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What is the difference between social wasps and solitary wasps?

Solitary wasps are usually predators. They kill wasps or other insects, or scavenge for food left by humans or animals. On the other hand, social wasps often live off of nectar, though they will sometimes scavenge, too. Unlike bees, they do not store honey, though colonies often work together to feed larvae.

As a general rule, social wasps are more aggressive than solitary wasps. Social wasps are programmed to protect their colony and their wasp nests, making them dangerous and often aggressive. If they feel you are invading their territory and pose a threat to them or their colony they will not hesitate to sting you.

You can spot social wasps by their nests. Social wasps build large paper wasp nests that host anywhere from a few hundred to many thousands of wasps. Solitary wasps have more diverse nesting habits, and their nests are much smaller. Solitary wasps build nests of mud, burrow into soil, crevices in buildings, or natural cavities in vegetation. Solitary wasps will not protect their nests as social wasps do. They abandon their nests once they have laid their eggs.

Solitary wasps nests are often hidden and small enough that they are hard to spot. If you notice a nest in open areas of your yard or home, it is probably a social wasp nest. Do not approach it. Call a wasp extermination company as soon as possible to handle the situation.

In general, solitary wasps pose little threat to humans, unless there is direct contact and the wasp feels its life is in danger.

Social wasps are a much larger cause for concern because they defend their territory fiercely, and congregate together, increasing the chance of multiple stings.

If you’re having trouble with a colony of wasps, or are unsure whether a wasp nest in your yard is a threat, please contact Magical Pest Control at (905) 738-6676 or use our contact form. We do consultations entirely free. Our trained wasp extermination experts will devise a treatment plan to kill wasps in the vicinity to ensure your home is safe and secure.

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