The names wood wasp and horntail describe several kinds of wood-boring insects in the order Hymenoptera, family Siricidae. Of greatest concern are the large, non-stinging wasps that normally are attracted to and complete their life cycles in newly dead or dying conifer trees.
The terms “wood wasp” and “horntail” are actually used to describe various species of insects that belong to the family Siricidae of the order Hymenoptera and that inhabit wood structures. They are called a wasp because of their resemblance to a wasp, but actually don’t sting.
Wasps can be generally beneficial as they prey on other pests, but they can be quite a nuisance when they build their nests on your wood deck. They tend to favour such areas of homes because decks provide hidden spots for them to build their nests.
Horntail or wood wasp is the common name for any of the 150 non-social species of the family Siricidae. Female horntails lay their eggs in trees. The larvae bore into the wood and live in the tree for up to two years, possibly more. They typically migrate to just under the bark before pupation. They can easily go unnoticed, to wood infested with larvae ends up being used in constructions. They are related to wasps, but lack the ability to sting, they do not tend to be aggressive and they are not a threat to humans.