June 18, 2020
Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s time to talk about common visitors that like to make their appearance as temperatures start to rise. Let’s talk about wasps.
Wasps, commonly referred to as Hymenoptera via the scientific community, are the friends of nature no ones like to have around. These flying menaces tend to be very aggressive and attack without much reason. No one seems to like wasps very much, but what do we actually know about them? Did you know that worker wasps die off every fall and that only a few queens are left to rebuild their nests the following spring? Wasps tend to get a bad rap because they’re angry, aggressive and bear painful stings, but wasps can be surprisingly helpful with pest control.
Though commonly found hovering over trash cans or around the canopies of your homes, wasps also target spiders, grasshoppers, caterpillars and more when searching for food. Some wasp species utilize their powerful stings to paralyze their prey before feeding on them, whereas other species prefer to feed on the dead flesh of other insects. Like grasshoppers and daddy long legs, wasps may be annoying but serve a higher purpose.
Though they closely resemble that cousin who always picks on you during family functions, they look worse than they actually are. Wasps typically spend their short life cycle nesting and feeding on pests that tend to find their way inside minus the invitation. In addition to other insects, these outdoor predators like to nest close to homes and feed on fruit, other sugary food items and surprisingly, tuna. Who knew these guys were such health nuts?
Here in the good ol’ barbeque rich state of Texas, reside a handful of wasp species that all serve their own purpose and march to the beat of their own drums. Here’s what you need to know.
Did you know that mud daubers are one of the only non-aggressive species of wasps that not only avoid humans but also won’t actively defend their nests? This species of wasp tends to be docile around most humans and will only sting if they feel threatened. Ok, so what do they look like? As many wasps and even bees bear similarities in appearance, it’s important to remember that mud daubers are easily distinguishable from their slender body proportions. These wasps are usually black in color but may have pale markings along their bodies. Unlike a normal wasp nest, mud daubers build their nests with mud in the form of one inch long tube-like structures. These nests are typically built close together and can be easily found in sheltered locations such as garages, sheds, and/or attics. If a mud nest has a rounded hole in it, this may signify that this nest is old and inactive.
This species of wasp is very social and tend to build their nests out of paper like material. These wasps tend to be slender, black in color with yellow markings and have trademark black wings. This is a very common species to see milling around your home and can be easily identified by the type of nest they build. Unlike their docile cousins, the mud daubers, these wasps are more aggressive but only attack when their nests are disturbed, or they feel threatened. Paper wasp nests are built via wood fibers that are chewed down to a paper like material and shaped into hexagonal shaped craters throughout their nests.
Like many wasps, paper wasps are a natural form of pest control and are commonly attracted to things that resemble flowers such as perfumes or bright colors. With this species of wasp, the easiest way to prevent them from nesting around your home is to take proper preventative measures. If you see a nest or a large number of wasps flitting around your home, give us a call so we can inspect your home for hidden nests.
Mexican Honey Wasp
Another common species that you may run across in the great ol’ state of Texas is the Mexican Honey Wasp. Surprisingly, this is one of the few species of wasps that can actually produce honey and pollinate some fruits such as avocado. This species is non-aggressive and tend to leave humans be unless their nests are disturbed. Similar to the paper wasps, these wasps tend to build paper-like nests but instead of sticking close to your home, they tend to nest in shrubbery and trees.
Fun fact, though these wasps produce honey that’s similar to that of honeybee honey, wasp honey may contain nectar from toxic plants that can prove fatal if ingested. So no, Texas, you probably won’t see this delicacy at your local grocery store. These nests typically resemble a paper balloon and are large enough to easily home thousands of wasps. In short, these are not the friends you want around your home. If you start seeing an influx of striped yellow and black wasps around your home, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.
Asian Giant Hornets
Have ya’ll heard about these mysterious terrors, the Asian Giant Hornets, aka the ‘Murder Hornets’? Over the last few weeks, this particular species of wasp has been broadcast across new stations around the nation, sealing fear into our heart and indirectly encouraging social distancing efforts. These wasps are the largest species of wasp recorded today and are not commonly found in the U.S. These approximately three-inch long horrors are very anti-human, tend to attack without much provocation and are a menace to bee colonies worldwide. These wasps nest in the ground and have an aggressive nature similar to that of rabid wolves.
These wasps are equipped with a large stinger that delivers potent venom to their victims and can potentially dissolve flesh and prove fatal if multiple stings are delivered. Horrifying right? It doesn’t stop there. Only twenty to thirty of these wasps are needed to kill off over five thousand bees alone. Luckily, these terrors have yet to grace the south with their presence but since they’ve been in the news, we wanted to give you some peace of mind that these guys are ones you probably won’t have to worry about here in Texas.
If you think you’ve spotted a large wasp in the area or around your home, stop what you’re doing and immediately give us a call. Here at Buckaroo Pest Protection, we want to ensure the safety of your families with such an aggressive species on the loose. If you think you see one, give us a call. This warrior species is wiping out bee colonies at such an alarming rate that local agricultural departments are taking extensive measures to eradicate these nests the moment their found.
I think I found a wasp nest, what now?
As your family friendly local pest control company in the Plano area, the safety of your homes and families are our top priority. If you’re worried you have a wasp infestation, feel free to pick up the phone and give us a ring! Though wasps can be seen as a natural form of pest control, due to their common aggressive behavior its important to take proper preventative measures. As the first key to proper and effective pest control is pest prevention, we understand how important it is to ensure that nests are removed safely and permanently.
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