Wood Wasp/Horntail 101: How to Get Rid of Them

Woodwasp and horntails represent various types of insects in the family of Siricidae; Horntail is also sole a representative of this family having pale brown legs. The different species of wood wasp belonging to the different area. These are fairly large insects. These insects are extremely disturbing and annoying though they do no sting nor make the bores in the trees. These species create a buzz while flying.

How to Identify Wood Wasp

1. Appearance and size

  • The size of wood wasp can vary from 1 inch to a centimeter longer i.e. 20-40mm long.Wood wasp isolated macro.
  • These species look like a wasp but with distinction, as they have comparatively enlarged and barrel-shaped body with no waist at all. Most of the wasps do possess a wasp waist that wood wasp lacks.
  • The texture or color of their skin can deviate from black to metallic navy blue. Sometimes come with the combination of black, red and yellow.
  • Both male and female wood wasp has no any noticeable difference in their parts. But female does have a structure called ovipositor. This ovipositor is just for laying eggs not for stinging, and due to this female wood wasp has an elongated body than the male.
  • Scientists are greatly impressed by their ovipositor and develop neurosurgical probe. That performs the same function. It has two valves that keep on oscillating. The new Scientist magazine prescribes their function opposite to rigid surgical probes. Hence, this will provide the safest route while doing the brain surgery.

2. Diet and food

The larvae emerge into an adult wood wasp by chewing wood. In the early phases, they feed upon softer wood than the typical horntail goes for the harder or strong wood. The emerging wood wasp can make any substance their food for the complete nourishment and development. Due to the chewing habit, they make comparatively large holes on the interior surfaces or ground and make them look horrific and disastrous. The damage can occur anywhere the most common areas can be room tiles, hardwood floors, carpets, wallboard, etc.

3. Reproduction and life cycle

A female wood wasp prefers a dead or depleted tree for laying eggs through ovipositor which is drilled 3 to 4 inches into the wood. And start laying eggs. While laying an egg, the wood wasp also pours fungi through the abdominal area. And continue to lay an egg up to 200. Each time the period for hatching eggs differs from 3 to 4 weeks approximately. And then larvae channelize its way with fungus-predigested wood parallel having grain with it. Larvae possess a circular body with a whitish color having no legs at all. But there is a spine present in the last segment of their abdomen. This spine helps the young larvae to move ahead. Initially, the larvae will feed on the softer wood of the trees, which is under the bark. Then it goes to the sap for further feeding and nourishing.  There are five immature stages for larvae feeding.  They can end after a year, but on cooler climates, it takes up to five years for the completion of processes. The larvae convert into an intermediate stage that is pupa. After chewing wood about 3 to 4 inches, it finally becomes an adult wood wasp.


4. Range and habitat:

  • The wood wasp can occur anywhere by making it their habitat. Though they usually do a bit of damage in the plastic floors, carpets, buildings, etc. and make it their habitat, but most of the time these wood wasps prefer the dry or moist environment for the ideal and most optimal habitat.
  • Wood wasps are somehow shown specificity while choosing their habitat. The both sexes male and female wood wasp have a probability of their meeting in some building as well, but the female wood wasp is reluctant to lay eggs in the dry areas or the dry finished timber or semi-finished timber.

Do Wood Wasps Sting?

Luckily this little creature does not create any bump by stinging. In fact, Wood wasps do not sting at all to the humans nor the other species. These wood wasps are kind in this way. As they neither have any specialized structure for stinging. This tiny creature is not dangerous for human nor can it create any harm to the humanity. This species can be still irritating Scary and noisy always. But it can never cause a threat to any individual. They can only cause cosmetic damages to the building and never make big holes to the infrastructure of the buildings.

How to Get Rid of Wood Wasps

Horntail Wasps can be the guest in any of your favorite interiors. And the species can originate many serious issues for you. Your ultimate or main concern at this stage will always be of their complete removal. Firstly completely inspect the area, and after each method, check the area which is still untreated and treat it until no horntails left. There are certain methods designed for killing these horntail wasps. There are many products in the market which can kill these irritating flies at the earliest stage to avoid the damages at the earliest stage. The adult horntails are large and are visible. It aids in their effective removal.

These are best methods for the effective control of wood wasps:

  1. Liquids control
  2. Dusts control
  3. Freeze control
  4. Biological control

1. Liquid Control

Liquid control is an effective and easier as well as reliable method for complete destruction of this irritating culture. We will use some liquids. And liquids that have some great penetrating ability to the infected wooden area. These products are poisonous and once eaten by the insects, kill them immediately. There are many sprays as well as some liquid products which as like the stomach poison for wood wasps. This method will be of the wood boring beetles, carpenter ants, or other flies and insects. These products are easily available in the market and can provide long-term removal of these insects’ bacteria or fungus. Baracare is one of the products. Therefore, this has piousness nature and kills the insects whenever they eat the material.

2. Dust Control

This method is quite more practical and feasible while covering the small and large holes caused by the wood wasps. In this method, we will identify the entrance hole or exit hole of these flies. If discovered you can successfully pour some dehydrated material into the holes of adult wood wasp and this material is hatred by these insects. Once the Horntail feels it, they will start dying. Like Drione Wasp Powder is the product if it sprinkles right into the holes of horntail. It won’t let them come to that place for months. There is also a product or process named as hand duster. Hence you can also use it for quick and complete results. These hand dusters have a nozzle or boring instruments. In this method, the harmful or dusty material directly can be thrown into the infected area or hole. The hole should remain open for 2 to 3 days for their complete removal. By using the right products, one can have effective removal of this horntail and their larvae for years.

3. Freeze Control Method

A bottle of wasp freeze on the white.

If you have tried the above methods, and they have not given you with your desired result and horntails are still there to disturb your life. Then this method will be the best choice for those desperate persons. Who wants to remove them effectively with less time and with long term result? There are certain wasp or bee freeze products in the market. That works effortlessly for you to your targeted wasps. But make sure to have these products with you while finding their contact. Once the product is successfully applied, it kills the insects or microbes completely. There are some methods which act as an insect repellent and once you apply them. The annoying insects get easily killed. And you can have a peaceful mind.

4. A biological Control Method for Horntails

For complete removal of horntails, many biologists and new scientist always show great concern for their removal. European woodwasp was also long non-stinging wood wasps that keep on damaging the woods for decades. The biological products often target the horntails, not the other insects. Insecticides and biopesticides, microbes and fungus are the other types that are most effective way to kill the wood wasps.  This method can kill any of their related species including Urocerus gigs.


There are numerous species of wood. That nest on the woods. Horntail or wood wasp is one of them. These species use wood as their food. These horntails are not reasonably noticeable until they create a substantial damage to the stuff. Their size may vary from small to large. They make holes in the host tree by chewing it. Horntails live almost every part of the world. The length of male adult wood wasp will be a bit shorter t than of female due to the ovipositor. There are certain safest routes for their complete destruction including liquid, dust and freeze control method. The biological method for their removal is most widely and practical method for their complete removal. Hence, you should use this method to tackle with the problem of wood wasp.

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