Should I Be Worried About Spotting Yellow Jackets In My Cypress, TX Yard?
Close up picture of a Yellow Jacket

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Should I Be Worried About Spotting Yellow Jackets In My Cypress, TX Yard?

Cypress, TX, is a great place to own property. We’re just 25 miles northwest of downtown Houston and have become one of the area’s largest suburban communities. There’s so much to do and see, and with over 30 county parks in operation, there’s no doubt that we love spending time outdoors. 

Whether you have a residential or commercial property, your yard is at risk for pest activity. Various attractants around your property are conducive to pest activity, and stinging insects are certainly a common area pest that all property owners should be knowledgeable about. 

Your Cypress yard is an ideal place to enjoy a lovely afternoon, basking in the sun with your loved ones and taking in the fresh Texas air. However, it’s tough to enjoy yourself when stinging insects are buzzing about. That’s right, stinging insects are a real problem here in Cypress, and they pose a severe threat to you and everyone else in your yard.

What To Know About Local Cypress Stinging Insects

One particular species that property owners should be wary of is yellow jackets. These intruders are social wasps that build nests in secluded areas around your yard and grow annual colonies. There are about 16 species of yellow jackets in the U.S., and your Texas property is at risk. 

Say you’re enjoying a family picnic in your backyard or slicing up a juicy watermelon - these fun, summertime activities can be quickly ruined by the presence of yellow jackets. First, you’re munching on some fresh fruit salad, and then before you know it, there are several yellow jackets buzzing around the table, getting everyone anxious and fidgety. 

Upon seeing a yellow jacket, or any stinging insect, it’s common to get worked up and afraid. People often start swatting at the insect, hoping to direct them away and protect themselves from getting stung. However, swatting is probably the worst thing you can do. The more upset you get, the more freaked out they get, which increases your probability of getting stung.

What Draws Stinging Insects To Cypress Yards?

So, why are yellow jackets so intent on ruining a good time? Why is it that they intrude on family picnics and barbecues when they certainly weren’t on the guest list? Well, yellow jackets are drawn to sugary substances like flower nectary, fruit, sweet foods, and drinks. They’re also drawn to meats and water cans, popping up near grills and dining areas rather frequently. That’s why they’re common visitors in your yard, much to the dismay of you and your guests. 

To familiarize yourself with these stinging insects, it’s good to know some of the basics. The more familiar you are with yellow jackets and their characteristics and behaviors, the more effectively you can address your yellow jacket control needs and get ahead of the problem before it grows out of control.

How To Identify Yellow Jackets

Here are a few general yellow jacket characteristics to keep in mind. Of course, each specific species varies slightly, but generally, yellow jackets can be characterized by the following:

  • Measures around 3/8 to 5/8 of an inch.

  • Long, segmented bodies, with thin wings and thin waist.

  • Mouthparts have strong mandibles to capture and feed on insects and nectar.

  • Abdomens have yellow and black stripes with a stinger at the end of them.

A yellow jacket’s stripes often get them confused with honeybees, but a bee’s body is much rounder and hairier than a yellow jacket’s. They’re also a much more significant threat than bees, as they’re capable of repeatedly stinging, rather than just the one time.

Yellow jackets are most common in the spring and summer months. During midsummer, the adult worker yellow jackets come out to find new nesting spots to build new colonies and spread their populations successfully. They make their nests in either underground or above-ground secluded areas, in places such as eaves of the home, trees, and bushes. Yellow jacket nests are often found under porches and steps, sidewalk cracks, the base of trees, wall voids, long hanging branches, woodpiles, and all kinds of artificial structures. The typical yellow jacket nest is constructed of chewed-up cellulose, resembling a paper-like material. They can also build nests inside of your structure, like in the walls and attic.

Types Of Yellow Jackets In Cypress, TX

Here is a little more about some of the more common yellow jackets in the area:

Eastern Yellow jacket

  • The eastern yellow jacket is a ground-nesting species commonly found in parks, lawns, and woodland areas. 

  • They measure 0.5 to 0.7 inches long and are distinguished by their smaller size and abdominal pattern.

  • Their abdomen has a wide, anchor-shaped black marking, and they have yellow bands on the sides of their face.

  • Their nests are constructed with saliva and chewed-up wood, and you should never try to remove them by yourself.

  • The adults circle their nests defensively when they are alarmed by a threat through a certain pheromone.

Western Yellow jacket

  • They are social, ground-nesting wasps that commonly set up shop in holes, rodent burrows, and building voids.

  • They measure 3/8 - 5/8 inches long, and they’re yellow and black with a blunt abdomen and no hair.

  • They are generalist predators and scavengers that prey on arthropods, insects, and nectar.

  • The single queens overwinter in their nests and emerge in spring to create new colonies.

  • The first generation of eggs hatches around four to six weeks after being laid.

Bald-faced Hornet

  • The bald-faced hornet is common in the late summer, emerging to reproduce for the next season.

  • They measure 1/2 - 3/4 inch long, characterized by long bodies with six legs and antennae.

  • They have a black and white coloration, and their abdomen is fully black with a white mark at the tip.

  • White markings on their face also characterize them. 

  • Their build aerial nests that can be over one foot in diameter and 24 inches long.

  • Their nests are football-shaped, suspended in the air, commonly found three or more feet off the ground.

  • They nest in shrubs, trees, overhangs, utility poles, sheds, etc.

  • Their smooth stingers can sting repeatedly and cause severe reactions.

  • Their colonies can have anywhere from 100 - 400 members.

Whatever species you’re dealing with, the fact is that yellow jackets are social hunters that, while known for the threat they pose, are actually beneficial to the environment, as they feed on insects and therefore control local pest populations. They consume harmful pests like flies, beetle grubs, and caterpillars. As yellow jackets feed on these garden pests, they can protect plants and vegetation from the consequences of pest activity. 

Obviously, yellow jackets aren’t all good. They are pests themselves, and as such, there are serious consequences that come with their presence in your yard and around your home. The dangers they pose are genuine, and the truth is that these flying insects can become quite aggressive when disturbed. They are very dangerous when they feel threatened or attacked, stinging their victims defensively, not just once, but multiple times. The fact that yellow jackets can sting repeatedly makes them one of the more dangerous stinging insects on the list. Honeybees, on the other hand, can only sting once. They sting their victim, and then the stinger falls off.

Why Should You Be Concerned?

Reactions to yellow jacket stings can vary in severity from one person to the next. The best-case scenario is the sting causes minimal pain, and it subsides in a few days. These stings can easily be treated and seldom lead to severe results. However, when there are reactions, things can be serious. 

When a yellow jacket’s stinger pierces your skin, they inject poisonous venom into your body, and those with a specific type of anti-body can experience severe reactions. People can suffer from allergic reactions to the venom, leading to extreme cases like anaphylaxis. The venom also causes hypersensitivities to future stings, increasing the likelihood of anaphylaxis recurring moving forward.

The toxins in yellow jacket venom can also cause adverse immune responses and the development of harmful antibodies. If you are coughing, having problems breathing or swallowing, or experiencing tightness in your throat, you should seek help from a medical professional right away. Other serious reactions include vomiting, fainting, and hives.

However, even if you’re not allergic to yellow jacket venom, getting stung can still be quite serious. Usually, people can experience redness, tenderness, swelling, and inflammation. They also suffer from extreme tiredness, warmth around the bite site, and itching. 

It’s imperative to maintain the site of the bite, keeping it clean, disinfected, and protected. If you don’t, you could suffer from a secondary bacterial infection of the skin. If the bite is scratched frequently and irritated, it gives bacteria an ideal place to grow.

Tips For Keeping Yellow Jackets At Bay

So, allergies or no allergies, it’s important to avoid yellow jackets at all costs. That means being proactive in your preventative efforts. To reduce your exposure to yellow jackets and other stinging insects, here are some things you can do around your property:

  • Cover up holes in the ground with cement or grass.

  • Eliminate sources of food (human and pet food) and don’t leave them outside.

  • Keep all doors and windows shut when possible.

  • Keep an eye out for wasp nests in sheds, garages, wall cavities, etc.

  • Keep garbage cans tightly sealed and cover any piles of compost.

  • Pick up trash and clean spills as soon as they happen.

  • Use caulking the seal cracks and crevices around the porch.

  • If eating outside, always cover food up right away and throw out garbage.

  • Avoid wearing strong fragrances or scented products while outdoors.

While being preventative is undoubtedly beneficial, it’s not always practical. If you spot aerial nests and active worker yellow jackets around your property, you likely have an infestation that needs to be addressed. If yellow jackets come near you, remember never to swat them away. Always stay calm, as if you get aggravated, it will aggravate the yellow jacket and cause them to sting. Because of how dangerous yellow jackets are, it’s vital to secure the proper pest protection. 

The Best Pest Protection For Cypress Properties

To effectively guard your Cypress yard against yellow jacket activity, the best plan of action is to contact your local pest professionals today. Modern Pest Control is here to address all your yellow jackets and stinging insect control and prevention needs. Our yellow jacket treatment process goes as follows:

  • We’ll do an extensive inspection of the property and identify what type of yellow jacket issue you’re experiencing, locating all problem areas and potential entry points.

  • We use several techniques to remove yellow jackets from your property, including using a vacuum designed explicitly for stinging insects. 

  • We perform complete nest detection and removal services, extracting the nest and treating the areas to prevent yellow jackets from returning moving forward. 

  • Our team identifies the nest during the day, preparing to take it down at nighttime when most colony members are back in the nest. 

  • We offer ongoing stinging insect control and prevention services, as well as dependable warranties for all our services and yellow jackets management solutions. 

Whatever kind of yellow jacket problem you’re facing, give us a call today. Why risk ruining a beautiful summer day? Your family picnics and outdoor gatherings shouldn’t be cause for concern, and when yellow jackets are buzzing around, no one is going to want to come over. Whether you’re grilling, sorting through compost, or enjoying a cold popsicle, yellow jackets are drawn to your yard and the available food sources. 

There’s nothing like getting stung repeatedly by a yellow jacket to take the joy out of a perfect day. It’s really a shame to let any summer day go to waste, and that’s why controlling yellow jacket populations around your Cypress property is key to living a safe, comfortable, pest-free life. We’re here to deal with these dangerous pests so that you don’t have to. Your safety comes first, and it’s not worth the risk, so leave it to the pros at Modern Pest Control.

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