How Much Do You Really Know About Paper Wasps in Syracuse?

yellow jacket on tree branchIn our area, we have two wasps that tend to present a threat to us: paper wasps and yellow jackets. Paper wasps tend to create aerial nests and yellow jackets tend to create nests in voids. If you've lived in Syracuse for a while, it is likely that you've run into paper wasps. They are common pests. You may have even dealt with a tiny starter nest here or there. When you see one paper wasp sitting on top of a little grey blob, you know you have to do something about that blob, or you're going to have a big, grey, egg-shaped nest full of wasps before you know it. But this might be the extent of your knowledge. If so, paper wasps can catch you off guard. Here are a few things every Syracuse homeowner should know about paper wasps.

Paper Wasp Identification

If you see a brownish-red wasp with yellow legs, you are looking at a paper wasp. But, do you know that paper wasps can sometimes look like yellow jackets? It's true. The European paper wasp has a yellow and black coloration, just like a yellow jacket. You can tell them apart by looking at the waist. A paper wasp has a thin waist. A yellow jacket has a fat waist. If you see the wasp flying through the air, you may be able to tell if it is a paper wasp by looking at its legs. Paper wasp legs dangle. The legs of a yellow jacket are tucked up.

It is important to know the difference between these two pests because yellow jackets can be much more troublesome. Ground nests can be disturbed by a lawnmower and cause yellow jackets to swarm. Paper wasps tend to present a more obvious threat. One obvious exception is when paper wasps create a nest inside a dense bush or shrub. You'll get an unpleasant surprise if you trim a bush that has a paper wasp nest in it.

Paper Wasps And Playground Equipment

If you have a swing set, or some other playground equipment in your yard, paper wasps can present a threat to your kids. They commonly establish nests on these external structures. When they do, it can make those paper wasps more aggressive. If your only experience with paper wasps has been the occasional visit to your balcony, porch, or deck, you might think that they're docile insects. This is because paper wasps aren't very aggressive when they are away from their nests. But getting near a paper wasp nest, or worse, sending vibrations into a paper wasp nest by climbing on a swing set, can make these insects swarm and sting.

Paper Wasps Around Your Home

When a paper wasp is away from its nest, it isn't going to present too much of a threat to you. But it can under certain circumstances.

  • If you wave your arms quickly, it can scare a paper wasp into stinging you. We recommend walking quickly away from a paper wasp without swinging your arms to prevent being stung.
  • If you sit down on a paper wasp, you can expect to be stung. Be careful where you sit.
  • If you grab a cup that has a paper wasp on it, you can get stung.
  • If you grip a railing that has a paper wasp on it, it's going to let you know.

Best Way To Prevent Wasp Stings

Early nest detection and removal is key to preventing stings from paper wasps and yellow jackets. These services come with residential pest control from Pestmaster® Services. If you live in Central New York, contact us today. We can help you prevent summertime stings in your yard, and help you get control of a wide range of other harmful pests. There is no better way to stay on top of the threat pests present to you and your family.