Wasps are a stinging pest that are known for being rather intimidating for running people out of BBQs and picnics as they try to make out with meats and sweets. Being notorious insects, most recognize a wasp when they see one, if nothing else, the painful sting might be distinguishable. Wasps in general look similar to bees but do have longer and narrower bodies. Today we at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to cover the basics regarding paper wasps in Texas.
How Long Do Paper Wasp Nests Last?
Because of the finished nest looking much like paper, these wasps are so named. To construct their nests, they use chewed cellulose materials mixed with their saliva. Usually, their nests look about the same size and shape of a basketball. Generally attached to horizontal surfaces from a single stalk, these look to be hung upside-down paper combs. As the colony grows, the nest continues to expand. their nests can also resemble umbrellas, and some will reference these wasps as umbrella wasps. Each colony of social wasps such as hornets, yellow jackets and paper wasps lasts only one year. Each nest is built from scratch each year. In order to start a new colony, it only requires a single paper wasp fertile female. After her first brood matures, the nest will expand, and work will commence in the colony. The initial brood consists of workers so they can work on the colony and taking care of the next brood as well as start foraging for food and add onto the nest. Eventually, the nest will be abandoned by late fall or early winter, where only a surviving queen will overwinter, emerge in spring and start the process all over again.
How Do You Identify a Paper Wasp?
As mentioned, paper wasps have a likeness to bees, without the fuzzy bodies, and they range from ½-1 ½ inches in length and average about an inch long. Their coloring can vary from species to species, but in general, paper wasps vary from orange to reddish-brown to dark red in color and have bright stripes that can be yellow and red.
Are there Benefits of a Paper Wasp?
Though they are nowhere near as effective as bees, they contribute to pollination as they feed on the nectar of plants. Since they assist with harmful insect control and include them, like caterpillars for example, in their diet in addition to their pollination efforts, paper wasps can be beneficial in gardens.
Are Paper Wasps Aggressive?
Paper wasps are not out to bully people, contrary to belief, they only demonstrate aggressive behavior if they believe their nests are endanger and they need to remove the threat. Animals and people that get too close will be attacked by a barrage of repeated stings since their primary objective to is to protect their queen and the nest. When stung, most experience mild to moderate pain, however, those sensitive and allergic to their stings can endure reactions ranging from minor to severe.
Paper Wasp Stings
Should you experience allergic reactions that are extreme from the list below, get medical attention as soon as possible.
– Dizziness, Confusion, Faintness
– Nausea, Vomiting, Cramps
– Rapid Heartbeat
– Difficulty Breathing
– Swelling of the Eyelids, Lips, Throat
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Because of the perceived health risk, despite their somewhat beneficial characteristics, many people prefer not to have them so close to their home or business. If you do discover paper wasps on your property, contact A Five Star Termite & Pest Control and let our experienced and trained professionals do the rest.