Types of Stinging Insects in Boise, Idaho
Paper wasps are 3/4 to 1 inch long. They gather fibers from dead wood and plant stems, which they mix with saliva, and use to construct water-resistant nests made of gray or brown papery material.
A typical yellow jacket worker is about 1/2 inch long, with alternating bands on the abdomen while the queen is larger, about 3/4 inch long. Workers are sometimes confused with honey bees, especially when flying in and out of their nests. Yellow jackets, in contrast to honey bees, are not covered with tan-brown dense hair on their bodies and lack the flattened hairy hind legs used to carry pollen, and the yellow jacket’s waist is thin and defined.
The bald-faced hornet is 1/2 to 5/8 in long. It is black with white markings on the face, the thorax, the last few segments of the abdomen, and the first segment of the antennae. The wings are smoke-colored and the eyes are brown.
Mud daubers are long, slender wasps, with thread-like waists. The name of this wasp group comes from the nests that are made by the females, which consist of mud molded into place by the wasp’s mandibles.
They are large (1/2 – 1 inch long), robust insects that look like bumble bees. They differ by having a bare, shiny black abdomen compared to bumble bees which have a hairy abdomen with some yellow markings.