Mud daubers are among the most familiar solitary wasps. They belong to a number of related groups, but we call them all "mud daubers" because they all build their nests out of mud. One way to tell the different mud daubers apart is by the distinctive architecture they use.
Yellowjackets are bee-sized social wasps that build paper nests, usually underground. Their defensive stinging makes them a major pest when they nest near people. If you want to eliminate a yellowjacket nest, consult a licensed exterminator.
Bald-faced hornets are fairly large wasps that are primarily black, with white or ivory markings on the face, thorax, and toward the tip of the abdomen. The large, rounded, papery, gray nests of this social insect are frequently seen in natural history displays.
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