FLYING PESTS AND INSECTS - IDENTIFICATION AND TIPS

Learn more about the most common types of flying pests and insects that can be found in your home or yard. Of the thousands of insect species that fly, we have selected the most common residential pests:

  • Paper Wasps
  • Hornets
  • Mud Daubers
  • Fruit Flies
  • Common House Flies
  • Honey Bees
  • Carpenter Bees
  • Looking for Mosquitoes? View our Blood-feeder page
Learn how to Keep Flying Pests Away

Keep Flying Pests Away

  •  Keep doors and screen doors closed
  •  Wipe counters and clean up spills quickly
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers
  •  Take food trash outside or seal it up
  •  Hire a local pest control company if needed
  • Notify your technician of any pest activity

Paper Wasps

AKA: “Umbrella Paper Wasp” or ” Golden Paper Wasp”

General Info:  Paper Wasps are not aggressive by nature, but they will sting if they are disturbed or if they feel threatened. Their name comes from the water-resistant, paper-like nests they build from a mixture of plant fibers and saliva.

Length:   5/8″ – 3/4″

Region Found:   Throughout the United States

Residential Location:   Comb nests are hung from twigs, branches, shrubs, windows, door frames, outdoor grills, eaves, deck floor joists, and more.

Random/Interesting Fact:   Paper wasps have facial recognition abilities comparable to humans and chimps. They know the faces of colony members just as we know the faces of friends and acquaintances!

Identification:  Paper Wasps are brownish with yellow and sometimes red markings. They are long-legged and the hind wing is usually small.

Hornets

General Info:  Hornets are the largest type of wasps.  They construct paper-like nests similar to other wasps, but they cover each layer of the nest so that it is completely enclosed except for one entry hole. Hornets have a more painful sting than wasps, but a single sting is only fatal to allergic victims.

Length:   3/4″ – 1 3/8″

Region Found:   Throughout the United States

Residential Location:   They are found in a variety of areas similar to those of paper wasps.

Random/Interesting Fact:   When hornets sting or are threatened, they emit a pheromone that can mobilize the rest of the colony to attack or defend.

Identification:  These are much bigger than normal wasps.  Patterns are black and white, or brown and yellow.

MUD DAUBERS

AKA “Mud Wasps”

General Info: Thankfully, mud daubers are not dangerous to humans; they are simply nusiance pests. Mud daubers are solitary wasps. They are not social and do not live in colonies. Mud daubers provision spiders for their larvae by paralyzing them with their venom and bringing them into their nests.

Length:   1/2″ – 1″

Region Found:   Througout the United States

Residential Location:   They usually build their nests in a sheltered site. These sites include under eaves, porch ceilings, in garages and sheds left open, in barns, and attics. Nests are short, mud tubes that are constructed side by side.

Random/Interesting Fact:  Other wasps and some spiders will lay eggs in a dauber’s nest.

Identification: You can easily identify a mud dauber based on the large distance between the abdomen and the midsection. They are usually black. They may have pale markings or a metallic luster.

Fruit Flies

General Info:  These are just a nuisance. You will most likely see them in your kitchen, especially flying around fruits and vegetables. There are many simple fixes to fruit flies.

Length:   1/8″

Region Found:   Throughout the United States

Residential Location:  They can be found anywhere food is produced or kept.

Random/Interesting Fact:  Fruit flies feed on decaying matter. An example is fruit that has been left out for a few days.

Identification:  They have a tan/light abdoman.

Common House Flies

General Info:  It gets its name from being the most common fly found in homes. They usually live between 15 and 25 days. Indoors, they rest on floors, walls and ceilings. Night resting places are close to food sources.

Length:   1/8″ – 1/4″

Region Found:   Througout the United States

Residential Location:  Found around trash cans, rotten foods, and pet waste.

Random/Interesting Fact:   They are only able to feed on liquids, but they have the ability to turn many solid foods into a liquid form to eat.

Identification: They are dark gray and have a small, oval-shaped abdomen.

Honey Bees

Insight Pest Solutions DOES NOT kill Honey Bees.  In select markets, we have equipment to safely relocate colonies to local bee-keepers so they can continue their beneficial work.

General Info: Honey bee colonies are the only bee colonies that can survive to last many years. They are benefical to other animals and plants because of their role in pollination. This includes humans. They are very social instects. There are divided into three groups: the workers (female), the queen, and the drones (male).

Length:   1/2″

Region Found:   Throughout the United States

Residential Location:   Nests can be found in tree crevices and sometimes in attics and chimneys.

Random/Interesting Fact:  In order for a new queen to become fertile, they eat a special diet of “royal jelly”.

Identification: They are predominantly golden-yellow and with brown bands.

Carpenter Bees

General Info:  These are commonly mistaken as bumblebees. Carpenter Bees are solitary bees that burrow into wood for their nests. They perfer wood that is at least 2 inches thick and not painted.  There are seven species found in the United States. Adult bees hibernate over the winter and emerge in the spring to feed on nectar.

Use a thick coat of paint or sealant to make carpenter bees less likely to destroy the wood on your property.

Length:   1/2″ – 1″

Region Found:   Throughout the United States

Residential Location:   Usually can be found borrowing into any wood around the outside of a house.

Random/Interesting Fact:   Carpenter bees actually don’t eat wood. They just excavate it to form their rests.

Identification: They are yellow or black, and are oval and robust in shape.

More Information:
University of Florida – Featured Creatures
Select images purchased from Alex Wild
Master Bee Keeper – Paper Wasps
Bug Guide – Paper Wasps
About.com – Paper Wasps
North Carolina State University – Paper Wasps
Penn State – European Peper Wasps
Insect Identification – Hornets
Penn State – European Hornets
Everything About – Hornets
Bug Facts – Mud Daubers
Pest World – Mud Daubers
Fruit Flies – Fruit Flies
Encyclopedia of Life – Fruit Flies
North American Dipterists Society – Common House Fly
Insect-o-cutor – Common House Fly
Kidz World – Common House Fly
Everything About – Honey Bee
Fairfax County Public Schools – Honey Bee
Backyard Beekeepers – Honey Bee
Everything About – Carpenter Bee
Penn State University – Carpenter Bee
North Carolina State University – Carpenter Bee