Wasps in Arizona | 3 Stinging Pests to Watch For!

By Allison Clayton

While scorpions trouble Arizona residents, wasps are concerns for many homeowners across the state!

There are handfuls of species of wasps in Arizona, with over three dozen residing in the hot Sonoran desert in the southern region of Arizona. 

Keep reading to learn more about the different wasps in proof.’s Arizona branches. Whenever you have a wasp problem on your property, give us a call!

Wasps in Arizona: Paper Wasps 

Paper wasps craft their hives on roof eaves, trees, attics, and under porches. The nests may resemble a traditional wasp hive or an upside-down umbrella. 

Utilizing their saliva, paper wasps construct their homes from wood pulp and shavings. The fibrous nests have small cells containing eggs and larvae, comparable to a honeycomb. 

Similar to yellowjackets, some paper wasps may have traditionally yellow and black markings indicative of multiple wasp species. Others are brown and black, lacking the bright pop of color that sets the other pests apart. 

While the outer coloration may mimic some yellowjacket species, most paper wasps are generally docile. Paper wasps won’t attack unless you stray too close to their nest or threaten their ranks. 

Paper wasps can sting their targets multiple times. While you may mistake them for honey bees, they won’t back down after a singular sting! Be careful when interacting with dangerous pests to avoid getting hurt. 

Arizona Yellowjackets

Located across almost all areas of the United States, yellowjackets are common backyard troublemakers. Yellowjackets are known for their aggressive natures, habitually terrorizing homeowners that linger too close to their nests. 

Unlike other wasp species, yellowjackets build underground nests to house their population and young. Western yellowjacket wasps in Arizona prefer to construct hives inside left behind burrows or underground holes, typically flocking to spaces already cleared by other animals. 

While other pests forage through the year to sustain their diet year-round, yellowjackets hunt for food as needed. 

Whenever plants become scarce in the fall, the yellowjackets turn toward picnics and backyard barbeques for their next meal. These wasps love a sweet treat, and yellowjackets may feast on your cut fruits, open drinks, and cooked meats. 

You may encounter yellowjackets as the summer ends, but they won’t remain past October. Wasps don’t hibernate and die off whenever the winter temperatures hit in November or December. 

Whenever yellowjackets overstay their welcome, be sure to give proof. Pest Control a call! Contact us here!

Arizona Tarantula Hawk Wasps

As one of the largest wasp species in Arizona, the tarantula hawk wasp is a common predator of the region’s spiders. Do these creepy pests feast on tarantulas in Arizona? 

Well, not really!

Adult tarantula hawk wasps feed on nectar, pollen, and sweet fruits. Wasps are pollinators like many bee species, spreading around pollen as they flit from flower to flower. 

However, tarantula hawk wasps in Arizona lay their eggs in unwilling spider hosts. Instead of killing the spider, the female wasp paralyzes the arachnid and lays an egg on the still-living pest. After the egg hatches, the young wasps eat the live spider, according to the University of California

Despite their creepy upbringing, tarantula hawk wasps aren’t typically aggressive pests. While other wasps viciously protect their hives, these wasps won’t bother you unless threatened. 

Don’t get too close, though! A tarantula hawk’s sting is uncomfortable and may leave you with a sharp stinging ache for around five minutes. As one of the most painful wasp stings in the world, those five minutes could paralyze you in place!

If you’re stung by one of these pests, you shouldn’t experience long-lasting symptoms unless you’re allergic to wasp venom. Despite the initial pain, tarantula hawk wasp stings will only cause swelling and redness for a few days.

Apply a cold compress to the affected area, and visit a doctor if you notice any lingering effects. 

Do Hornets Live in Arizona?

Since early 2020, reports of northern giant hornets exploded on the news waves and frightened individuals across the United States. These pests are called ‘murder hornets’ because of their large size and devasting impact on local bee populations. 

While northern giant hornets are an ecological concern in the United States, the invasive species hasn’t traveled further from the states on the Pacific coast. In Arizona, many residents may accidentally mistake murder hornets for the equally large tarantula hawk

Check out this video to learn more about the concern of northern giant hornets in Arizona. 

Cicada killers or cicada hawks may also slightly resemble the northern giant hornet, but these sizable wasps aren’t the invasive species from overseas. Like tarantula hawks, these wasps are generally docile and aren’t considered hornets. 

Only one hornet species lives in America: the European hornet. This pest migrated from Europe and has now infested many regions across the United States. However, is this wasp in Arizona, too?

Thankfully, the European hornet primarily lives in eastern regions along the Atlantic coast and doesn’t have a significant foothold in Arizona. 

Pest Control Options for Wasps in Arizona

Wasps are dangerous additions to your property, especially if they build on or near your home. Whenever these pests inch too close to your house, you should always call a trusted pest control agency to remove the hive. 

Preventative measures can also keep these pests at bay and your home safe. Try out these tips to eliminate dangerous insects that build around your yard!

  • Clean brush and leaf piles to discourage wasp queens
  • Leave trash in tightly covered containers or trash cans
  • Plant flowers and fruit trees away from your home
  • Avoid leaving uncovered drinks, fruit, and meat during backyard parties
  • Eliminate their insect food sources with pest control methods
  • Plant wasp repelling plants around your home and in your garden
  • Avoid leaving standing water in toys, buckets, bird baths, and containers

When all else fails, we have your back! proof.’s wasp control services can eliminate any pesky wasps in Arizona homes and yards. Never worry about a painful sting with our quality pest services!

Contact us today to learn more, or schedule an appointment to meet with one of our highly trained pest technicians.

Call proof. pest control at , or send us a message online.

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