Learning About Oklahoma Wasps: What You Need to Know

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on May 22, 2023 · 3 mins read

Are you seeing a lot of wasps in your Oklahoma backyard? Don’t panic! It’s important to understand these insects, their behavior, and how to deal with them safely. In this article, we’ll focus on the most common types of wasps found in Oklahoma: yellow jackets, paper wasps, and cicada killers.

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.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are the most aggressive type of wasp found in Oklahoma. They are easily identified by their black and yellow stripes and their narrow waist. Yellow jackets build their nests in the ground, under porches, or in wall voids. If they feel threatened, they will attack in large numbers, which can be dangerous for people who are allergic to their stings.

To avoid yellow jacket stings, it’s important to take precautions when spending time in your backyard. Wear shoes, long pants, and sleeves to protect yourself. Keep food covered and avoid using sweet-smelling perfumes or lotions that can attract yellow jackets. If you encounter a yellow jacket nest, it’s best to call a professional exterminator to remove it.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are known for their long, slender bodies and their distinctive papery nests. Unlike yellow jackets, paper wasps are less aggressive and will only sting if they or their nest is threatened. Paper wasps build their nests in sheltered areas, such as under eaves, awnings, or porch roofs.

If you find a paper wasp nest near your home, it’s important to be cautious. Keep children and pets away from the area and avoid disturbing the nest. If you must remove the nest, wear protective clothing and do it at night, when the wasps are less active.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are large wasps that are often mistaken for hornets. They have a reddish-brown body and can grow up to 2 inches long. Despite their size, cicada killers are not aggressive and rarely sting unless provoked. They are named for their habit of capturing cicadas and bringing them back to their underground nests as food for their larvae.

If you see cicada killers in your backyard, there’s no need to worry. They are not a threat to people or pets, and they actually help control the cicada population. However, if their presence becomes a nuisance, you can try spraying the soil around their burrows with a pesticide labeled for wasp control.

In conclusion, knowing about the wasps in your backyard is the key to dealing with them safely. By taking precautions and understanding their behavior, you can enjoy your outdoor space without fear of wasp stings. Remember, if you have a problem with wasps that you can’t handle on your own, it’s always best to call a professional.