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What Species of Wasps Live in Canada?

There are several different kinds of wasps that live in Canada; some species of wasps are more dangerous than others. Solitary wasps are less aggressive than social wasps, so being able to identify different kinds of wasps may be helpful when doing wasp removal. Here is an incomplete list of different species of wasps you might find near your home.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are a social wasp and are predatory in nature, meaning they eat other insects. Though they eat human food as well, especially meats and sweets. They often linger at picnics and places where food is served. They can grow to about half an inch long and live in underground or hidden wasp nests with as many as 5000 other wasps. They’re often mistaken for bees because they are similar in size, but they are a brighter yellow. They are an extremely aggressive species of wasp and will sting if threatened so it is not advised you attempt wasp removal on your own if you spot yellow jackets.


There are several species of hornets in Canada. Common ones include Bald-faced Hornets and European Hornets. Though they fit in the wasp family, they are larger, growing up to 2 inches long. Most are yellow and black, though some variations are white or black. They are social and live in large round paper wasp nests with as many as 700 members, though they are less aggressive than other species of wasps. However, when they do sting, it’s extremely painful.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps tend to be anywhere from an inch to an inch and a half. There are hundreds of species of wasps that are grouped together as paper wasps because of their similar appearance and the shared habit of building paper nests. Paper wasps live in small colonies from 5 to 30 wasps per nest. Their nests are usually in plain sight, found in eaves, attics, awnings, other structures.

Mud Wasps

There are hundreds of variations of mud wasps including Potter Wasps, Mud Daubers and Pollen Wasps. They can range in size and appearance, though they are usually an inch or less and the standard black and yellow. One trait they all have in common is that they tend to be solitary in nature, meaning they live in small colonies or alone in nests made of mud. Mud wasps are not aggressive or protective of their nests and do not often sting, though they have stingers.
If you spot any species of wasp, especially social wasps living in large paper wasps nests, it is not advisable to attempt wasp removal on your own. Call an expert extermination service to handle wasp removal for you. Magical Pest Control is a renowned Canadian pest control service that brings years of experience to every wasp removal. To inquire about a free consultation, call us at (905) 738-6676 or contact us online.

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