The great black wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) is a beneficial insect that preys on other pests such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, katydids, and cicadas.
They are considered quite beautiful by insect enthusiasts due to their long black bodies measuring 1 to 2 inches in length and blue-black iridescent wings.
Due to the fact that these wasps can deliver extremely painful and swollen stings, you may wish to eliminate any that enter your home, as well as any great black wasps that hover around you or your children while you spend time outside.
Killing a Great Black Wasp Outside
Protect yourself by wearing protective clothing and covering as much skin as possible. Choose from jeans, sweatpants, or slacks; footwear and socks; a long-sleeved shirt and hat.
Kill one or two wasps with a wasp and hornet insecticide. Purchase a spray can that shoots 20 to 22 feet, allowing you to stand a safe distance away.
Destroy a massive black wasp nest. These wasps construct burrows, and you may have noticed them flying around a particular area near the ground.
Wait until it is nearly dark and the wasps have retired to their burrows. Then, using the insecticide spray, saturate the opening to the nest and the burrow.
Another method is to dust the nest entrance with 1/4 cup insecticide dust at dawn, just before the wasps depart for the day. Prepare to flee in either case.
Killing a Great Black Wasp Indoors
Getting Rid of a Great Black Wasp Indoors
Utilize a non-insecticide spray that prevents the great black wasp from flying, as you are unlikely to want to spray poison inside your home or screened-in porch.
Mint sprays that are nontoxic and extremely effective are readily available at home and garden stores. Additionally, you can saturate the wasp with a cleaning spray.
Using a shoe, phone book, or other heavy object, swat the wasp. A fly swatter will be ineffective.
Pick up the wasp with gloved hands or use the shoe to push it onto a fly swatter and take it outside.
Take care: These insects are notoriously difficult to kill, and the wasp may appear to be dead when it is only stunned. Once outside, squish the wasp to ensure it has expired.
While the black wasp may appear frightening, it is a truly beneficial insect that is worth learning about.
In today’s article, we’ll learn more about the black wasp, what to do if you come into contact with one, and how to get rid of it if necessary and prevent it from returning to your property permanently.
Let us begin.
What is A Black Wasp?
What is a black wasp? A black wasp on a pink flour against a green background is depicted in Figure 1.
The black wasp is a large digger wasp that is indigenous to North America.
The black wasp, scientifically known as Sphex Pensylvanicus, is a type of digger wasp that nests underground.
The black wasp, as its name implies, is a large wasp that is native to North America and is found in roughly two-thirds of the United States.
The black wasp, also known as the great black wasp, the Steel-Blue Cricket Hunter, and the Katydid Hunter, is a highly beneficial pollinator and predator that is not known to be aggressive toward humans.
Only female black wasps have the ability to sting, and they do so only when threatened or provoked, or when they believe their nest or offspring is in danger.
They are solitary wasps and are considered to be much less aggressive than many social wasps, as they do not have to defend a colony or queen.
Because great black wasps are adaptable to a variety of environments, they are found in both the western and eastern United States.
They are, however, most active throughout the year in the western United States, where the climate is consistently warmer.
As with the majority of wasps and bees, the black wasp has a lifespan of up to a year during which it passes through four life stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult.
Generally, a female black wasp lays one egg at a time on the abdomen of an insect that has been paralized with its stinger and left in the nest.
Once hatched, the black wasp larvae feed on the insect (which is typically a grasshopper or katydid) until it matures.
The following video discusses the fascinating and beneficial characteristics of a black wasp in greater detail.
Once the mature black wasp leaves the nest, it feeds on pollen and nectar from nearby flowers. This is especially true for female black wasps, who require a high concentration of sugary nutrients to provide the energy necessary for mating and catching the prey necessary to care for her young.
How Do You Identify A Black Wasp?
Black wasps frequently carry prey to their young, as evidenced by this female black wasp holding a katydid.
Black wasps are large, reaching a length of between 1 and 12 inches. Generally, female black wasps are slightly larger than males.
Despite their enormous size and sinister appearance, it is critical to remember that black wasps are extremely beneficial and are extremely unlikely to sting unless provoked.
Often, one of the most obvious signs of a black wasp infestation on your property is seeing one. With their large size and shiny, black bodies, these insects are difficult to miss.
They have dark grey or blue wings and a three-part body divided into a head, waist, and abdomen.
It’s not uncommon to see black wasps sipping nectar from flowers or even flying to their nests, carrying large grasshoppers or katydids.
A black wasp nest is another indicator of black wasp activity on your property, though these holes are typically small and solitary in nature.
They can resemble tiny dirt hills with holes no larger than a quarter in diameter.
As a digger wasp, the black wasp can also be seen flying low to the ground, and her nest is frequently discovered by observing where she consistently lands or brings insects.
While the majority of people will only encounter a few black wasps at a time, if your yard is particularly attractive to these large insects, you may be unknowingly inviting more.
This is why it’s just as critical to understand what attracts black wasps as it is to understand how to get rid of them.
What Has Attracted A Black Wasp To Your Yard?
Attractive to black wasps are blooming flowers and insects such as grasshoppers and katydids.
As with most insects, black wasps are drawn to areas that provide shelter, food, and an ideal location for mating and laying eggs.
Because the majority of black wasps prefer dry, soft, and easy-to-dig soil, people frequently report finding black wasps on the outskirts of gardens, in fields, or in dry patches of lawn where the grass has died and the soil is visible.
However, before a black wasp chooses a location for her nest, she will want to ensure that there is sufficient food nearby. The adult black wasp’s primary food source will be flowers.
Black wasps prefer vibrant, blooming flowers, which is unfortunate for gardeners who appreciate these lovely blooms as well. Flowers, on the other hand, are not the be-all and end-all. Female black wasps, in particular, will be on the lookout for areas with a high concentration of grasshoppers or katydids to feed their larvae.
Fortunately, black wasps do not build nests indoors, which means that having a black wasp nest inside your home will not be a problem. Of course, if a black wasp nests near your home, she may inadvertently enter through an open window or door.
If you do come across a black wasp inside, gently trap her beneath a cup and release her into your yard. Bear in mind that, while black wasps may appear frightening at first, they are beneficial pollinators and hunters with an abundance of predators. One or two of them may even aid in the growth of your garden!
If, on the other hand, you are concerned about black wasps in your yard, have no fear. We will continue to discuss how to safely and effectively remove them.
How To Get Rid Of A Black Wasp – Most Popular Methods
You can eliminate black wasps in a variety of ways:
Due to the fact that black wasps are not social insects, the chances of encountering an infestation are slim.
Nonetheless, black wasps can be frightening due to their massive size and erratic movements.
Additionally, clusters of black wasps are not uncommon in areas abundant in their preferred food sources.
And, while we want to emphasize that black wasps are beneficial insects with numerous advantages, they can still sting when provoked, and the sting is painful.
The good news is that there are numerous methods for eradicating black wasps on your property.
Consider the following.
- Natural Repellents
- Home Remedies
Are you unsure of where to begin or which method is best for you? Not to worry; we’ve included some of our favorite products and home remedies for eradicating the black wasp and preventing its return below.
How To Get Rid Of A Black Wasp Using Natural Repellents
Without the use of chemicals, natural wasp sprays and traps help protect your property from black wasps.
Because the black wasp is a solitary insect that is generally harmless and does not cause property damage, many people prefer to repel or eliminate it naturally. The use of natural sprays, ultrasonic sound machines, granules, traps, and even dust are all examples of natural methods.
We’ve included a list below of some of our favorite natural products for how to get rid of a black wasp problem.
Raid Wasp Trap
While Raid is a well-known brand associated with insecticides, the above black wasp trap is chemical-free and suitable for use in areas frequented by people and pets.
Naturally, because the trap contains a lure ingredient, it would be prudent to place it away from areas where you and your family will congregate.
The trap is available in quantities of one, two, or three, depending on your needs, and is designed to capture and eliminate yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets that are a nuisance.
Mighty Mint Mighty Mint
Mighty Mint insect spray is formulated with peppermint oil and other natural ingredients and is effective against a variety of pests including spiders, wasps, flies, and ants.
It is completely safe to use both inside and outside the home, as well as in areas where children and pets congregate. The spray is non-toxic and chemical-free and can be sprayed directly on black wasp holes and in gardens to repel and deter the insects.
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Spray
Using a year-round pest control spray will help keep black wasps away, as well as the insects on which they feed.
The spray pictured above is an all-around perimeter spray made with natural ingredients that are safe for humans, pets, and the environment.
It is suitable for direct application to garden plants and has a coverage area of up to 5,000 square feet. It kills and repels black wasps, mosquitos, ticks, fleas, and ants using a combination of essential oils and other natural ingredients.
HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Insect Killer for Crawling
Diatomaceous Earth, abbreviated DE, is an organic dust that kills insects such as wasps, roaches, bed bugs, ticks, and ants. It is made of fossilized algae and kills the insect by penetrating the exoskeleton without the use of poisons or chemicals.
As a result, this product is completely safe for humans, pets, and the environment, and can be applied directly to lawns and gardens.
However, it loses effectiveness when wet, and thus must be reapplied following a rainstorm or after watering your lawn or garden.
EcoSmart All-Natural Wasp Killer
Another child and pet-friendly option for eradicating black wasps is EcoSmart’s organic spray. While this spray is effective against hornets and wasps, it also kills other flying insects such as flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and fleas.
It is made entirely of natural ingredients that are safe for humans and pets, as well as environmentally friendly. Having said that, the product recommends avoiding spraying this natural insecticide directly on garden plants and thoroughly rinsing off any foliage that comes into contact with the spray.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller on Amazon
If you don’t mind a few black wasps outside but are concerned about them entering your home, you can always invest in an ultrasonic pest repellent plug-in, such as the one listed above.
These plug-ins emit ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations that repel insects and deter them from entering your home. Although the sound waves are harmless to humans and pets, they will annoy various wasps, flies, roaches, spiders, rodents, and even bed bugs.
Best Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of A Black Wasp
Home remedies, such as the use of essential oils, are frequently an effective and inexpensive way to control a black wasp infestation.
While natural methods are effective for eradicating a black wasp in your yard, organic and natural products can be costly at times. Another way to get rid of a black wasp is to use natural remedies.
Essential Oils To Repel Black Wasps
Peppermint appears to be the most effective essential oil for repelling pests, as it also works on ants, bed bugs, spiders, and roaches.
However, the other essential oils listed below have been found to be effective as well, so don’t fret if you don’t have peppermint oil on hand.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Clove Essential Oil
- Cedar Essential Oil
- Geranium Essential Oil
- 1 aerosol can
- 2 oz. water
- 10 – 20 drops of your preferred essential oil
Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and add 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil or a combination of the essential oils from our list above.
Shake the bottle to combine the water and oil, then spray the oil liberally around your garden and property every couple of days.
Cotton Balls or Rags with Black Wasp Repellent Essential Oil
- Cotton balls, numerous
- 1 miniature cup or bowl
- Your preferred essential oils
Fill a bowl halfway with the essential oil of your choice and soak as many cotton balls as necessary.
You may dilute the oil with water if necessary to make it last longer. After that, distribute these saturated cotton balls throughout your yard and garden, as well as near windows and doors.
Black wasps and other pests such as spiders, bed bugs, roaches, and ants will be repelled by the scent.
This procedure should be repeated every three days.
Black Wasp Repellent Spray With Dish Soap And Water
This is a lethal method of eradicating a black wasp infestation and is best used as a precautionary measure if you are particularly concerned about being stung.
Simply combine two cups of water and several drops of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously until the water becomes frothy, and keep the bottle handy while gardening.
The soapy water will coat the wasp and prevent it from flying or breathing, effectively stopping it in its tracks.
How To Get Rid Of A Black Wasp With Insecticides
Bear in mind that, while insecticides are effective, they contain harsh chemicals that can be hazardous.
While insecticides do have some drawbacks, when used properly and in conjunction with other pest control methods, they can be an extremely effective tool for not only eradicating a black wasp infestation but also preventing future ones.
Having said that, always be cautious of the insecticides you use and only use them as directed. Bear in mind that insecticides contain harsh chemical ingredients that can be toxic to humans, pets, and the environment, and should therefore be used with caution.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best insecticides for eradicating a black wasp infestation.
Ortho Home Defense Wasp and Hornet Killer Purchase on Amazon
Ortho is a well-known and trusted insecticide brand, which is why we’ve included it here. This is a wasp spray that is designed to target and kill wasps from a distance of up to 20 feet. Additionally, the spray is effective against hornets and other flying pests.
When used around doors and windows, it can help prevent digger wasps such as black wasps from entering homes and can create a barrier around your porch, patio, and even the interior of your home.
Ortho Home Defence Lawn and Landscaping Spray
Due to the fact that the black wasp is a digger wasp, it spends a significant amount of time underground.
This is why it is critical to choose an insecticide that is effective against these insects on the ground and in landscaping.
Ortho’s above-mentioned insecticide is a landscaping and lawn insecticide spray that covers over 5,300 square feet and is effective against not only digger wasps, but also other pests such as fleas, spiders, mosquitoes, and even ticks.
Naturally, keep in mind that this spray contains chemicals and may be toxic to humans, pets, and the environment. Keep it out of the reach of children and use only as directed.
Spectracide Foaming Spray
Although Spectracide’s foaming spray is designed to specifically target ground-dwelling insects such as ground bees and carpenter bees, it can also be used to kill and repel black wasps.
To use it effectively, spray it while the black wasp is still in the nest. The spray is lethal on contact and will also kill any nestlings.
Finally, there is Delta Dust. This is a dust insecticide that is effective against ground-dwelling pests, including the black wasp. It is a contact killer and should be applied directly to the nest of black wasps.
The applicator facilitates pouring and enables you to quickly direct the dust into the hole. It is lethal on contact and also destroys any eggs or larvae in the nest.
Additionally, Delta Dust is effective against scorpions, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, ground beetles, termites, silverfish, and roaches.
How To Get Rid Of A Black Wasp – When To Call A Professional
If you or a family member is allergic to black wasps, it may be best to seek assistance from a professional pest control expert.
While black wasps are not aggressive and do not cause damage to property, they can be a source of concern for those with children or pets, and especially for those allergic to bee or wasp stings.
If you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, we recommend contacting a professional pest control expert for assistance in eradicating your black wasp infestation.
Pest control professionals typically charge between $100 and $500, depending on your region and the severity of your black wasp infestation.
Additionally, they should be able to provide you with pointers and tips on how to avoid a future black wasp infestation on your property. Naturally, we have some prevention tips for you as well, so take a look below.
How To Prevent Future A Black Wasp In Your Home
Natural predators of the black wasp are praying mantis bugs.
Preventative measures are an excellent way to keep black wasps off your property, allowing both you and the wasp to live happily and apart from one another.
Let’s go over some of the most effective preventative measures for keeping black wasps at bay.
Plants That Repel Wasps
If you enjoy gardening but despise black wasps, you’ve come to the right place. Companion planting can help repel not only black wasps, but also other wasps and pests in your garden. Among the best plants to use to repel a black wasp are the following:
- Lemongrass \sWormwood
- Mint Eucalyptus Pennyroyal Basil And Marigolds
Maintain A Healthy, Lush Lawn and Stay On Top Of Mowing
As with other digger wasps, the black wasp nests in soft, dry soil. By keeping your lawn healthy and lush, you can discourage wasps from choosing your yard or property line as a nesting zone.
Regularly water it and maintain the landscaping. When necessary, fill in dry, dead patches with fertilizer or new grass seed. Additionally, you can keep your grass shorter to help repel other pests such as grasshoppers and katydids that the black wasp may be attracted to.
Attract the Predators
The fact that the black wasp has so many beneficial predators is one of the reasons it is so beneficial. You can assist in repelling and controlling black wasps and the prey they seek by inviting predators into your yard. Among these predators are the following:
- Garden Spiders of a Large Size
- Dragonflies \sPraying Centipedes Centipedes Centipedes Centipedes Centipedes
- Centipedes Cent
- Flying hovercraft
- Toads \sTurtles
- Nighthawks And Magpies
- Close Doors and Windows During the Warmer Months
While black wasps are not known to build nests indoors, they can gain access to your home through an open door or window.
To avoid this, close windows and doors during the summer and spring (or year-round in warmer regions).
Additionally, it is a good idea to ensure that screens are installed properly and that gaps in doorways are sealed and secured.
Manage Prey Insects Through Routine Pest Control
Bear in mind that the black wasp is a predatory insect that feeds on insects such as grasshoppers and katydids. Using a year-round pest control regimen will help you avoid not only encounters with these insects, but also with other pests. This reduces the likelihood of encountering a black wasp.
Cover Holes You Discover In The Ground Frequently
Finally, but certainly not least, patch any holes you discover in or around your property on a regular basis. Often, digger wasps such as the black wasp will reuse old rodent or snake holes to construct their nests, so avoid leaving any potential black wasp “condos” out in the open, awaiting a new tenant.
That concludes our discussion of black wasp control!
So, what are your thoughts on the colossal black wasp? Would you like to keep this beneficial insect around and allow it to do its thing in your garden, or would you rather it live its best wasp life somewhere else?
Leave your thoughts in the section below.