Local San Antonians know all too well the threat wasps have to offer. The multiple painful stings make even the bravest flee when they intrude on outdoor activities. There are several species of wasps in Greater San Antonio, Texas and we at A Five Star Termite & Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to briefly touch on these different species roaming in our backyards. Some of the common types of wasps found here include paper wasps, yellow jackets and mud daubers. With two classifications, wasps are either solitary or social wasps and have many similarities and different characteristics.
How Bad Does a Mud Dauber Sting Hurt?
These wasps are so named due to the fact they construct their nests from mud. Mud daubers rarely sting but when they do, they can deliver multiple stings but thankfully they are not that painful compared to other wasp species. Mud daubers have a metallic luster or pale marking on their black bodies. With the standard 6 legs, antennae, long bodies, and slender thread-like waists, mud daubers measure between ½”-1” in length. Being a solitary wasp, they do not live in colonies but will care for their young. Paralyzing spiders with their venom, they will bring the incapacitated spider back for their larvae to feed on them. The ladies construct their mud nests in short tube-like structures that are about an inch long side by side, often under shelter like under eaves, sheds, garages, porch ceilings, attics, and so on. If holes are present, the younglings have emerged, which usually happens just after spring. Mud daubers rarely sting, not even in defense of their nest, and in fact they are considered beneficial keeping the spider population down.
How Dangerous are Yellow Jackets?
Yellow jackets have a tendency to nest in the ground, but also are drawn to the ceiling voids, walls, and attic spaces. They are rightfully named having black and yellow bodies and some are white and black. They measure up to 5/8” in length with elongated wings as long as their narrow bodies that rest folded laterally. Yellow jackets live socially in colonies and are notoriously known for crashing picnics, BBQ, and pool parties. Yellow jackets are still considered beneficial for their pollinating habits while pilfering sugary debris, fish, and meats and consuming flies, grubs, and other pests but they are considered dangerous too. Yellow jacket attacks can be deadly for people who are allergic to their stings. These wasps are more aggressive than other stinging insects such as mud daubers or bees. Plus, yellowjackets can both sting and bite (they will often bite to get a better grip and then jab their stinger in).
What are Paper Wasps Attracted To?
Narrow bodies, commonly dark brown bodies, black wings and yellow markings; closely resemble yellow jackets. So named for the paper-like wasp nest they construct from cellulose materials and saliva. Within these nests, separate compartments are made to lay the eggs and rear the young. Their nests are frequently building their nests under sheltered areas such as door frames, eaves and windows sills. Another wasp considered beneficial for pollinating, these wasps, however do sting, especially defending their nests. During the spring season, wasps are particularly attracted to protein found in liverwurst, fish, hamburger meat etc.
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Other wasp species found in San Antonio, TX include hornets, cicada killers and Mexican honey wasps. Like bee stings, people can find themselves severely allergic to the venom they deliver, but unlike bees, wasps don’t die after one sting, but can continue to assault their victims. Removing their nests can prove to be a challenge and a severe health risk. If you have wasps on your grounds, contact A Five Star Pest & Termite Control today and let our experts assist you.