Wasps

There are a few common types of wasps found along the Front Range. All wasps can be a dangerous pest due to the venom they produce. Contact me for wasp control.

  • Paper wasps
  • Baldfaced Hornets
  • Mud Dauber Wasps
  • Yellow Jacket Wasps

Paper Wasps

  • Construct paper nests, usually under eaves, in sheds and playground equiptment
  • Effective predators of caterpillars and other pest insects and therefore, are beneficial creatures
  • Stings are painful and venomous. As a result, stings can cause a fatal allergic reaction

Baldfaced Hornets

  • Build large paper nests, sometimes basketball sized, in trees and under eaves
  • Adults feed on sweet liquids and young feed on live insects
  • Hornets rarely sting unless the nest is seriously threatened
  • Most noteworthy, a baldfaced hornet can shoot venom from it’s stinger into the eyes of a nest intruder! This can result in temporary blindness

Mud Dauber Wasps

  • Solitary wasps that construct nests from mud, on or inside homes and buildings
  • Adults feed on nectar and the young eat spiders. In addition, mud daubers are the widow spider’s main predator
  • Rarely sting unless trapped or handled
  • Power washing is the most effective means of removing a mud dauber nest. Do not attempt to scrape the nest off your siding or stucco. This may damage the exterior of your property

Yellow Jacket Wasps

  • Nests are similar to baldfaced hornet nests. They prefer to nest underground or in wall voids, where temperatures remain cooler. As a result, the nests are difficult to control
  • Adults feed on sweets while the young are meat eaters
  • Sting repeatedly and can cause a nasty reaction. Many people seek medical attention after being stung several times
  • Yellow jacket traps are most effective when put out in early spring. These traps are meant to catch queens when they come out of hibernation

Lastly, It is important to know that some stinging insects can be beneficial and are not always considered pests. One extremely beneficial insect is the honeybee. Honeybees are exceptional pollinators. CSU Extension has estimated the value of this pollination, in Colorado alone, at more than $20 million annually. Consequently, we need to take care to minimize honeybee loss if we want to keep enjoying the foods we love. Don’t kill honeybees! Honeybees are almost always confused with yellow jackets. It is important to know the difference between the two. Here are some differences

Honeybee (Good)

  • Bees have a covering of hairs and are amber to black in color
  • They like to hang out on flowers, Consequently, they’re the world’s favorite pollinators.
  • Bees are not meat eaters, and hence do not scavenge garbage or picnic food
  • They make their nest out of 100% wax

Yellow Jacket (Bad)

  • Do not have an obvious covering of hairs and are shiny, yellow in color with black stripes
  • Yellow jackets are carnivores and scavengers; consequently, will actually eat honeybees
  • While you may think it’s bees coming after your soft drink, it is almost always a yellow jacket
  • Yellow jackets make their nests out of paper

If you’d like more information on wasps and bees, visit this CSU website. Furthermore, if you want help identifying any insect, feel free to text or email me a photo.  My contact details can be found on the Contact page.

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