These past few weeks have been filled with extreme heat and lots and lots of rain! Creating the perfect conditions for pests to swarm your property. Many pests see this warm and wet weather as an invitation to come out of hiding, and one of these pests is wasps! So, what do you do when there are wasps in the yard?
Determining if There are Wasps in the Yard
The first thing you need to do is determine if you have wasps in the yard, or if you have another stinging pest. Did you know that all hornets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets? Hornets are large stinging wasps that live in tree hollows.
However, when it comes to determining if you have wasps or bees there are quite a few ways to differentiate the two. Bees have a light fuzzy down coat of hair, while wasps have a smooth and hard body. Another difference between the two insects is that bees can only sting you and then they die, while wasps can – and will- sting you multiple times.
The Why Behind the Infestation
When it comes to determining why there are wasps in the yard there are three possible reasons.
Where You Can Find Wasps in the Yard
Once you determine the why you can then begin to locate where exactly these wasps in the yard live. Wasps live in nests that they build by chewing wood and various plant debris and mixing it with their saliva. Because of this wasps nest can look almost like they are made out of paper. The type of wasps you are dealing with will determine where the nest is located. Some nests can be found underground in your yard, while others can be found hanging off of the side of the house, within tree hollows, or inside hollow walls.
In the summer, the average wasp nest holds between 3,000 and 6,000 wasps. And because of climate change, super nests have started to develop. These super nests can grow to the size of a small car and can house as many as 15,000 wasps. With summer being the peak season for wasps it is important to contact professionals if you find a nest or super nest in your yard.
Types of Wasps in the Yard
We mentioned before that all hornets are wasps, but not all wasps are hornets. This is because hornets are just a type of wasp, and the term wasp is actually very broad, covering many different species and different lifestyles. The most common wasps that you can find throughout the state of Virginia include European hornets, yellow jackets, bald-faced hornets, and paper wasps.
European hornets are oftentimes referred to as giant hornets or brown hornets. While they are not as aggressive as some other species they will sting if their colony is disturbed. European hornets build nests in secluded locations above ground, in places like attics, porches, inside hollow walls, or in hollow trees.
Yellow jackets are one of the most common wasps in the yard. These stinging insects build their nests underground or in extremely protected locations above ground. If their nest is threatened or disturbed they boil out of their nest and begin to sting.
These hornets are some of the most aggressive wasps and can grow up to an inch in length. Their names come from its black coloration on the body and white colored head. Bald-faced hornets build their nests above ground. Their nests can be differentiated from other species by the single opening that is guarded by a few hornets at the nest entrance.
Paper wasps build their nests from plant material mixed with saliva, which forms a thin paper like material. These nests consist of numerous compartments where females will lay their eggs. Different from yellow jackets, these wasps build their nests in exposed, yet protected areas. Some examples of places you can find these nests are in door frames, corners of garages, and outdoor sheds. These wasps prey on various insects and spiders, however, they actually feed on nectar and pollen.
Preventing Wasps in the Yard
Now that you have a better idea of where you might find wasps and what they look like how are you supposed to prevent the spread of wasps in the yard? Well, there are a few options to consider.
Consider the Natural Way
When it comes to natural remedies there are some scents that work to repel wasps. Combining lemongrass, clove, and geranium essential oils to apply to outer walls and crevices will help to keep wasps away. Another scent that wasps don’t like is peppermint oil, so it doesn’t hurt to apply and utilizes these scents throughout your home.
Clean up Quickly After Picnics and BBQ's
When the heat of summer rolls around, wasps will crave foods that have proteins. Because of this you don’t want to leave any meat lying around during your outdoor summer meals. You also want to avoid leaving juice or sweet drinks out for too long because they can also attract wasps.
Patch up Cracks and Crevices
We mentioned earlier that some wasps like to build their nests in hollow walls, floors, roof spaces and even chimneys. In order to stop them from nesting in and around your home you will want to seal any gaps or cracks that they can use to burrow into your home.
Keep Trash Cans Tightly Sealed
During the summer wasps are always looking for food. An easy way to prevent them from stealing your leftovers is to make sure you have secured and sealed all of your discarded trash.
Let us Stop the Infestation of Wasps in the Yard
While these methods will help to prevent wasps, they will not solve the infestation of wasps in the yard. Our team at Sigma Pest is highly trained in removing wasps and other stinging pests from in and around your home. Contact us today for more information about our pest control packages and rid your home of these pests once and for all!