Ground Wasps in Texas: What You Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 29, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Texas, chances are you’ve come across ground wasps in your backyard. These insects can be a nuisance, but they also play an important role in the ecosystem. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of ground wasps found in Texas, how to identify them, and tips for preventing stings.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

Types of Ground Wasps Found in Texas

There are several types of ground wasps that are commonly found in Texas, including:

1. Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are the most common type of ground wasp found in Texas. They are black and yellow and can be identified by their thin waist and hairless body. Yellow jackets build nests in the ground, usually in abandoned rodent burrows or other protected areas.

2. Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are another type of ground wasp that can be found in Texas. They are brown or black with yellow markings and have a slender body. Paper wasps build nests out of paper-like material, which is why they are called “paper wasps.” Their nests can be found hanging from eaves, branches, or in the ground.

3. Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are a type of large, solitary wasp that can be found in Texas. They are black with yellow markings and can grow up to two inches long. Cicada killers dig holes in the ground, where they lay their eggs on paralyzed cicadas. Despite their intimidating size, cicada killers are not aggressive and rarely sting humans.

Identifying Ground Wasps

It’s important to know how to identify ground wasps in order to avoid getting stung. Here are some tips for identifying different types of ground wasps:

  • Yellow jackets: Look for black and yellow stripes on a hairless body with a thin waist.
  • Paper wasps: Look for a slender body with brown or black coloring and yellow markings.
  • Cicada killers: Look for a large, black wasp with yellow markings and a long abdomen.

Preventing Wasp Stings

Even though ground wasps play an important role in the ecosystem, it’s still important to take steps to prevent getting stung. Here are some tips for preventing wasp stings:

  • Avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns, as these can attract wasps.
  • Keep food and drinks covered when eating outside.
  • Be careful when mowing the lawn or trimming bushes, as this can disturb ground nests.
  • If you do come across a ground nest, avoid approaching it and call a professional pest control company to remove it safely.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your backyard without worrying about getting stung by ground wasps.

In conclusion, ground wasps can be a nuisance, but they are important for the ecosystem. By knowing how to identify different types of ground wasps and taking steps to prevent getting stung, you can safely coexist with these insects in your backyard.