Southern Arizona is home to several native wasp species. Most wasps are able to sting multiple times (unlike bees) and use their stinger to paralyze their prey.
Paper wasps are the most common wasps in our area. They’re often called yellow jackets because they’re brown or black with yellow stripes, but they’re actually a different species of wasp that fly around water. Their paper-like nests resemble upside-down frisbees.
These black wasps build nests made of mud tubes packed together where moisture and mud are nearby. Less aggressive than paper wasps, in fact, they’re beneficial because they eat other insects and are native pollinators.
Tarantula Hawk Wasps
Growing up to two inches long, with metallic-black bodies and bright orange wings, they paralyze tarantulas and lay eggs in their bodies. Though not aggressive to humans, their sting is considered one of the top ten most painful in the world.
Cicada Killer Wasps
Often confused with the Murder Hornet that was identified in the Pacific Northwest in 2020, Cicada Killer wasps have reddish-brown bodies with yellow stripes. They thrive in the Sonoran Desert, while Murder Hornets prefer the moist, lush forests. Cicada Killer wasps are not aggressive toward humans, but their sting can be extremely painful.
If you have a wasp infestation or questions about stinging insects around your home, call the experts at Bill’s Home Service. Our highly trained technicians are familiar with our desert wasps and the best way to protect your home. Call today at 520-625-2381.