Dealing with hornets and wasps is the unfortunate reality of warm weather in Massachusetts. You’ve waited all winter to get outside and relax in your yard, but aggressive stinging insects can spoil your fun in a flash. At best, hornets and wasps are annoying, and at worst, they can launch an attack that requires medical attention. Knowing how to keep hornets and wasps away from your Merrimac yard is essential for enjoying the summer weather while it lasts.
Types Of Hornets & Wasps In Merrimac Yards
Massachusetts is home to several types of hornets and wasps that can cause trouble in your yard. Some common types you may encounter are:
- Yellowjackets – These wasps have a black and yellow striped pattern and average about 1/2 inch in size. Yellowjackets tend to build underground nests and can be highly aggressive.
- Paper wasps – Known for their papery nests that hang like upside-down umbrellas, paper wasps are often found in eaves, ceilings, and tree branches. They are usually black with yellow markings and can grow up to 3/4 inch long.
- European hornets – These hornets can grow up to 1 ½ inches in length and are usually brown with yellow markings. European hornets are known for their defensive behavior and painful sting.
One sting from a hornet or wasp can be unpleasant, but a swarm of stings can be a medical emergency. The best approach to staying safe is with proactive prevention around your property.
What Attracts Hornets & Wasps?
Like most pests, stinging insects are motivated by their appetites. Hornets and wasps are primarily predators but will also indulge in sweets under the right circumstances. The availability of food is usually the reason that they are attracted to your property. Things that attract hornets and wasps include:
- Plants and trees – Sweet-smelling plants and fruit-bearing trees provide a sugary fix for stinging insects.
- Food and drink – Unattended hamburger meat makes great baby food for wasp larvae and cans of beer, soda, or juice are a favorite of thirsty adults.
- Trash and recycling – Uncovered trash and recycling cans are an invitation to all sorts of pests, including stinging insects.
How To Keep Hornets & Wasps Away
As stressful as putting up with stinging insects can be, protecting your property from hornets and wasps is as easy as addressing the previously mentioned factors.
- Use organic repellent – Plant flowers like marigolds and geraniums and herbs like citronella and basil to repel wasps from your yard.
- Do some yard work – Mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim hedges to eliminate areas where prey insects can hide. Be sure to rake up any fallen fruit that might attract hornets and wasps.
- Cover the trash – Keep trash cans covered at all times. Try rinsing out containers before disposal to remove any residue that could attract pests.
- Prevent nesting – Check the siding of your home or business for damage and fill with silicone caulk as needed. Fill in any holes you may find in your yard, but don’t fill in an active wasp nest! Try seeding your yard with more grass to cover bare patches where wasps can dig nests.
If you’ve got a hornet or wasp nest in your Merrimac yard, don’t try to take care of it yourself. Instead, contact your friends at Freedom Pest Control for the safest removal of an active nest. No matter what type of hornet or wasp you’ve got, our knowledgeable experts can get rid of the problem and help prevent future infestations. For more information about the best stinging insect control services in Merrimac, get in touch with us today.