Understanding Wasps and Bees in El Paso, Texas

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on January 23, 2023 · 4 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in El Paso, Texas, chances are you’ve encountered some buzzing insects in your backyard. While some may be harmless bees, others could be aggressive wasps that pose a threat to you and your family. In this article, we’ll help you understand the difference between wasps and bees, identify the most common species in El Paso, and offer tips on how to deal with them.

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.

What’s the difference between wasps and bees?

Bees and wasps are two distinct groups of insects, but they are often confused due to their similar physical features. Both insects have two pairs of wings, six legs, and stingers, but wasps tend to have slimmer bodies, longer legs, and more vibrant colors than bees. Bees are known for their fuzzy bodies and round heads, while wasps have smooth, angular bodies and narrow waists.

Common wasp species in El Paso

Several wasp species can be found in El Paso, but the most common ones are:

Paper wasps

Paper wasps are social wasps that build papery nests in sheltered areas such as under eaves or tree branches. They are usually brown or reddish-brown with yellow markings and have long, slender bodies. Paper wasps are not usually aggressive unless they feel threatened, and their stings are not as painful as those of other wasp species.

Yellow jackets

Yellow jackets are aggressive wasps that build underground nests, often in abandoned rodent burrows. They are black and yellow and have stout, thick bodies. Yellow jackets are attracted to sweet foods and meats, making them a common sight at outdoor cookouts. Their stings are very painful and can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

Mud daubers

Mud daubers are solitary wasps that build nests out of mud. They are usually black and yellow, with long, slender bodies and thin waists. Mud daubers are not aggressive and rarely sting humans, but they can cause damage to homes if their nests are left unchecked.

Common bee species in El Paso

Bees play an important role in pollinating plants and producing honey. Here are some common bee species you might encounter in El Paso:

Honey bees

Honey bees are social bees that live in hives and produce honey. They are small and fuzzy with black and yellow stripes. Honey bees are not usually aggressive unless their hive is disturbed, and their stings are less painful than those of wasps.

Carpenter bees

Carpenter bees are solitary bees that bore into wood to create nests. They have shiny black bodies and are much larger than honey bees. Carpenter bees are not usually aggressive, but their nesting habits can cause damage to wooden structures.

Dealing with wasps and bees

If you have a wasp or bee infestation in your backyard, it’s important to take action to remove the nests and prevent future infestations. Here are some tips:

  • Wear protective clothing when dealing with wasps or bees. Cover your skin, wear gloves, and use a hat with a veil if necessary.
  • If you find a nest, do not try to remove it yourself. Call a professional pest control company to handle the job safely.
  • Keep food and drinks covered when eating outside to avoid attracting yellow jackets and other wasps.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s exterior to prevent wasps from entering and building nests.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between wasps and bees, identifying the most common species in El Paso, and knowing how to deal with them is essential for any homeowner. By following the tips in this article and seeking professional help when necessary, you can keep your family safe from these buzzing insects.