Open-minded about wasps?

"The more I learn, the less frightened I'll be." Repeat as needed.

Oak Point April 2, 2012
It's a good mantra. Learning about moths turned my phobia to fascination. Same with spiders, beetles, lizards, snakes, worms, and most creepy-crawlies. No amount of learning has brought any fondness for grasshoppers. So far learning about wasps has not improved my opinion of them, but I keep trying. Maybe it's their fashion model skinny waists!

A shortage of wasp photos is due to fear of being stung, and also fear that wasps are pretty smart for insects. I once witnessed what had to be a wasp nest colony's version of a funeral that has given me nightmares ever since.
Oak Point Caddo Trail June 11, 2014

The photo on the left is of a Big Dang Wasp on the Caddo Trail. It was not very interested in me, but I didn't hang around too long. Looks like the Anoplius or Blue-black Spider Wasp in my Audubon Field Guide.

Oak Point parking area September 15, 2011

The next photo is wasps pigging out on prickly pear cactus fruit. They may be European Paper Wasps. They are attracted to fermenting fruit.

Yellow jackets are probably the wasps that ruined your picnic, the ice cream cone at the Henry Doorley Zoo, or Wilson Alvarez's no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles August, 11, 1991. Be wasp smart:

  • Drink water or unsweetened tea. Wasps can lurk inside your soda can waiting to sting your lip. Swallowing a yellow jacket can lead to stings in your throat.
  • Avoid perfumed shampoos or colognes.
  • Keep food and drink covered.
  • Keep trash receptacles closed.
  • Avoid bright-colored tablecloths and clothing. Wasps are attracted to red, yellow, and white.

Richardson, TX June 14, 2011

My dear former boss relocated wasps from nests every year, often getting stung by the unappreciative insects. This is a fun video of paper wasp nest removal. Don't worry. I will NOT be trying this at home!

But back on the home front, here's the reason for the wasp ponderings. I was moving items for the upcoming worm presentation from my balcony "shed". Wasps were sharing the doorway. Should I rush out and buy Raid? Make DIY traps out of plastic liter soda bottles? Panic, flail, and stomp?

Plano, TX   July 2, 2014

No. Wasps have a reason for being as predators on other pests. Solitary wasps like this mud dauber are not aggressive. They just want to build tubes out of mud, catch spiders, and procreate. I'm trying to not overreact. I'll contemplate nature's mud-builders at clay class tomorrow. Maybe I'll charge rent for the storage shed.

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