Bees And Wasps In Hawaii

There is an incredible variety when it comes to bees and wasps here in Hawaii. But, fortunately, only a handful of them are common pests for residents and business owners in the state.

Yellow Jacket

yellow jacket found in honolulu hawaiiThese bad-tempered black and yellow wasps are not native to Hawaii, but that isn't stopping them from thriving here. In states that have a winter, yellow jackets die off. This keeps most nests from developing beyond 50,000 individuals. Here in Hawaii, where temperatures are more even year-round, yellow jackets are able to create much larger, "super" nests, with over 500,000 individual wasps in a single nest.

Yellow jackets are also not having a hard time finding a meal. These invasive pests have an astonishingly diverse list of dietary staples. They can be found feeding on everything from nectar to pheasants. In fact, researchers say the yellow jacket's penchant for flesh is startling. But, while they scavenge large animals, they are not known to kill them.
Their diverse diet makes yellow jackets a common picnic area pest, a frequent irritation at cookouts, and tailgate barbecues. They are drawn to garbage, exposed food, and sweet drinks.

 

 

Paper Wasps

paper wasp and nest in hawaiiThese social wasps, given their name because of the paper-looking nests they build under the eaves and overhangs of man-made structures, are wired to swarm and give chase when they feel their nest is threatened. While generally considered beneficial insects, for their limited pollination efforts and the control of plant damaging caterpillars, a paper wasp nest is not something anyone needs on their property.

There are several species of paper wasp. Some can look like yellow jackets. Others have much more brownish-red in their coloring. It is important to get accurate identification of these wasps to avoid mistaking them for a solitary wasp species.

 

 

Carpenter Bees

large black carpenter bee on oahuIf you see insects on your property that look like a bumble bee but have a shiny abdomen that is entirely black, you have carpenter bees. And, if you have carpenter bees, it is likely that you have wood damage.

Carpenter bees are solitary insects. That means they don't swarm or exhibit the other complex behavior patterns social insects do. As stinging insects go, you don't have much to worry about with carpenter bees. In fact, male carpenter bees are not able to sting at all.

The real threat carpenter bees pose is the damage they do to wood, especially untreated wood. If you have an old set of stairs leading up to a deck, these insects could bore enough tunneling in your steps to cause them to snap when stepped on and lead to a fall. So, while you're not likely to be stung by a carpenter bee, they can hurt you in other ways.

 

 

 

Mud Dauber Wasps

large mud dauber wasps on a flower in honolulu hiThese stinging insects also referred to as dirt daubers, mud wasps, organ pipe wasps, and potter wasps, are solitary insects like the carpenter bee. As solitary insects, they do not have a "collective" behavior pattern. And, they work individually to develop their offspring.

Like paper wasps, mud daubers get their name because of the type of nest they build. While different species of mud dauber make different nest shapes and sizes, they all use mud as their construction material.

Here in Hawaii, the most common mud dauber is the black and yellow mud dauber, which can make it hard for some to distinguish these solitary wasps from their social cousins, the yellow jacket, and the paper wasp. Fortunately, mud daubers have an extremely thin waist that helps to easily identify them.

The black and yellow mud dauber is considered a nuisance pest. While it is not prone to sting, it can inflict a painful sting if sat on, leaned against, or brought into contact with the skin in some other way. For anyone with an allergy to their venom, they can be medically important.

Control For Stinging Insects In Hawaii

If you need help with identification or the safe removal of a nest from your property, the QualityPro certified team here at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions can assist you. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.