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Learn about the types of wasps we encounter in Oklahoma.
Wasps are stinging insects that are categorized as either social or solitary. Social wasps live in large colonies that number in the thousands. Many species of wasps are considered to be predatory, killing and feeding on species of nuisance insects. Some wasps also feed on pollen & nectar and carry some responsibility for pollination. Most species of wasps have a pinched waist, two pair of wings, and six legs that hang down when in flight.
Two of the more common species of wasps found invading properties and homes in Oklahoma include yellow jackets and paper wasps.
Yellow Jackets’ faces and heads are a combination of black and yellow colors, while their bodies have a clear yellow and black striped pattern. Yellow jackets are social and live together in large colonies.
Paper Wasps’ bodies are black or brown in color. They have yellow or orange markings, or markings that are a combination of both yellow and orange. Their wings are grayish in color. Paper wasps are semi-social and live amongst another in relatively small colonies.
Wasps are considered to be dangerous because not only are their stings very painful, but the venom they inject into people is powerful enough to trigger serious health problems including allergic reactions and even anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention. Both yellow jackets and paper wasps have smooth stingers and can sting their victims repeatedly. Yellow jackets are very aggressive and are quick to sting a perceived threat. Paper wasps are not known to be aggressive but great care should still be taken when around them as they will act out of defense.
Wasps are attracted to residential properties that offer them what they need to live successfully. Stinging insects will feed on insects, proteins, nectar, sweets such as sugary drinks or foods. Yellow jackets are scavengers and are often found congregating around trash cans and outdoor eating areas. Properties that have open garbage cans, compost piles, grills, gardens or flowering vegetation may attract stinging insects.
Wasps build their nests in a variety of locations, usually spots that provide them with good protection from the elements and potential threats. Paper wasps and yellow jackets have different nesting preferences.
Paper wasps make their nests out of a “sticky” paper-like material that they create by chewing on bark, plant stems and leaves and mix with their saliva. Paper wasps usually place their umbrella-shaped nests in trees, shrubs, utility poles, porches, underneath roof lines, decks and door frames. If they find their way inside homes or other buildings, they may nest inside chimneys, behind exterior walls or inside crawl spaces.
Yellow jackets are will build their nests underground. They make their nests in abandoned holes created by squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs or other small animals that burrow or dig holes. Their ground nests can be difficult for people and pets to spot and avoid which makes them dangerous. Yellow jackets also keep their nests up off the ground under the eaves of homes, behind walls, in chimneys and inside attics or crawl spaces.
If you have wasps in or around your home and are impacting your daily life, the best method for controlling existing populations and prevention is with the help of a qualified professional. At Mid America Pest Control, our dependable technicians provide year-round services to rid your home and property of wasps. We are committed to using innovative and eco-friendly solutions to remove household-invading pests while preventing their return. To learn more about removing wasps from your home or business throughout Greater Tulsa, reach out today to schedule your free 58-Point pest inspection.
Hiring a professional wasp control team will be the best method of defense, but there are a few steps you can take to keep them away from your home:
If you have a pest problem, allow our team to solve it!