Six No-Sweat Wasp Control Tips For San Antonio, TX Properties

up close image of a wasp that landed on a table

Wasps and hornets are beneficial insects in San Antonio. They eat caterpillars, spiders, and aphids.  They also pollinate flowers. When they nest in your yard and house, wasps and hornets stop being beneficial and become problems themselves. 

Wasps In San Antonio

While there are many wasps in Texas, only three types cause the most problems. All are found in San Antonio. They vigorously defend their nests, stinging, repeatedly to drive off anything they see as a threat. Getting too close to a nest causes most stings. Mowing over a nest will cause the wasps to chase you and sting you.

  • Paper Wasps are ¾ to 1 inch long, dark brown or reddish-orange, and often have yellow markings. The queen mates in the fall and overwinters under tree bark or in other protected areas. She comes out in the spring and starts a small paper nest hanging from a single stalk. It has a single row of cells. In each cell, she lays an egg. At first, she cares for all the larvae herself. After some have pupated and emerged as adults, they help take care of each generation. A typical nest has 20-30 adults and rarely more than 200 cells by the end of summer. A nest is only used once until the freeze kills the wasps which use it. 
  • Yellow Jackets are black with yellow legs and stripes on their abdomen. They usually nest in the ground but sometimes in trees, attics, abandoned buildings, and other sheltered areas. They build a nest made of paper and totally enclose it with only one entrance. They aggressively defend the nest. Because nests maybe six feet in diameter and have 20,000 adult wasps, and the wasps can repeatedly sting, disturbing a nest is very dangerous. The females mate with males in the fall and then find a sheltered place to spend the winter, like paper wasps. In the spring, they establish the nest and start laying eggs. When the first wasps reach maturity, they take over most functions, and the queen lays eggs. 
  • Bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata) are black with a few yellow spots on them. They nest high in trees or on the side of a building. They are not as aggressive as paper wasps and yellow jackets, so they are not as dangerous. Their nests are enclosed in a paper envelope, round or pear-shaped, and have only one entrance. 

Three Landscaping Tips To Avoid Wasps

Wasps are part of the landscape. However, you can do some things to repel them and other things you might do to attract them accidentally. 

  1. Wasps do not like strong smells.  Use this to your advantage and plant herbs such as peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, and other strong-smelling plants in your garden and around your house. You can also mix peppermint with water and spray it on your house to keep the wasps from building nests there. You will have to reapply regularly, as it doesn’t last long.
  2. Wasps are attracted to blue, purple, white, and yellow flowers. Flowers that are open during the day are the best attractants, not ones that open at night. If you have wasp problems, plant these flowers only if you plant peppermint around them to repel the wasps. 
  3. Eliminating wasp prey insects, such as spiders, caterpillars, aphids, and other small prey, will tend to repel wasps. They use many insects to feed their larvae and themselves. If there is no food, they will find another place to nest. 

Three Tips To Prevent Wasps

Wasps are attracted to sugar and protein, especially in late summer and early fall when few insects are around. It is important to deny them this food to keep their numbers down. Three handy prevention tips are:

  1. Place trash in a can with a tightly covered lid. 
  2. Throw away soda, hot dogs, and other food promptly after eating outside. 
  3. Cover food before and after the meal. 

Get Professional Advice And Help

Trying to control wasp and hornet nests is very dangerous. Since wasps and hornets can sting repeatedly, you could end up in the hospital or even die if you attempt removal yourself. White Knight Pest Control is here to help. Our technicians have the right personal protection equipment to keep wasp stings at bay. We also have pesticides that quickly knock down wasps and hornets so they cannot sting us. Call White Knight Pest Control today to get rid of your wasps and hornets.