While many types of bees have environmental benefits, wasps are different in that they may cause bodily harm if provoked. Paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are stinging insects that must be taken seriously. Not only may they damage your home or yard, they may cause an allergic reaction in a family member. Here’s what you to need to know about these stinging insects:

Paper Wasps

Paper Wasps are medium to large size wasps that construct nests made of a papery material. The wasps are black, brown or reddish in color with yellow markings. A paper wasp nest is a single, upside-down layer of brood cells. Nests are constructed in protective areas, particularly under the eaves of buildings or in areas of dense vegetation. One nest contains up to several dozen paper wasps. Very protective of their nests, paper wasps will defend their colonies if attacked. Colonies form in the spring when queens emerge from hibernation. As you prepare to spend more time outside, take an extra look under porch and roof eaves for the paper mache type nests. Remember that paper wasps are protective of their colonies; contact a professional for nest removal.


Hornets are a type of wasp and they are closely related to the yellow jacket.  Hornets make hives by chewing wood into a papery pulp. A queen hornet begins a new nest in the spring. There are few male hornets and many female hornets who gather food, build the nest, and perform other duties. Hornets not only eat tree sap but are also accomplished predators. An active hornet hive eliminates many insects, including flies. Like the paper wasps, hornets are protective of their hives and will sting if attacked. They are known for having very potent stingers and many people are allergic to their venom. Hornet nests are also built-in protective areas such as under eaves or in attics. If you suspect you have a hornet nest, contact a professional to avoid being stung.

Omaha Yellow Jackets

Yellow Jackets are of the wasp species. They are best described as medium-sized black wasps with bright yellow, jagged bands. Yellow Jackets build nests in protected cavities, such as in the walls and ceilings of houses. Nests are also built within rodent borrows in the ground. Colonies begin in the spring with one reproductive female can reach populations of 1,000 and 15,000, depending on the species. Yellow Jacket nests are similar to paper wasps nests except for a paper type envelope around the nest, with only one entrance hole. Aerial-nesting yellow jackets build hanging paper nests from tree limbs or under eaves. Entrance to the hanging nests is at the bottom of the nest. Like paper wasps and hornets, yellow jackets are extremely defensive if attacked. Aerial-nesting yellow jackets can bite and sting simultaneously. Their stingers have no barbs and are used repeatedly. This is especially bad if they become trapped under clothing. Should you suspect yellow jackets indoors or out, do not try to knock it down on your own. Contacting a professional is the best way to stay safe.

Free Inspections

Stinging insects are some of the toughest pests out there.  The sting not only hurts but can be deadly if someone in your family has an allergy. Damage can occur to interior walls, exterior eaves, and to your lawn. Spring is the best time to look for wasps nests. As you plan to spend more time outdoors during the summer months, you’ll want to do so without fear of being stung. Once you identify a nest, contact us. We provide a free inspection to determine the severity of the problem. Our professional staff will then develop a plan to address the problem so you and your family may enjoy a safe summer.