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Wasps: A Stinging Problem

Few things can cause a group of friends enjoying a meal to disperse in a panic than the appearance of wasps. These sugar-loving insects strike fear in even the strongest among us due to their ability to organize a group attack and to sting repeatedly when threatened.

Close up front view of waspAlthough people mostly associate the word "wasps" with black-and-yellow insects that build hives on the sides of buildings, under eaves, and under decks, there are actually 20,000 different identified species of wasps. Wasps are broken down into two main categories: colony and solitary. Solitary wasps will normally avoid humans and do not create hives that most associate with colony wasps. Colony wasps, including Yellow Jackets and Hornets, are more aggressive and the wasps that most people recognize. Colony wasps create a new colony every spring with a fertilized queen who is the only member of the colony who lives dormant through the winter.

Most wasps, when kept away from homes and in small numbers, are a benefit to your yard. Wasps hunt other insects that can damage yards to feed their young larvae. Wasps also help to pollinate growing plants in the spring. Only the young larvae feed on dead insects while adult wasps prefer the sugary sweets available in sodas and other sweets found on your picnic table.

Dealing with wasps can be particularly difficult because colony wasps have the ability to coordinate an attack through a pheromone that is released when they are in danger. This pheromone lets other wasps know that there is danger in the area and calls them into battle.

How to Prevent a Wasp Infestation

Wasp nest up in the raftersWasps are more active during the day and usually retreat to the nest at night. Therefore, night is the best time for spraying or trying to remove a wasp nest. It’s important to take extra care when dealing with wasps near their nest, because they can release a pheromone to signal danger if one is killed close to the nest and trigger an attack.

The best time of year to deal with wasps is either in the winter by removing old nests, making it harder for wasps to move back in during the summer, or in early April when the queen has started building a colony but not yet grown it to large numbers.

Also, because wasps are drawn to flower pollen and nectar, it is a good idea to move flowers away from houses. There are also species of wasps that like to burrow in the ground for their nests. They prefer dry and loose dirt in the ground that is easy to burrow in.

Senske's Wasp Control Services

Because of their ability to coordinate an organized attack and in conjunction with their ability to sting multiple times, we recommend not to take on a full-blown wasp infestation by yourself. In most cases it is safer to allow a trained pest control professional to deal with wasp problems. Wasps can stay angry for days after their nest is disturbed and continue to be a danger to families, so it’s important to make sure that the job is done right the first time. The professionals at Senske Pest Control have experience dealing with wasps and the equipment to take care of your wasp problem professionally and quickly. Contact us today at (877) 944-4007 or request an estimate online.