Yellow Jackets, Wasps & Hornets.. Oh My!

The ability to sting, coupled with their great mobility, makes Yellow Jackets, Hornets and wasps some of the most feared of all insects. Many species are present in every geographic region of Missouri. These species vary in aggressiveness and other behaviors, however, and only a few need to be feared. This doesn't make it any less of a problem for some people. So this week, Best Pest Control at the Lake of the Ozarks is sharing helpful information to help you more easily identify some of the more common buzzing nuisances found in Missouri.

Yellow Jacket
Yellow jackets are an aggressive species that live up to their name. They can easily be identified by the yellow and black bands on their bodies. All yellow jackets aggressively defend their nests and will be most aggressive in late summer and fall. Because yellow jackets forage for meats, sweets, ripe fruit and garbage, they pose a threat to humans even when they are not near their nests. They are usually a problem in picnic areas and orchards and around garbage containers. Typically yellow jackets nest underground, so finding the nest and eliminating it before you start mowing or spending a lot of time in the yard is a good idea to avoid attacks.

Paper Wasp

These wasps look similar to the yellow jacket, but are less aggressive. Several species of paper wasps of the genus Polistes occur in Missouri. They are typically slender and variously colored with brown, red and yellow. They build their single-comb unprotected nest from the eaves or porches of buildings or other sheltered locations.

Mud-Dauber Wasp

Mud daubers are solitary wasps of the family Sphecidae. They vary in length and are very slender with threadlike waists. Mud daubers are not aggressive, don't defend their nests, and usually sting only when pinned against the skin. They are beneficial except for their unsightly mud nests, which often are placed around human habitation in sheltered locations. These nests are tubelike cells often positioned side by side.

Baldfaced Hornet

The baldfaced hornet is black with whitish markings. It builds a distinctive pear-shaped, basketball-sized nest covered with grayish paperlike material. It usually constructs this nest in a tree or shrub or under the eave of a building. Baldfaced hornets are beneficial because they capture other insects as prey to feed their larvae. They usually do not threaten humans unless provoked.

The European hornet occurs across southern Missouri roughly south of Interstate Highway 44. It is dark brown with yellow and reddish markings. It usually nests in a hollow tree or log, or within buildings. The nest is covered with a brown envelope of coarse wood fibers. Although it causes alarm because it is a large wasp and comes to lights at night, this wasp is actually not very aggressive.

Asian Giant Hornets
Or as the media so 'lovingly' refers to them, 'Murder Hornets' have recently been identified in Washington State. So far, no cases of migration have been identified outside of Washington, so we're in the clear so far here in Missouri! While the media (with much help from social media) has made a huge deal about the potential threat that these insects could create, we're far from being overtaken by these voracious eaters. However, their arrival does pose some real concern, as these predators are infamous for decimating honeybee colonies, and can their toxic venom be dangerous to humans as well.

Get rid of those pesky stingers

If you have an issue with any of these stinging pests, it's important to take care of the problem quickly, especially if anyone in your family is known to have allergic reactions to stings. Rather than taking the risk of removing them yourself, contact Best Pest Control to come out, find the nest and remove the pest problem quickly and efficiently.

So this spring as you're getting your lawn and home exterior prepped for summer, keep an eye out for wasp, hornet, and Yellow Jacket nests around your property. Then call the best pest control company at the Lake of the Ozarks to take care of it for you. Our expert team is trained to "get rid" of these annoyances. We have a defense against all the pests that affect central Missouri so you don't have to worry. Call us today for a free estimate!


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