A. Terry Brennen of Camroden Associates in Westmoreland, N.Y., a consultant who specializes in mold and pest issues, responds: Wood wasps — also known as horntails — aren't actually wasps at all, but received their name because of their resemblance to their stinging relatives in the Hymenoptera family.

Found throughout the United States and in other parts of the world, the various subspecies of wood wasps are all fairly distinctive looking; I believe your extension service has correctly identified the insects discovered in your clients' home.

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