How to Identify Black Wasps

Written by casey holley
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How to Identify Black Wasps
(Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A black wasp is a predatory insect that is usually found around gardens and flower beds, especially those that have katydids in them. This wasp feeds on nectar and small insects, and preys on katydids to feed its larvae. Unlike some species of wasp, the black wasp isn’t considered aggressive and rarely attacks unprovoked. Regardless of that fact, these wasps may still be bothersome when working outdoors. When the black wasp does sting, the sting is painful.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Notice the colour of the wasp. A black was is predominately black; however, the wings may have a slight blue tinge to them.

  2. 2

    Look at the way the wasp flies. A black wasp flies with its legs trailing behind it. Other wasps and most bees fly with their legs tucked under the body.

  3. 3

    Compare the size of the wasp to other wasps. Black wasps are some of the largest wasps, especially when the black wasp’s body is compared to the body of other wasps. Additionally, the wings of a black wasp are larger than those of other wasps and make a rustling sound when the wasp is flying.

  4. 4

    Check the body of the wasp. A black wasp has a thorax and abdomen that are clearly separated by a narrow waist. Most other wasps have only a slight separation that isn’t readily noticeable.

Tips and warnings

  • Black wasps are difficult to kill, as fly swatters aren’t strong enough to crush them. In order to kill a black wasp, you have to use wasp spray to stun it and then crush it with a heavy object. If you have a large colony of these wasps, a call to a pest control expert is advisable.
  • If you are allergic to wasps, don't try to identify or kill the black wasp yourself, as you may get stung.

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