Does it seem like the wasp population in Dallas has taken a big upswing? We've noticed many more wasps around homes this spring and early summer. Now, we're not sure if the overall population has actually increased, but we sure are seeing a lot of wasps right now. Warm, dry weather often encourages wasp populations to increase. When weather is cool and rainy they are less of a problem.

There are many different kinds of wasps you may find around your home here in Dallas. One group of wasps you'll commonly find are paper wasps. There are more than 22 different species of paper wasps found across the country. Their bodies are mostly brown in color with yellow markings.

We call these wasps "paper wasps" because of the types of nests they build. They use plant material and their own saliva to build the nest, which ends up resembling paper. The nest will contain numerous cells for the young and are often umbrella shaped. There is no casing around the nest so you can easily see all of the individual cells. The nests will often be built in sheltered areas around your home, such as under the eaves, window sills and door frames.

For people, these wasps are a bit of a double-edged sword situation. On the one hand, these wasps are considered beneficial. They are efficient pollinators, as they feed on nectar of different flowers and crops. They also control pest populations in the landscape by feeding on caterpillars and other larvae. However, they deliver very painful stings that can be a big health concern for those who are allergic to the venom. While we encourage beneficial insects in the landscape, it's not a good idea to let these paper wasps set up camp directly on or around your home - especially if you have kids that regularly play in these areas.

Removing paper wasp nests on your own is a real gamble, especially if the nests are high up on your home's eaves. By disturbing the nest, you risk being stung multiple times by multiple wasps. If you see nests that have been built around your home, it's probably time to call a professional.

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Remember, we have solutions for pest problems inside and directly outside of your home. Give us a call if you need us to rid your home of these stinging critters!