mud dauber on a deck attached to a denton home

Brief overview of wasps

Wasps are stinging insects that play an important role in the eco-system as pollinators of crops and flowers. They also prey on and reduce the number of nuisance insects. 

Wasps are usually categorized as social or solitary: social wasps can live together in nests that contain thousands of members, while solitary wasps live on their own. Both paper wasps and yellow jackets (social wasps) are very common species of wasps found in North Texas.

What do wasps look like?

Both paper wasps and yellow jackets (social wasps) are very common species of wasps found in North Texas. Though they are both wasps, they look different.

Paper Wasps

Adult paper wasps have a pinched waist and six long, thin legs that “dangle” below their body as they fly. Their bodies are black or brown with yellow and/or orange markings. Their wings are gray. They are a fairly large species with adults growing to between ½ and 1 inch in length. These wasps are also identified by their umbrella-shaped nests that they create from paper-like material.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are an aggressive species of stinging insect. Their face and head are usually black or yellow. Yellow jackets have a waist that is extremely thin and defined; their elongated wings fold laterally on their body when they are at rest.

Adult workers grow to be between 3/8th and 5/8th of an inch in length. Their body is hairless and has a yellow and black banded pattern on it. 

yellow jackets crawling on a glass outside denton home
wasp on a northern texas deck
wasp nest in northern texas

Are wasps dangerous?

The short answer is yes.  Wasps are aggressive (especially yellow jackets) and will not hesitate to defend themselves or their nest by stinging their perceived threat. Wasps have a smooth stinger which means that they can sting their victim multiple times. A sting from a wasp is painful and leaves behind a raised, red lump. Also, the venom that they inject is powerful enough to cause a severe allergic reaction in people that may require immediate medical attention.

Where do wasps nest?

Paper wasps like to create their tan colored nests off the ground. They can be found hanging from trees, shrubs, telephone poles, roof soffits, doorframes, and underneath decks and porches. In order to create their nests, paper wasps chew on wood or other cellulose materials and mix it with their saliva making a paper-like material.

Like paper wasps, yellow jackets create their nest using a mixture of chewed up cellulose and saliva. However, yellow jackets create their nest in the ground or inside fallen trees or rotten logs. If the opportunity presents itself, they may place their nest inside a home or other building; yellow jacket nests or often found inside an attic, a chimney, a wall void, or a crawl space. 

How do I get rid of wasps?

Getting rid of stinging insects and removing wasp nests is a task best left to professionals who have the knowledge and equipment needed for the job. At Adams Exterminating, we offer relief for wasp problems, and actually include wasp control (up to 15 feet off the ground) in our residential pest control programs. If you’re looking for one-time wasp removal for your home or business, we can help with that too. Contact us today to discuss treatment options.

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