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Wasp species in the Eastern US

Most of us have seen a wasp or two in our lifetime and may have even been caught shrieking and darting away from one as well. People fear wasps mainly because of their aggressive reputation and potential to sting humans. But are all wasps aggressive and maybe more importantly, are all wasps the same?

The answer is no. Just like there are many different species of bees ranging from honey bees to carpenter bees, there are thousands of varying species of wasps. In the United States alone there are over 4,000! Wasps are often mistaken for other stinging pests. If you are having trouble identifying a wasp, Ehrlich Pest Control is here to help identify and safely remove a wasp nest from inside or outside of your home. Contact us today.

Yellow jackets

Different types of wasps - yellow jacket

This commonly-heard-of pest is found mainly in the southeastern region of North America. The insect gets its quirky name from the yellow and black horizontal stripes that run across its body. Yellow jackets have been known to feed on other potential pests such as ants, but can also provide a serious threat to humans if disturbed. They build globe-shaped nests above ground, located near garages, sheds, and structural cavities in homes.

A yellow jacket colony may have 1,000 or more workers. Yellow jackets are social insects, meaning they live in colonies and work together as a team. They will usually leave you alone unless of course, you disrupt their nest. Disturbing a yellow jacket hive is something you want to avoid at all costs. The female is the only gender that posses a stinger and she will defend her nest if necessary. Additionally, yellow jackets do not lose their stinger after attacking their enemies and may repeatedly sting their victims if upset.

Paper wasps

different types of wasps - paper wasp

The nest these creatures build is what gives them their unique name. It is constructed from a paper-like material and is typically umbrella-shaped. The nest is never closed off and is often built in a dark sheltered area. Nests often hang from tree branches and twigs, as well as porch ceilings and door railings. A mature nest can have between 20-30 adult wasps living inside. Paper wasps are also social in nature but are not as aggressive as yellow jackets can be. What do paper wasps eat? They feed on larvae from beetles, flies and caterpillars as well as nectar. Although not as hostile as other wasps, they will sting to defend their home when disturbed. It is important to note that their sting is a potent one and may cause an allergic reaction in some.

Velvet ants

different types of wasps - velvet ant

You may be wondering why an ant is included in a list of wasp species. This because the Velvet ant is actually not an ant at all, it’s a species of wasp. Female velvet ants are furry and dark-colored, typically with a pop of yellow, white or orange. Male velvet ants usually have less hair and are more muted in color. Velvet ants are solitary wasps and do not have their own nest. They prefer to live near pastures and sand fields. Females do not have wings and can usually be found quickly moving about on the ground. Adult velvet ants feed on water and nectar. Though not confrontational, if stepped on or held, they will sting and a velvet ant sting happens to be one of the most painful stings around, hence its nickname “cow killer”.

Mud daubers

Different types of wasps - mud daubers

As you may have guessed from its name, the term mud dauber refers to species of wasps that construct their nest out of mud. Several wasps species have this title, including the blue mud dauber, organ pipe mud dauber, and Sceliphron spirifex. Mud daubers are usually black with light-colored markings or a metallic sheen. Their body is long and slender, having a “thread-like” waist. A mud dauber nest is usually located in covered areas such as porch ceilings, sheds, and attics. Although mud daubers are solitary wasps, more than one may be found cohabitating together. Contrary to the other wasps discussed, mud daubers rarely defend their nest and a sting from a mud dauber is fairly uncommon. Mature mud daubers feed on honeydew, plant nectar, and bodily fluids from the spiders they capture. Some species of mud dauber even feed on the poisonous black widow spiders.

Ehrlich Pest Control Technicians can remove wasp nests from your property to help you stay safe. If you have seen any of the following wasps at your home or business, reach out to Ehrlich today by calling 888-984-0186 or get in touch with us online.

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