Getting to Know Kentucky Wasps: What You Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 03, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you seeing wasps buzzing around your backyard in Kentucky? Don’t panic! These stinging insects are actually beneficial for controlling other pests like spiders and flies. However, it’s important to know what type of wasp you’re dealing with to ensure your safety and prevent any damage to your property. Here’s what you need to know about Kentucky wasps.

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 Kentucky Wasps

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are brown or black with yellow markings on their bodies. They build nests that resemble small upside-down umbrellas and can be found hanging from eaves, tree branches, or other outdoor structures. These wasps are generally non-aggressive unless they feel threatened, so it’s best to keep your distance from their nests.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are black with yellow markings and are known for their aggressive behavior. They build underground nests and can also be found in wall voids, attics, or crawl spaces. If you come across a yellow jacket nest, it’s important to call a professional exterminator as attempting to remove the nest yourself can be dangerous.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are large wasps that can grow up to two inches long. They have a black body with yellow markings and are often mistaken for hornets. Despite their intimidating size, cicada killers are actually docile and won’t sting unless provoked. They are named after their habit of hunting cicadas, but they do not pose a threat to humans.

Wasp Identification Tips

Here are some key features to look for when identifying Kentucky wasps:

  • Body color (black, brown, or yellow)
  • Markings on the body (stripes, spots, or patterns)
  • Nest shape and location
  • Behavior (aggressive or docile)

If you’re unsure about the type of wasp you’ve encountered, it’s best to contact a professional pest control company for assistance.

Preventing Wasp Infestations

To prevent wasp infestations in your backyard, follow these tips:

  • Keep your garbage cans tightly sealed
  • Cover food and drinks when eating outdoors
  • Seal any openings in your home’s exterior
  • Trim overhanging tree branches and bushes near your house

By following these guidelines, you can reduce the likelihood of attracting wasps to your property.

In conclusion, Kentucky wasps play an important role in our ecosystem but can pose a threat to humans if not identified and dealt with properly. By familiarizing yourself with the types of wasps in your area and taking preventative measures, you can coexist with these beneficial insects safely.