Houston is a beautiful city filled with amazing and diverse wildlife. Unfortunately, not all of Houston’s wildlife is welcome. Wasps can easily become a problem in the area and pose a significant threat to humans. From the sidewalks and wooded areas to our backyards and homes, wasps can be found everywhere. Fortunately, understanding the different varieties of wasps common to Houston, their behaviors and habits, and how to safely deal with them can help protect us from an unpleasant encounter and keep our homes and yards free of annoying buzzes.
Types of Wasps in Houston
Houston is home to many different types of wasps. Although they can be difficult to tell apart, it is important to understand the difference between them since their behaviors can vary greatly. Below are some of the most common varieties of wasps in Houston.
Mud daubers are long, slender wasps with metallic iridescent wings and long legs. Their nests are usually constructed of mud, hence the name, and can be found on the sides of homes, buildings, and sometimes even on furniture and other items outdoors. Mud daubers typically eat small spiders and are not overly aggressive unless disturbed.
Paper wasps are often mistaken for yellowjackets because of their black and yellow colors. However, paper wasps are usually much longer and have thinner waists than yellowjackets. Their nests are usually made up of a paper material and can be found anyplace that is semi-sheltered and protected, such as windowsills and eaves. Paper wasps prefer to feed on flowers and are often not aggressive unless their nest is disturbed.
Cicada Killer Wasps
Cicada killer wasps are large, dark-colored wasps with yellow stripes. They are often found digging burrows in sandy soils, where they lay their eggs. Though they are typically solitary wasps, they can be quite territorial. When disturbed, they emit a loud buzzing noise and can be aggressive.
Yellowjackets are the most aggressive variety of wasps found in Houston. They have yellow and black markings and a distinct yellow and black striped abdomen. Their nests are typically found underground and are composed of a paper-like material. Yellowjackets are considered to be the most dangerous type of wasp and are known to sting multiple times if provoked.
Prevention and Control of Wasps
The best way to prevent wasps from becoming a problem is to keep them away from your home and property in the first place. Here are some tips to help keep wasps away from your yard:
- Remove any trash, food, and other attractants from your yard.
- Avoid mowing and doing yard work near their nests.
- Check for nests around and in your home regularly, and remove any you find.
- Close off access points to your home, such as windows and doors.
- Fix any cracks in the siding of your home or other structures.
- Use traps and sprays to kill existing wasps.
How to Deal with a Wasp Sting
Wasp stings can be both painful and dangerous, so if you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s important to know how to handle it. The first step is to remove the stinger, if possible. Taking an antihistamine can help reduce the swelling and pain of a wasp sting. Applying a cold compress or lotion can also help soothe the area. If the pain and swelling persists, you should seek medical attention.
People Also Ask
Are wasps dangerous in Houston?
Yes, some varieties of wasps in Houston can be quite dangerous. Yellowjackets are particularly aggressive and known to sting multiple times when provoked.
What do wasps eat in Houston?
Wasps in Houston typically eat insects and nectar from flowers, though some species may also eat carrion or scavenge for food.
What is the best way to get rid of wasps?
The best way to get rid of wasps is to first prevent them from entering your home or property in the first place. You can also use traps and sprays to kill existing wasps.
What do I do if I find a wasp nest?
If you find a wasp nest, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Wasps can become aggressive if their nest is disturbed, so it is best to call a pest control professional to take care of the nest safely and efficiently.
Is it normal to see wasps in Houston?
Yes, it is normal to see wasps in Houston. Wasps can be found in many places, from wooded areas to backyards and homes.
Wasps can be a nuisance but are a necessary part of our ecosystem. Being aware of their different types, behavior, and habits can help protect us from stings and help keep our homes free of annoying buzzes. Wasps are common in Houston, but understanding how to properly deal with them can help maintain our peace of mind and the beauty of our city.