Are There Wasps in Arizona? 

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Are there wasps in Arizona? Yes! In fact, wasps in Arizona can be extremely protective of their nests making them a hazard for you and your pets. The risk of getting stung is heightened at the end of summer when the wasps’ natural food sources become scarce, and people spend more time outdoors. This can be a scary time, especially for people who are allergic to insect stings. Continue reading for more information about Arizona’s wasp species, how to prevent them from taking over your property, and steps to get rid of them. If you live in the Phoenix area and need wasp control or bee control, give us a call. 

Common Types of Wasps Found in Arizona

More than three dozen wasp species can be found across Arizona. However, there are three types of wasps that are most common — paper wasps (Polistes), spider wasps (Pompilidae), and yellow jackets (Vespula). It’s important to know how to identify them so you know which species you are dealing with. 

Paper Wasps (Polistes

Golden Paper Wasp in Arizona

Paper wasps are one of the most common types of wasps in the state and include the Arizona paper wasp and the yellow paper wasp. Paper wasps get their name from the way they build their nests. Female paper wasps chew up wood and mix it with their saliva to create a type of “paper” to construct their nests. These nests can be found under objects where they can hang freely such as eaves of homes and tree branches. 

On average, these wasps are about an inch long and come in various colors depending on the species. Most are varying shades of yellow or brown. 

Compared to other wasps, paper wasps are seldom aggressive and are actually quite docile. Generally, they don’t typically pose a threat to homeowners. However, they are very protective of their nests and will sting humans if their nest is threatened or disturbed. 

Spider Wasps (Pompilidae)

Tarantula Hawk

There are a number of spider wasp species in the State of Arizona. These wasps hunt for spiders which they sting and paralyze. The wasps drag the paralyzed spider into a burrow and lay their eggs on it. When the larva hatches, they feed on the spider while it’s still alive! 

One of the most recognizable members of the group is the tarantula hawk (Pepsis Grossa). This wasp has a bluish-black body with orange wings and grows up to 2 inches in length. The tarantula hawk has a reputation for having one of the most painful stings in the animal world. The sting is often compared to an intense electric shock that lasts about three minutes (three very long minutes!). 

Despite their terrifying sting, Pepsis wasps are not typically aggressive. It usually takes a lot to provoke one into taking action. 

Yellow Jackets (Vespula)

Yellow Jacket Wasps

There are four species of yellow jacket wasps in Arizona. These small wasps usually make their nests inside hollow trees or even underground. They are attracted to sweets, but also hunt small Arthropods. For this reason, it is common to see them flying around picnics or public parks in search of open soda cans, juice, or other various foods. 

Scientists aren’t sure why, but yellow jackets can be very aggressive and can sting people for no reason. Their nests can contain hundreds of wasps, so they should be avoided at all costs. Their stings are painful and can cause serious allergic reactions or death for sensitive people. 

Are Wasps in Arizona Dangerous?

There are pros and cons to having wasps around your home. Wasps like to visit flowers for nectar and feed on insects that can be pests to your garden. A small number of wasps is not usually an issue. However, they can be a nuisance in large numbers. 

The average wasp is not a threat to most people. However, if you have an allergy to insect venom, you could have a dangerous allergic reaction if stung. These allergic reactions can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. For this reason, any wasp species in Arizona could be dangerous. Even if you aren’t allergic, you want to avoid getting stung, especially from the painful Pepsis Grossa

What Not to Do When a Wasp is Chasing You

Wasps aren’t the cruel creatures that we make them out to be. In most cases, they are simply trying to defend themselves or their nest from a perceived danger or threat. If you do encounter a wasp, there are some tips to reduce your risk of getting stung. 

  1. Don’t Swat Your Arms – This may be difficult to remember in the moment but swatting your arms will make you appear more aggressive and increase the likelihood of getting stung. 
  2. Don’t Seek Shelter in Water – Water may keep the wasp away temporarily, but they will wait for you to re-emerge. 
  3. Don’t Wear Strong Perfumes or Bright Colors – Strong-smelling perfumes and bright colors can draw the attention of wasps. 

Controlling Wasps Around Your Home in Arizona

If you notice wasps taking over your yard, there are some simple things you can do to deter them from making your property their home. 

  1. Pick Up Fruits and Berries – Wasps are attracted to sweet foods. Removing fallen fruits and berries eliminates a potential food source. 
  2. Remove Certain Flowers and Blooming Plants – Replace plants that attract wasps with other plants that ward off stinging insects such as spearmint or thyme. 
  3. Knock Down Nests – During the day, knock down any wasp nests that you find hanging around your property. Make sure they are empty first!
  4. Clean Up After Outdoor Gatherings – After outdoor gatherings such as picnics and barbeques, clean up any food scraps and keep all beverages and dishes covered. 
  5. Seal Trash Cans – Make sure your trash cans are properly sealed to avoid attracting wasps and other pests looking for food. 

Trust the Experts in Arizona Wasp Control

Wasps are attracted to your home for a variety of reasons. If you need some help taking care of the issue, We’re pest control experts with years of experience dealing with wasps in Arizona. Our team has discovered clever methods to successfully and effectively eliminate wasps from your property. Contact our office today for a free quote if you want to take back your property and get rid of wasps for good. 

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