Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wasps in Southeast Texas

We find two common wasps in The Woodlands and other locations in the Southeast USA. Many of us who have lived here for decades have been stung at least one time by one of these species. We know them as the Red or Paper Wasp and the Southern Yellow jacket. The two species are quite different but both will sting when their nest is threatened. The insect is beneficial to the garden and has a positive role in the environment. It eats insects and particularly tough on caterpillars. One will typically find the Red Wasp near water.  The Yellow Jacket is found about everywhere.

Popularly known as the Red Wasp and also Paper Wasp. This nest was attached under the eave of a house in The Woodlands Texas.

Yellow Jacket nest found on a plant in the forest, near the shore of a lake in The Woodlands Texas. As you will note, the nest of a yellow jacket is similar to one of a Red Wasp. There is one notable difference. The Red Wasp covers the tube to protect its offspring, where the Yellow Jacket does not. Also, the yellow jacket nest can grow to be a huge nest where the paper Wasp will not.

Some people have an allergic reaction to the stings of these insects. They can die from one sting, so if you know someone who is allergic and they get stung, hopefully, he has medicine to combat the reaction. If not, he needs to be taken to the hospital as soon as feasible. If not allergic, the person will have a few small whelps which will go away soon. The stings are very painful, so when a child is stung, the wounds should be treated. Pain can persist for hours.

Nests can be removed from a dwelling by high pressure spray, of course at a sufficient distance to not get stung. The removal will likely require more than one application, but they will relocate with a little persistence.

1. Texas A&amp.M Agrilife Extension - Southern Yellow jacket
2. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension - Paper Wasp

No comments: