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Wasps are a pain – literally - when they get too comfortable in your backyard. You see them buzzing around your garden and swarming your garbage cans, but are wasps dangerous to humans? Russell's Pest Control examines the different types of wasps and the dangers they pose to you, your pets, and your family.

Problems with Wasps

There are a few types of wasp species in Tennessee. The most common types of wasps are:

  • Paper wasps

  • Solitary wasps

  • Yellow jacket wasps

The problem with wasps is that they are overly territorial and aggressive. When wasps decide they want to nest, the entire colony will help out. When a colony of wasps targets your home or yard, wasps will begin to build nests anywhere they can hang it, and it will be protected. Paper wasps will create large, elaborate nests in rafters, under eaves, under decks, in windows, in door frames, under railings, and in trees. Wasps use a combination of saliva and wood or paper to build the comb nests.

Yellow jacket wasps, often confused with honeybees, become problematic when they detect a nearby food source. Yellow jacket wasps will invade picnics, outdoor gatherings, compost piles, and garbage cans. Yellow jackets scavenge areas that offer protein and sugary foods.

Identifying Wasps

Wasps are not difficult to spot. Papers wasps are identified by their large bodies, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch, and their black or brown bodies. Paper wasps have yellow markings on their bodies and grey-colored wings.

Yellow jacket wasps look like large bees, but their bodies are shiny, and they don’t have as much hair. The yellow jacket wasp is between 10 and 16 mm. Typically, yellow jackets are black and yellow. The yellow jacket has long wings on the body that fold when the yellow jacket is not in flight.

Why Wasps are Dangerous

Wasps are dangerous because they are aggressive and territorial, and they will use their long stinger to attack. Unlike bees, wasps can use the stinger several times. If someone or something approaches a wasp nest, wasps will attack to keep the intruder out. Wasps will also sting if they are agitated or disturbed while pollinating or scavenging. Wasps will also attack in packs, which can be dangerous and deadly. If someone in your home is allergic to wasp stings, they can suffer from a severe reaction that requires immediate medical attention.

Don’t risk a wasp attack. Once wasps begin nesting in your yard or on your home, it is hard to get rid of them. If you do attempt to control wasps on your home, you put yourself in the line of fire for an attack. Call the professionals instead.

The Russell’s Pest Control year-round pest control service successfully prevents and treats problems with wasps and more than 30 other types of household pests. 

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