Understanding Wasps in Tennessee: A Guide for Homeowners

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on February 28, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you’re a homeowner in Tennessee, chances are you’ve encountered a wasp or two buzzing around your backyard. While these stinging insects can be intimidating, it’s important to understand that they play an important role in our ecosystem. In this guide, we’ll discuss the most common types of wasps you may encounter in Tennessee and provide tips for safely coexisting 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.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are perhaps the most well-known type of wasp due to their distinctive black and yellow coloring. These social wasps build paper nests and can become aggressive if they feel threatened. If you spot a yellow jacket nest on your property, it’s best to contact a professional to have it removed. Never attempt to remove a nest on your own, as this can be dangerous.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps are another common type of social wasp found in Tennessee. They get their name from their papery nests, which are often found hanging from eaves or tree branches. Like yellow jackets, paper wasps can become aggressive if they feel threatened, so it’s important to give them plenty of space. If you need to remove a paper wasp nest, it’s best to do so at night when the wasps are less active.

Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are solitary wasps that are known for building nests out of mud. They are generally not aggressive and rarely sting unless provoked. While mud daubers can be beneficial in controlling pests like spiders and caterpillars, their nests can be unsightly. If you need to remove a mud dauber nest, simply scrape it off with a putty knife or other long, flat object.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killers are a type of solitary wasp that prey on cicadas. These large wasps can be intimidating due to their size, but they are generally not aggressive towards humans. If you see a cicada killer in your yard, it’s best to leave it alone. These wasps can actually be beneficial in controlling cicada populations, which can damage trees and other plants.

Tips for Coexisting with Wasps

While wasps can be intimidating, there are steps you can take to safely coexist with them:

  • Avoid wearing bright colors or floral patterns, as these can attract wasps
  • Keep food and drinks covered when eating outdoors
  • Seal up any cracks or openings in your home to prevent wasps from entering
  • Avoid swatting at or disturbing wasps, as this can provoke them

By following these simple tips and learning more about the different types of wasps you may encounter, you can safely enjoy your Tennessee backyard without fear of these important insects.