Wasp Control in Tulsa: The Complete Guide

The spring months bring us Oklahomans many changes. However, the warmer weather, lovely lawns, family get-togethers, and all the other joys of springtime can be spoiled by the presence of a particular pest.

Wasps

When they become a problem around your home, they become a significant problem. This article will highlight the types of wasps you will find in the northeast sector of Oklahoma, why they are dangerous, and how to properly deal with them.

Set of three European wasp German wasp

What Wasps Are Common in Oklahoma?

Many people in Oklahoma have had an unfortunate encounter with wasps, hornets, or other stinging insects. This has led to an intense fear of these pests; however, only a few of the approximately 35,000 species of bees and wasps can actually cause a painful sting. Many wasp species found in Oklahoma will only sting if they are threatened or are obtaining prey. However, many wasps live solitary lives and do not aggressively attack people they see as intruders.

Oklahoma is home to countless wasp species, including various solitary wasps like cicada killers, mud-daubers, and potter wasps. These types of wasps will paralyze spiders and other insect prey with the venom from their sting to feed their young. As you might imagine, this venom isn’t considered very painful for most humans and is more suited for smaller prey. In contrast, stinging wasps like paper wasps, bald-faced hornets, and yellowjackets can be more severe – sometimes even fatal if an allergic response is triggered in the victim’s body.

Paper Wasp

Paper Wasps

A paper wasp has a brown or black-colored body with grey wings. They also have some yellow markings on their body, not to be mistaken for the yellow jacket. Paper wasps are typically smaller than yellow jackets at a length of ½ inch, on average. Paper wasps construct their nest with a single stalk that holds the nest. It has a papery look, forming several small, round openings. They like to build their nests under porches, carports, or anywhere they can hang their nest.

Large collections of paper wasps will congregate in treetops, towers, or other high locations when mating. While this may seem like a dangerous situation, many of these wasps will be males without stingers seeking a mating partner. After mating, these males will die, while the females will seek a suitable hibernation site to survive the winter.

Yellow Jacket Wasp

Yellow Jackets

A yellow jacket wasp is easily distinguishable by its colors. They will look like giant bees. However, a yellow jacket has a shiny body and not as much hair. The length of a yellow jacket is 3/8 to 5/8 inches. The queen of a yellow jacket society is more prominent than ordinary colony members, with a size of about 1 inch. The yellow jacket has a lance-like stinger that remains sheathed until use. It will repeatedly sting throughout a single attack.

A yellow jacket will construct its nest above or below ground and has a single opening. Some places where one may find a yellow jacket nest are; abandoned rodent dwellings, recycling or trash bins, hollow logs, attics, or inside walls.

Bald-Faced Hornet

Bald-Faced Hornets

Although named a hornet, the bald-faced hornet is not a true hornet and closely resembles other wasps. This species is named after its distinctive coloration pattern in which it is primarily black but has a white face. Bald-faced hornets are typically referred to as hornets only because of their aggressive behaviors and larger size than similar wasps.

The bald-faced hornet prefers to nest at an elevated level like other wasp species. For this reason, their nests can often be found approximately three feet off the ground. In most cases, they will be connected to trees and shrubs, but they might also be found on utility poles, sheds, homes, overhangs, and other structures that keep them off of the ground.

mud dauber

Mud-Daubers

Whether you live in multi-family housing or a single-family home, there’s a good chance that you have found evidence of mud-daubers at some point. Mud-daubers are reasonably easy to identify due to their “string-like” waist that connects the abdomen and the rest of the body. In Oklahoma, black and yellow mud-daubers are frequently encountered; however, they can also be a metallic blue-black color.

These solitary wasps will usually build their mud nests in carports, attics, porches, or near a spider’s nest to have easy access to food while maintaining an adequate shelter for their developing young. Often, mud-daubers can be found near water sources, like ponds or water fixtures, because they need moist soil to construct nests.

Potter Wasp

Potter Wasps

A potter wasp is a medium-sized wasp species that is often also called a Mason wasp. Some potter wasps may resemble a yellow jacket with black and white coloring patterns, although other species may have white, orange, or red markings along their body. There are approximately 270 species of potter wasps in the United States; however, there are around 3000 known species worldwide.

Aptly named, potter wasps construct small clay pots to use as nests. These nests are typically attached to twigs but might occasionally be spotted under carports or eaves that protect from rain and shade to retain moisture. Unlike other wasps that prey on spiders and various insects, the potter wasp will feed on caterpillars, which can be stored in their nests for later feedings.

cicada killers

Cicada Killers

Anyone who has spent time outdoors in Oklahoma likely knows the sound of the cicada. But did you know that they have a predator? The cicada killer has a large, predominately black body with yellow markings like a yellow jacket. While they do not establish colonies, females may create nests near another burrow, causing aggregation of several dozen wasps in one garden bed.

Cicada killers have unique nests compared to paper wasps or mud daubers that like to nest in high locations. Instead, this wasp species will create underground burrows that are roughly ½” in diameter and several inches deep. The soil is then mounded at the burrow entrance they make for added protection. Due to these nesting habits, this wasp can be found in lawns, golf courses, gardens, and nursery beds.

Red Wasp

Red Wasps

Red wasps are among the most prevalent wasp species in the Eastern and Midwestern regions of the United States. Unfortunately, that also means that they are among the most common in Oklahoma, and they can be a real nuisance for homeowners and business owners. Red wasps can typically be identified from other wasps easily due to their red to reddish-brown bodies that are long and feature dark wings.

The nests of a red wasp have several distinctive features, including an umbrella shape that resembles a honeycomb appearance. These nests will often be constructed of a paper-like material and can typically be found hanging from a structure with a single supporting strand. Red wasps are incredibly territorial, making it important to keep your distance when possible and avoid behaviors that might threaten them.

Mahogany wasp

Mahogany Wasps

The mahogany wasp is a type of paper wasp commonly found in Oklahoma. Unlike other paper wasps with a yellow and black appearance similar to yellowjackets, the mahogany wasp is characterized by their unique dark black wings and reddish-brown body. Since this species doesn’t have the same vibrant yellow accents, it can blend in with wooden surfaces or garden soils more easily.

Aside from a different appearance, the nesting habits of mahogany wasps are similar to other paper wasps. This means that their nests will often be found in elevated areas, like in trees or on porches that protect from predators and the elements. Like other paper wasp species, the mahogany wasp requires access to water for survival and wood for nesting materials.

Why Are Wasps Dangerous?

Wasps are so dangerous because they are highly territorial and aggressive. They will attack if you get near them or their nest. They are quick in flight, and they will attack you in swarms. Enough wasp stings can kill an adult. Wasps do not lose their stinger after one sting like a bee so that they can sting you multiple times in one attack. It only takes a small swarm to inflict a lot of damage to its victim.

How Do You Deal with Wasps?

So, the question we all have is, “What should I do if I find a wasp nest at my house?” The answer cannot be just to leave it alone since wasps will attack you simply for walking by. One sting could prove fatal if someone in the house has a wasp allergy.

There are several methods that you could use to rid yourself of wasps. One easy way to kill a nest is to spray it with soapy water. You can also buy several products from a store to eliminate your wasp infestation. Spraying your wasp’s nests at night could reduce the risk of an attack as wasps are drowsy at night and can’t see very well in the dark. Also, trimming branches or clearing debris from around a wasp nest can help prevent them from returning as they will not be able to find the nest again.

Close up of wasp nest with wasps

Wasp nests are only used once per season. They will not return to reuse the same nest, so leaving the old, abandoned nests alone is ok. This could also deter other colonies from forming as wasps are territorial and do not want to have “neighbors.” Placing fake wasp nests around your home could also prevent wasps from creating a nest.

By keeping meats and sugary foods indoors, you can prevent yourself from attracting wasps. Seal your trash cans and keep them clean to help, as well. The acidic properties of cucumbers can also drive them away, so placing some cucumber slices around your picnic or barbeque can assist in keeping them away.

Since we have mentioned the bad about wasps, it is essential to include the good. They will help you with the small pest control in your gardens. They also help spread pollen.

Only use the methods listed above if you are not allergic to wasps. Wasps attack in swarms, so even if you are not allergic, a massive attack could be life-threatening. Use the utmost caution when approaching a wasp nest. In the case of an enormous wasp infestation, it is best to leave the removal to professionals.

When to Call a Professional

If you have taken all the precautions to prevent wasps and still see large swarms around your property, it is time to call a pest control professional, Emtec Pest Control.

At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa, and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon, and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information.

At Emtec Pest Control, we are committed to safe and responsible pest control. We understand that your family’s safety is your number one priority, so we make it our priority, too. If you have any other questions about any of these pests or pest control for your home or business, contact your Oklahoma pest control experts at Emtec Pest Control by calling us or by filling out our online contact form. Our service areas in Northeast Oklahoma include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Owasso, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Stillwater, Tulsa and the surrounding areas. In Central Oklahoma, we service Edmond, Moore, Oklahoma City, Yukon and the surrounding areas. You can also connect with us on social media for more helpful pest control tips and information. We are on Facebook.