Mason and Potter Wasps
Mason & Potter Wasp Facts
These two wasps are similar in many respects, but their differences are important to highlight. Both the mason and potter wasps use non-tree materials to build their nests, and both maintain many of the characteristics of the mud dauber wasp. Their differences lay mostly in appearance, and in the materials used to construct nests. The mason and potter wasps are insect predators, and can fly, making them easily seen from a far (especially given their larger size).
The majority of the mason wasp variations reside in South America, but a number of them are found in the Southern U.S., specifically in Florida. Potter wasps on the other hand are much more common across the whole country, making them significantly more likely to be a relevant pest regardless of where you live.
Mason & Potter Wasp Stings
Both the mason and potter wasps are capable of stinging, but rarely do so unless extremely provoked. Even still, they should be treated with caution, as mason and potter wasp stings are painful and, like any other wasp sting, will cause redness and swelling.
Mason & Potter Wasp Infestation
Very similar to the mud dauber wasp, the potter wasp uses mud as a primary building material for its nests. This wasp gets its name from the pottery-like shapes of their nests, which are also typically located in elevated and dry areas around houses. Twigs and dried leaves are also occasionally used in the creation of the nest, usually to divide the cells between egg chambers. Again much like the mud dauber this wasp hunts insects and other prey to paralyze and store in the egg chambers for the offspring to consume.
The mason wasp uses a similar method of construction, but instead of mud uses plant resin and dried leafy growths. Both the mason wasps and the potter wasps have nests on the smaller side, especially when compared to the European hornet nest. This is because the two are not social wasps, and thus only create a habitat for their offspring, not an entire colony.
The mason and potter wasps are both partial to insect life, specifically caterpillars. They do however search for flower nectar, and use the majority of their insect prey to feed their young.
Types of Mason & Potter Wasps
Mason & Potter Wasp Identification
The potter wasp is often confused with a yellow jacket wasp. The key difference is the ratio of black to yellow. Potter wasps have a larger part of their bodies covered in black and thin yellow stripes. Other species of mason and potter wasps are easily mistaken for black-bodied mud dauber wasp. You can tell these wasps apart by the narrower waist of the potter wasp or mason wasp and the larger back end of the body, often covering more than 50% of its total length. Mason and potter wasp species have black or brown bodies usually in combination with a color pattern. The most common colors include yellow, orange, red or white.
Mason & Potter Wasps In The Garden & The House
Not all wasps try to make it into your home, preferring to set up shop outside. This can be just as much of a nuisance, but twice as hard to spot. For this reason if you have been seeing wasps around your property but cannot find a nest inside the home be sure to give the exterior a look. During warmer months try to do a walk around of your property at least once a week to look for signs of wasps.
Common places to look around the property are in higher locations often in corners or edges of your home. If you have a chimney, look around the top where the brick meets the house, as this is a popular nest location. These non-social wasps typically have relatively small and manageable nests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between mason & potter wasps and bees?
Mason and potter wasps have delicate legs, narrow waists and smooth bodies. Bees, in contrast, have larger, fuzzy-looking bodies and larger legs. Mason and potter wasp larvae eat paralyzed spiders, caterpillars or beetle larva and the adults feed on flower nectar. Bees, even in the larvae stage, eat pollen, nectar or honey.
What is the difference between mason & potter wasps and hornets?
Hornets, a type of wasp, tend to be larger and more robust than mason and potter wasps.
Are mason & potter wasps aggressive?
Mason and potter wasps are very mild-tempered and not known to even defend their nests. These wasps will only sting if handled.
Benefits of Professional Mason & Potter Wasp Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a mason and potter wasp problem. Finding and treating the mason and potter wasp nest can be challenging, especially if the main nest is hidden somewhere outside. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify and determine the best possible solution to resolve the mason and potter wasp infestation.
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