Wasps are a common sight in Georgia, and while most of them are harmless, some can deliver a painful sting. In this article, we will rank the types of wasps in Georgia based on the pain of their sting. Knowing which wasps to avoid can help you stay safe and prevent painful encounters.
4 Types Of Wasps In Georgia Ranked By The Pain Of Their Sting
Four-Toothed Mason Wasp
The Four-Toothed Mason Wasp (Monobia quadridens) is a species of solitary potter wasp found in North America, including Georgia. It is entirely black, except for a broad ivory-colored band on the first tergite of its abdomen. The wingspan of females is typically 14-18 mm, while males are smaller, with a wingspan of 11.0-14.5 mm.
The Four-Toothed Mason Wasp feeds on small caterpillars and pollen, and two generations occur per year, with one generation overwintering as pupae.
It nests in a variety of cavities, including tunnels abandoned by carpenter bees, old nests built by mud daubers, and hollow plant stems. The female Four-Toothed Mason Wasp is capable of delivering a sting, which is similar in pain to that of the bald-faced hornet or the ant Myrmecia nigriceps.
The Eastern Yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons) is a ground-nesting wasp species found throughout most of the eastern United States, including Georgia. It is a social insect that lives in colonies of hundreds to thousands of individuals.
The Eastern Yellowjacket is a generalist species that feeds on a variety of insects and other arthropods, as well as nectar and other sweet substances. The female Eastern Yellowjacket is capable of delivering a painful sting, which can be dangerous for sensitive or allergic individuals.
The nests of the Eastern Yellowjacket are usually subterranean, but they can also be found in wall voids of various structures, including homes.
While the Eastern Yellowjacket can be considered a beneficial insect because it helps reduce populations of unwanted insects, its nests can be a nuisance and pose a risk to humans.
Golden Digger Wasp
The Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) is a solitary wasp species found throughout North America, including Georgia. It is a large wasp, with females growing up to 1.5 inches in length.
The head and thorax of the Great Golden Digger Wasp are covered with short golden hair, while the abdomen is reddish-orange and black. The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a non-aggressive species that is not harmful to humans or pets.
Females use their venom to paralyze small insects, which they then place in their nest cells as food for their young. The nests of the Great Golden Digger Wasp are dug in sandy soils and consist of a long vertical main tunnel with short side tunnels leading to nest cells.
The young spend the winter underground in their nest burrows before emerging as adults the following year. The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a beneficial insect that provides pollination services and helps aerate the soil.
Cicada Killer Wasp
The Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp (Sphecius speciosus) is a large, solitary digger wasp species found in the eastern United States, including Georgia. It is often referred to as the cicada killer or the cicada hawk.
The female Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp is capable of delivering a painful sting, but it is not aggressive towards humans and will only sting if provoked or handled roughly.
The Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp is a beneficial insect that helps control cicada populations, which can damage deciduous trees. The nests of the Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp are dug in well-drained, light-textured soils in full sunlight that are near trees harboring cicadas.
The female Eastern Cicada Killer Wasp paralyzes cicadas with her venom and then places them in her nest cells as food for her young. The young spend the winter underground in their nest burrows before emerging as adults the following year.
1. What are the four types of wasps in Georgia ranked by the pain of their sting?
The Four-Toothed Mason Wasp, Eastern Yellowjacket, Golden Digger Wasp, and Cicada Killer Wasp are the four types of wasps in Georgia ranked by the pain of their sting.
2. Are these wasps dangerous to humans?
While these wasps can deliver a painful sting, they are not usually dangerous to humans unless the person stung is sensitive or allergic to the venom.
3. What are the benefits of these wasps?
These wasps are beneficial insects that help control populations of unwanted insects, such as cicadas and spiders. They also provide pollination services and help aerate the soil.
4. How can I avoid getting stung by these wasps?
To avoid getting stung by these wasps, it’s best to avoid disturbing their nests or provoking them. If you encounter a wasp, remain calm and move away slowly. If you need to remove a wasp nest, it’s best to hire a professional pest control service.
5. What should I do if I get stung by one of these wasps?
If you get stung by one of these wasps, remove the stinger if it’s still in your skin and wash the area with soap and water. Applying a cold compress can help reduce swelling and pain. If you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or dizziness, seek medical attention immediately.