It’s an age-old problem: you spot a bug in your yard and you’re not sure if it’s a paper wasp or a yellow jacket. How do you tell the difference? In this article, we’ll be unmasking the differences between these two types of wasps. We’ll also discuss the potential danger they pose, common misconceptions about them, control and prevention methods, and treatments for wasp and yellow jacket stings.
Introduction to Paper Wasps vs Yellow Jackets
Paper wasps and yellow jackets are both members of the Hymenoptera order, which includes ants, bees, and other wasps. Paper wasps, also known as umbrella wasps, are recognizable by their slender bodies and elongated legs. They usually have a reddish-brown color with black markings. Yellow jackets, on the other hand, have bright yellow and black stripes, and they have a more rounded body shape.
Paper wasps and yellow jackets are often confused because they are similar in size and color. However, there are some key differences between the two that can help you determine which one you’re looking at.
Biology of Paper Wasps vs Yellow Jackets
Paper wasps are social insects, meaning they live in colonies that are organized into a hierarchy. The most important members of the colony are the queen and the workers, who are responsible for building and maintaining the nest. The queen is the only member of the colony that is capable of laying eggs.
Yellow jackets, meanwhile, are also social insects. Unlike paper wasps, they create their nests underground in abandoned rodent burrows or in hollowed-out tree stumps. The queen is the only member of the colony capable of laying eggs, and she is also the only one that survives the winter. The workers are responsible for building and maintaining the nest and for foraging for food.
Differences between Paper Wasps vs Yellow Jackets
Now that we’ve discussed the biology of paper wasps and yellow jackets, let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.
The most obvious difference between paper wasps and yellow jackets is their appearance. Paper wasps have slender bodies and elongated legs, while yellow jackets have a more rounded body shape. Paper wasps usually have a reddish-brown color with black markings, while yellow jackets have bright yellow and black stripes.
Habits and Nesting
Paper wasps build their nests in protected places like eaves, window sills, and porches. They prefer to build their nests in exposed areas, so they can better defend them from predators. Yellow jackets, on the other hand, build their nests underground in abandoned rodent burrows or in hollowed-out tree stumps.
Paper wasps feed on other insects, such as caterpillars and flies, as well as fruits and nectar. Yellow jackets feed on a variety of food sources, including other insects, fruits, and meats. They are also known to scavenge for food at picnics and outdoor events.
Potential Danger Posed by Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets
Paper wasps and yellow jackets can both be aggressive when defending their nests. They will sting if they feel threatened, and the venom in their stings can be painful and potentially dangerous to humans. It’s important to be aware of the potential danger posed by these insects and take steps to avoid them.
Common Misconceptions about Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets
There are a few common misconceptions about paper wasps and yellow jackets. One such misconception is that they are more aggressive than other types of wasps. In reality, they are no more aggressive than any other type of wasp. Another misconception is that they will swarm if their nest is disturbed. While this can happen, it is not a common occurrence.
Control and Prevention of Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets
The best way to control and prevent paper wasps and yellow jackets is to remove their nests. This can be done by an experienced professional or by using a chemical insecticide. If you choose to use a chemical insecticide, make sure to follow the label directions and wear protective clothing.
It’s also important to take steps to prevent paper wasps and yellow jackets from entering your home or yard. This can be done by sealing off potential entry points and keeping food and garbage sealed and away from the area.
Treating Wasp and Yellow Jacket Stings
If you get stung by a paper wasp or yellow jacket, the first thing you should do is remove the stinger if it’s still present. After that, you should apply ice to the area to reduce swelling and pain. You can also take over-the-counter medications to help reduce the pain and itching. If the sting is severe or if you experience any severe allergic reactions, seek medical attention immediately.
Professional Wasp and Yellow Jacket Removal Services
If you’re unable to remove a wasp or yellow jacket nest yourself, you can hire a professional pest control service to do it for you. Professional pest control services are experienced in safely removing wasp and yellow jacket nests and will use the appropriate safety procedures and insecticides to do so.
Paper wasps and yellow jackets can both be dangerous if they are not handled properly. It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two so that you can take the necessary precautions. If you’re unsure of what type of wasp or yellow jacket you’re dealing with, it’s best to contact a professional pest control service to have it identified and removed. By understanding the differences between paper wasps and yellow jackets, you’ll be able to enjoy your outdoor space without fear of being stung.
For all your pest removal needs, contact Uinta Pest Solutions today!