fur. They have shiny bodies.

Size: Varies by species, but generally range from 5/8 of an inch to 1 inch long.

Potentially Dangerous: Yes, wasps and hornets are more aggressive than bees when provoked.


Wasps and hornets belong to the family Hymenoptera and are just a few of the stinging insects you can expect to come across throughout Wisconsin from mid-summer to early fall.

Paper Wasps – Measuring from 3/4 to 1 inch long, paper wasps can be many different colors depending on the species; including black, yellow, orange, and brown with grayish colored wings. They look long-legged and possess a lance-like stinger that gives them the opportunity to repeatedly sting their victim.

Yellowjackets – Measuring between 3/8 to 3/4 inch long, yellowjackets have banded yellow and black abdomens, or white and black abdomens, depending on the species. They have shorter legs and wider abdomens than paper wasps but possess a similar stinger.

Bald-Faced Hornets – Despite their name, bald-faced hornets are actually a type of wasp and they measure 5/8 to 7/8 inch in length and are usually black with a white pattern on their face and white stripes on their thorax. Their stinger is similar to that of the paper wasp and the yellow jacket.


Wasps and hornets are most likely on your property looking for a food source or nesting area. They build their nests in trees, shrubs, sheds, attics, under decks, and in the eaves of a building. The queen will emerge after the winter months and look for areas to nest in. Depending on the species, they will eat pollen, nectar and other insects. The queen will also look for an area with a water source such as a pond, birdbath or pools.


Most stinging insects will not sting you unless they feel physically threatened, or you venture too close to their nest, however some species have been known to sting even when not threatened. Every year in the US, more than 40 deaths are caused by bee, yellow jacket, wasp, or hornet stings due to allergic reactions. It is also believed that 10 out of every 100 adults has some kind of large and localized reaction to a sting. You may also not know you have an allergy to these insects until you get a multitude of stings, which may cause serious swelling, redness, pain, and eventually shock.


Contacting a pest control professional in Wisconsin is the best way to get rid of wasp and hornets. Pest control professionals have the tools and the knowledge about these pests to make sure that they are removed from your property safely and without harm to you or your family. Our Home Protection Plan can help you keep wasps and hornets away from your home or business in Wisconsin.


No. Getting rid of wasps and hornets is not a task you should handle on your own.  There are some DIY methods and products that you can buy at your local hardware store, but these are often ineffective and if they are handled or applied incorrectly, they can be extremely dangerous to your health and may have no effect on the stinging insects you are trying to get rid of. The best and safest way to get rid of stinging insects from your home or business is by contacting the professionals at Wil-Kil Pest Control in Eau Claire, Menomonee Falls, Appleton or Milwaukee.


It is our goal at Wil-Kil Pest Control to assist you with your pest problem as quickly as possible. Our team wants to make sure that your wasp and hornet problem is taken care of swiftly and safely and because of that, we will make every effort to be on your property to take care of your problem as soon as possible.


Unfortunately, there is very little you can do to avoid stinging insects building their nests on your property.  You can keep a look-out for signs of nests in the places they like to build, like under eaves and decking, but there is nothing you can do to be sure they won’t build there.  As soon as you become aware of a stinging insect nest, the best thing you can do is contact us for immediate assistance in removal.

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Wasps & Hornets in Sun Prairie, WI

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