As the lazy days of summer roll in, you may begin noticing a lot of wasp activity. This is partly because, in spring, queen wasps reemerge from their overwinter nests and begin laying eggs to start a new colony. Queen wasps will continue reproducing and a colony can consist of hundreds to thousands of workers. During the summer months, wasps tend to stay close to their nests, which is bad news if they’ve decided to build one on or around your property.
The first thing you should know is how to identify a wasp as they are often confused with bees. There are a few ways to distinguish between wasps and bees. First, the abdomen of a wasp narrows before connecting to the thorax. Second, wasps have much less hair and third, wasp colonies are typically smaller than the average bee colony.
Wasps are dangerous! Here are some things you can do to deter them from building nests on your property and to keep yourself safe:
1. During the summer, wasps are attracted to protein foods. Do not leave food or open garbage cans on or around your property.
2. Seal vents, repair screens, and close up any cracks around windows and door frames where wasps may build nests or enter your home through.
3. Don’t swat or squash a wasp. Squashed wasps will release pheromones which will attract other wasps.
4. Keep your lawn short and your bushes trimmed
5. Remove sources of excess water
If you believe you have a wasp nest on your property, we do not recommend trying to remove it yourself! Please call a professional to do the job instead. Call Freedom Pest Control today for all your wasp removal needs at 877-PESTS-55!
Yellow jackets, also known as wasps, are identified by their black and white markings and lack of hair on the body, like you might see on a honey bee. A yellow jacket doesn’t typically lose its stinger when stinging. This means that one yellow jacket can sting multiple times and can leave its victim in a great deal of pain and they are extremely dangerous to those that are allergic. Swatting at a yellow jacket or disturbing its nest is never a good idea!
Yellow Jackets in the Fall
People often associate all kinds of bees with the warm, summer weather. However, yellow jackets become more aggressive, and more likely to sting, in the fall. Here’s why:
Yellow jackets mate in the late summer. As the winter approaches, the males will begin to die off and the fertilized females will seek shelter. The females will begin building nests and laying eggs in the spring, continuing throughout the summer. Therefore, we typically start noticing the presence of yellow jackets in early July. However, by the late summer and early fall, the yellow jacket nests are at their fullest with upwards of 1,000 worker bees.
Yellow jackets eat fruit and plant nectar. They are also attracted to some human foods, including meats and sugary foods such as sodas, candy, and juices. In the fall, as their natural food sources begin to decline, they become more drawn to garbage receptacles, barbecues, and picnics.
A Dangerous Combination
Yellow jackets are especially dangerous at this time of year due to their high population, increased aggression, and declining food sources. In addition, a nest that has been built in or near your home poses more of a problem as the cold months roll in and the female yellow jackets prepare for hibernation.
Attempting to remove a yellow jacket nest or eradicating an infestation without proper training, gear, or tools can lead to very bad, and painful, results. We strongly recommend that a yellow jacket infestation be dealt with by professionals!
Please call Freedom Pest Control at 877-PESTS-55 to discuss treatment options and to schedule your free in-home estimate!