Wasps can be a real nuisance to home and property owners, causing anxiety, pain, and in the instance of those with allergies, genuine safety concerns. Effective Pest Services is here to help you better understand these creatures, why they’ve chosen your space to infest, and how you can exterminate them — and prevent them from returning.
What are wasps?
Wasps, specifically paper wasps, are stinging insects that are characteristic in appearance for their yellow and black (sometimes dark brown) coloring that features stripes on their abdomens and alternating shapes of the same colors throughout the rest of their bodies. Often confused with yellow jackets and hornets (which are both types of wasps) these flying pests, on average, measure to about one-half to one-and-a-half inches in length. Their wings are slightly transparent and appear brown in color. Like many similar species, the paper wasp colonies will consist of a queen (female), workers (also female), drones (male), and larvae. Queens are the head of the colony and communicate with the rest of the wasps by using pheromones. Their primary purpose is to lay eggs and grow the nest’s population. Drones, or male paper wasps, are few in number and live solely to mate with the queen. Once their duties have been completed, they soon die. Workers represent the largest number of wasps in the colony and also have the largest set of responsibilities. Workers will gather and distribute food, build and maintain the nest, as well as defend the nest from predators and other perceived threats.
How do paper wasps get their name?
Paper wasps get their name based on the manner in which they build their nests. Preferring spaces like the eaves of buildings, under decking, attached to overhead plumbing, vertical tree branches — basically anywhere sturdy, vertical, and away from the threat predators and extreme weather conditions — worker wasps will gather organic materials like dead wood and plant matter and combine it with their saliva to create a building material that is paper-like and used to construct the nest.
What do paper wasps eat?
Paper wasps have a wide-ranging diet, including the nectar and pollen found in flowering plants, as well as many different types of insects, such as pests found in gardens, caterpillars, beetle larvae, flies, and more. You’re likely to find them around flower and vegetable gardens or areas where pests tend to thrive, such as standing water or other moisture-rich areas.
Are paper wasps dangerous?
Paper wasps, especially compared to the more aggressive hornet and yellow jacket, is a relatively non-aggressive stinging insect. That said, they are a stinging insect and should still be considered with caution. These insects usually act aggressively if they feel that they or their nest is being threatened. This means that they could cause harm even if nothing is being done to truly threaten them. They are insects, after all. If you, a loved one, or a visitor has an allergy to the stings of paper wasps, then their presence can pose a real health threat. Anaphylactic shock can be caused when the venom from a sting creates an allergic reaction in the body. It’s symptoms can include swelling, breathing difficulties, fever, nausea, and much more. If you or someone you know has been stung and is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
How do I exterminate paper wasps?
Paper wasps are on your property because the conditions there are ideal for them to thrive. There are ample resources, and the area surrounding your home is one that provides them access to the foods they desire most and the safest spaces to build their nests. In order to exterminate them, you must address how to reasonably provide them fewer resources. Removing all the flowering plants from your home that give paper wasps the nectar and pollen they love is probably not realistic, nor is your ability to get rid of the areas that they prefer to build their nests — though you can and must remove their nests in order to effectively exterminate them — but you can absolutely eliminate other food sources (as in insects) and improve the conditions that are causing those other insects to be there in the first place. The specialists at Effective Pest Services have had countless experiences in treating homes and businesses in Windsor for paper wasp infestations. Because these pests can be aggressive when they feel their colony being threatened, we do recommend professional management of the extermination and nest removal processes vs. the layperson attempting to manage it on their own to avoid potential stings or allergic reactions.
How do I prevent paper wasps from coming back?
Ongoing maintenance of the types of pests that paper wasps prefer to eat, as well as the management of things like standing water on the property and other conditions that cause nuisance insects to thrive is vital to ensuring long-term success against paper wasp infestations and the like. We tend to recommend to our clients that the best way to live a nearly pest-free life is through quarterly treatments for paper wasps and all relative insects. These pests mate and hatch throughout different times of the year and require different management and extermination techniques. Having the support of a trusted team of extermination experts can give you peace of mind and that much more of your time back that you’d otherwise be devoting to ineffective DIY pest control.
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