Here in Houston, we’ve got our fair share of stinging insects: from bees to wasps to fire ants to centipedes to scorpions (it’s still Texas after all). When it comes to getting stung, though, wasps are some of the most common offenders. This is due to their hostile nature and their tendency to aggressively defend their nests from any perceived threat. While wasps aren’t all bad – they’re pollinators and thus an important part of the ecosystem – they’re not likely an important part of your backyard or house. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to keep them away. Let’s talk about them.
Wasp vs Bee – How To Spot The Difference
Wasps and bees are easy to confuse with one another, especially when you factor in that a lot of wasps are social. Luckily, there are several ways to tell them apart. Body shape is a biggie. Bees tend to be shorter and rounder, and they have little to no defined waist. Meanwhile, wasps are longer, thinner, and usually have a clearly defined waist that’s sometimes so cinched it almost looks like a string attaching their two body parts together.
Wasps are also typically hairless and shiny, while bees are covered in a layer of fuzz that can be so thick they almost look furry. Bees have a pollen basket on their back legs and wasps don’t. Bees’ stingers are also barbed, and wasps’ aren’t, and this is one of the distinctions between bees and wasps that makes wasps so dangerous: wasps can sting as many times as they want.
They take full advantage of this ability to mount attacks that can be both violent and persistent. Certain species of wasp will swarm anything that disturbs their nest, stinging up to hundreds of times and sometimes pursuing their victims for short distances. Other wasp varieties might not be as aggressive, but they can still sting you repeatedly until they believe you’re no longer a threat to them or their nests.
On top of their propensity to sting multiple times, wasps are also one of the most common causes of insect-induced anaphylaxis. It only takes one sting to provoke a life-threatening reaction in sensitive individuals. If you ever experience trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, rapid heart rate, or confusion, seek immediate medical attention.
Wasp Prevention Methods
Because of their aggressive behavior, likely, you don’t want these stinging insects on your property. You can do a lot of things to deter wasps from setting up shop around your house such as:
- Filling holes and removing hollow tree stumps to eliminate places for ground-nesting wasps like yellow jackets to invade.
- Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed to reduce places for aerial-nesting wasps to hang their paper nests.
- Getting rid of flowering plants that wasps could find attractive.
- Covering all garbage cans and compost bins with tight-fitting lids.
- Making sure any chimneys on your property – such as those belonging to brick ovens, fireplaces, and meat smokers – have caps on them to keep wasps from nesting inside.
- Cleaning up after eating or feeding pets outdoors, and never leave foods or sugary drinks sitting outside.
If even these prevention measures don’t keep you from getting wasp nests all over your property, you have one last line of defense. Here at Greenforce Pest Solutions, we’ve earned the moniker the “Bug Brothers” through our dedication to offering unbeatable service at an unbeatable value. We use science-backed, tried-and-true methods for eliminating pest problems around your property to make sure all unwanted invaders stay gone for good. So give us a call at (832) 789-4163 or visit our contact page to schedule your service today!