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Wasps are common insects. They are so common that we're sure you've had some dealings with them. But, even after an encounter with wasps, you can still not know much about them. Perhaps you were staying in an apartment and noticed a nest on your balcony, you contacted maintenance, and they took care of that nest. Perhaps you saw some wasps creating a nest on your porch and used a broom to knock it down and haven't seen them since. But, often, wasp problems aren't this easy to correct, and wasp nest removal requires more than a broom. Join us as we look at professional strategies for addressing stinging insects around your  home or business and see how our pest control services in Houston can help.

Understanding The Threat: Identifying Common Stinging Insects

There are different types of wasps in Houston, and each is unique in its own way. It is beneficial to learn the differences as you consider what to do about wasps on your property. Let's look at the four most common wasps we see.


Paper Wasps:

These wasps create aerial nests. It is likely that you've done your own paper wasp nest removal at some point in your life. These nests start as a tiny gray blob with one or two wasps working on it. If you wait for the wasps to collect material, you can just use a broom to sweep the nest down. Since it is usually easy, many people do this. Problems begin when a nest becomes too large and populated to easily swipe down or when it is in a difficult-to-reach location. You can usually identify paper wasps by their coloration. Most are reddish-brown with yellow legs. Some have a black and yellow coloration, like yellow jackets. The difference is that they have a thinner waist. 


Yellow Jackets:

These wasps typically create nests in the ground but will also make a nest inside a cavity within a structure. Since they don't make nests out in the open, like paper wasps do, it can be hard to deal with these wasps on your own. What typically happens is someone will hear buzzing or get stung by a yellow jacket while outdoors, prompting a call to us. These wasps are tiny. You may have a hard time seeing them. But, if you do, they'll look like fat paper wasps with a yellow and black coloration. 


Bald-Faced Hornets:

These wasps create aerial nests like paper wasps do. But they have a propensity to make their nests up high, where you can't easily reach them. They're also somewhat aggressive in how they defend their nests. Even though they're up high, these hornets have sentries that fly around the nest looking for danger, which can cause a swarm to come down from the sky and surprise you in your yard. You can identify these wasps by their large size and white and black coloration.


Mud Daubers:

These wasps make their nests out of mud. Of all the wasps listed here, these are the best and the worst. They are the best in that they are solitary wasps that do not have a nest protection instinct. They are the worst in that they create multiple nests and make a bit of a mess. You can easily recognize a mud wasp as it has a long, thin, pin-like waist.

 

How bad is it to have wasps on your property? Are they really as bad as you've heard? It depends on the kind of wasp. It also depends on the conditions present. Some wasp problems are worse than others. Let's take a look at the risks associated with wasps. 

The Impact Of Stinging Insects On Health: The Risks Of Infestations

When considering the risk wasps present, there are two primary factors to consider: the result of a sting and the level of threat a stinging insect presents. The first is straightforward. If you're stung by a wasp, you will experience intense pain. After the initial sting, you'll have heat and irritation around the wound, and a rash may form. Your body's immune system will fight the venom. If you do not have an allergy to the venom, a wasp wound may be just an unpleasant experience. For those with an allergy to stinging insects or those stung by several wasps, the risk is greater. It may even result in anaphylaxis.


A solitary wasp is not likely to sting unless handled. Therefore, as we pointed out already, mud daubers present the least amount of threat among the wasps listed on this page. You just have to watch out that you don't put your hand on one while gripping a railing or picking up a drink. And you definitely don't want to sit on one.


Paper wasps are the most docile of the social wasps listed on this page. Part of the reason is that they create aerial nests. Vibrations are often what set wasps off. If a paper wasp nest is on a high exterior wall or roofline, you're not likely to instigate them unless you attempt to spray the nest with a water hose. Therefore, the chance of multiple stings is low.


Yellow jackets are in the ground, and vibration from foot traffic or a lawn mower can set them off. You may also aggravate them by disturbing plants in your landscaping as the roots will move within the ground. For these reasons, getting multiple stings from yellow jackets is common.


Bald-faced hornets, as we pointed out, are wasps that create aerial nests with local sentries that fly around outside the nest. While creating an aerial nest up high will prevent vibrations from setting these wasps off, fast movement is caught by the sentries, and this can lead to a swarm.


These are the factors to consider when dealing with common wasps in Houston. But there is one more risk factor to consider that has less to do with wasps and more to do with you. Let's take a look at DIY wasp nest removal.

Safety First: The Importance Of Professional Stinging Insect Control

If you have a nest on your property and you're considering DIY wasp removal, there are a few things you should consider before you tackle this tough, and often painful, job. Some of these facts are likely to surprise you.

  • Nests that are positioned in high locations present a unique challenge. You may need to climb a ladder to get high enough to address the nest. Doing so may lead to multiple stings or serious injury from a fall. Professionals have protective gear that allows for safe and steady removal from high places.
  • If you hurt yourself while removing a wasp nest, you're responsible for the medical bills. When a professional handles nest removal, their insurance covers the cost of any medical bills incurred.
  • You may need to climb on your property while removing a wasp nest. Doing so can lead to property damage. A professional is careful and meticulous to avoid damaging your property and is covered by insurance should anything unexpected happen.
  • When removing a nest, wasps can behave unexpectedly. They could find their way into your home or move into a neighbor's yard while in an aggravated swarm. A professional handles wasps using safety protocols to avoid unwanted outcomes.
  • If you're stung, you could have an allergic reaction. Allergies to insect venom can develop later in life, even after having been stung by wasps without consequence in the past.
  • There are some legal considerations when addressing bees and wasps. A professional is aware of the law and will perform your wasp removal in accordance with all local legislation.

It is always best to have a licensed professional address wasp infestations. If you're in the Houston area, contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for professional wasp removal in Houston. We have the training and experience to properly handle this delicate issue.

Stay Ahead Of The Buzz: Tips To Prevent Stinging Insect Infestations

The best way to deal with wasps is to not have wasps on your property. There are a few ways you can do your own wasp prevention.

 

Here are our best tips to help you keep wasps away from you home:

  • Remove tiny starter nests as paper wasps create them in the spring and summer.
  • Address lawn weeds to reduce nectar as a food source for wasps.
  • Keep your trash in covered containers, as wasps target garbage and eat leftover human food.
  • Many wasps eat spiders and will establish nests near spider webs. Remove webs and wipe down surfaces to deter them.
  • Wasps collect paper material from logs, brush piles, and scrap wood. Remove wood sources to deter nest creation.

You can deter wasps if you're diligent. But life can get busy, and wasp prevention is often put on the back burner. Consider getting a pest control service plan for your home or business. Routine visits from a licensed service professional can stop stinging insect problems before they begin. Contact All-Safe Pest & Termite to get started and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Houston. We're here to help you find the right solution for your property.

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