Wasp, Hornet & Yellow Jacket Control
There are approximately 25,000 species of wasps, of which many are beneficial either as pollinators or because they parasitize or prey upon harmful insects. But some wasp species are significant pests in the Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas Metropolitan area.
Yellow jackets wasps are one-half to three-quarters of an inch in length and have distinctive black and yellow coloration. They are social insects who live in large colonies. In warmer climates like Texas, yellow jacket colonies can survive for several years. They are primarily carnivorous, eating other insects and animal carcasses; but they also feed on nectar and other sugary fluids.
Yellow jackets usually build their nests either underground, in hollow trees, or in structural voids such as roof soffits, crawl spaces, fence poles, and playground equipment. Often the actual nest is located several feet away from the entry hole, making extermination a challenge.
Yellow jackets are fairly aggressive and are capable of inflicting multiple, painful stings. They may attack if approached or if the colony is threatened.
Baldfaced hornets are among the most aggressive of all wasps. These stocky insects are predominantly black with white or pale yellow markings, and build paper nests that can contain hundreds or thousands of individuals. When threatened, they often attack en masse, with almost all of the members of the colony responding. Their stings are excruciating, and multiple stings inflicted during such an attack can require medical care.
If there is any insect that an average person should not attempt to control themselves, that would be the baldfaced hornet. Even professional exterminators treat these aggressive wasps with respect.
Polistes Wasps (Paper Wasps)
Paper wasps construct nests of paper that they manufacture themselves. They often build nests on window and door frames, in hollow metal fence posts and PVC furniture, and on playground equipment. Control of paper wasps is accomplished by physical removal of the nests and the application of a residual insecticide product to prevent reinfestation.
Paper wasps are less aggressive than most other wasps and are somewhat beneficial to agriculture because they feed upon several harmful pest species. But they are capable of inflicting multiple stings if threatened.
Cicada killers are among the largest of wasp species, often reaching lengths of one and a half inches. Females build their nests in soil, defacing lawns with their holes. They then go find a cicada, paralyze it, drag it down into the burrow, and lay an egg on or nearby the cicada's body. When the egg hatches, the larva will eat the cicada from the inside out until only the shell remains, and then will pupate over the winter.
Female cicada killers are capable of stinging, but rarely do so. Male cicada killers are more aggressive and will sometimes "attack" humans or animals who get too close. But it's all just a show. The males have no stingers. The worst they can do is head-butt you.
For help with wasps, hornets, or yellow jacket problems, please contact us.
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