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Wasp Control

Friday, June 08, 2012 | Mid-Cities Pest Control

Are you in need of Wasp Control

Wasps come in many types and sizes. The ones that are of most concern to people because of their stinging habits are yellow jackets and hornets. Some social wasps are predators for most or all of the year and provide a great benefit by killing large numbers of plant-feeding insects and nuisance flies; others are exclusively scavengers. Wasps will also forage on foods that people eat, especially sweets and meats.

Due to their size and coloration these wasps are often mistaken for bees. Bees are not nearly as aggressive and are valued as major pollinators as well as honey producers.

All wasps will defend their nests, but the Yellow Jackets and hornets are the most aggressive. They can be distinguished from bees by their thin “waists.” Bees are thick-waisted. They fold their wings lengthwise when at rest. The wasp colony will remain active for only one summer, after which the queens will fly away to start more colonies. The remaining ones, die at the end of the summer, the nest is not reused.

Wasps become a problem only when they threaten to sting humans. One of the most troublesome of the social wasps is the yellowjacket. Yellowjackets, especially ground- and cavity-nesting ones such as the western yellowjacket, tend to defend their nests vigorously when disturbed. Defensive behavior increases as the season progresses and colony populations become larger while food becomes scarcer. In fall, foraging yellowjackets are primarily scavengers and they start to show up at picnics, barbecues, around garbage cans, at dishes of dog or cat food placed outside, and where ripe or overripe fruit are accessible. At certain times and places, the number of scavenger wasps can be quite large.

The need for wasp control is based on their persistent, pugnacious behavior around food sources and their aggressive colony defense. Stinging behavior is usually encountered at nesting sites, but scavenging wasps sometimes will sting if someone tries to swat them away from a potential food source. When scavenging at picnics or other outdoor meals, wasps will crawl into soda cans and cause stings on the lips, or inside the mouth or throat.

Do you need wasp control?

Most social wasps provide an extremely beneficial service by eliminating large numbers of other pest insects through predation and should be protected and encouraged to nest in areas of little human or animal activity. Although many animals prey on social wasps (including birds, reptiles, amphibians, skunks, bears, raccoons, spiders, preying mantids, and bald-faced hornets), none provides satisfactory wasp control in home situations.

The best way to prevent unpleasant encounters with social wasps is to avoid them. If you know where they are, try not to go near their nesting places. Wasps can become very defensive when their nest is disturbed. Be on the lookout for nests when outdoors. Wasps that are flying directly in and out of a single location are probably flying to and from their nest.

Scavenging wasps will not usually become a problem if there is no food around to attract them. When nuisance wasps are present in the outdoor environment, keep foods (including pet food) and drinks covered or inside the house and keep garbage in tightly sealed garbage cans. Once food is discovered by wasps, they will continue to hunt around that location long after the source has been removed.

If wasp nests must be eliminated, it is easiest and safest to call for professional help.

If wasp control is needed, seek the assistance of a professional pest control operator who can use many different methods to control these pests including: trapping wasps in a baited trap designed for that purpose, early-season removal of nests, or spraying the nest or nesting site with an insecticide labeled for that use.

Wasp Control Source Article

The Bug Dude Blog