Identifying and controlling wasps at your home
We all love the signs of fall, cold crisp air, changing leaves, and geese flying south. It’s a fun, cozy time and beautiful weather to be outside except for wasps. Every fall, they become especially annoying, ruining yard work and outdoor get-togethers.
Read on to learn about wasps and what you can do about them.
Latin Name: Order Hymenoptera
Varies considerably depending on which species of wasp
Most have a pinched waist and two pairs of wings.
Colors range from black to blues and metallic greens
Wasps vary in size from scarcely visible to several centimeters long.
Behavior, Habits, & Diet
The wasp is either a solitary or a social species. Solitary wasps live alone, not in a colony. They do lay eggs, but then leave them alone to hatch. Social wasps, in comparison, live in colonies that can have up to thousands of wasps. In each colony, the female workers perform all work within the nest.
Wasps can also be predatory or parasitic. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs in the bodies of living animals like spiders and caterpillars. The wasp larvae feed on the living host. Predatory wasps kill and consume other insects and animals, which they sometimes feed to the larvae.
Some, but not all, wasp species are aggressive and will sting when threatened. Many wasps differ from honey bees since they can sting multiple times.
Wasps can be beneficial to the environment in which they live. They can be used to assist in the management of other pests in agriculture and also used to control pest insect populations around humans. In agriculture, they function as pollinators when feeding on plant nectar.
Do all wasps pollinate?
Technically wasps do pollinate; they are just not as effective as bees. Bees have more hairy bodies that pollen is more likely to stick to and be transported to other plants. The smoother body of the wasp can still pollinate. It isn’t as efficient/successful as the hairy bee body.
Wasp reproduction is a bit complicated as each colony has males, female workers, and queens. The queen lays unfertilized eggs late in the summer, producing male wasps. The role of the males is to fertilize the wasps that will become queens the following year. Those fertilized females will overwinter in a sheltered location, and in most cases, the rest of the colony will perish. Production of worker wasps happens in the spring. The queens lay eggs and fertilize the eggs, which then develop into workers, which will build the nest and feed the larvae produced by the queen.
Common Mississippi Wasps
Two of the most common wasps in Mississippi are the Yellow Jacket and the Red Wasp.
Southern Yellow Jackets are known for their aggressive nature and tendency to sting. It is best to avoid them as well as give them a wide berth as they guard their nests furiously and can sting multiple times without dying. Their nests are commonly in or near the ground, so unsuspecting victims accidentally step on or near their nests. Attempting to remove them without proper equipment and protection is a bad idea that can results in painful stings to anyone in the vicinity.
Red Wasps are not as aggressive as yellow jackets and only sting when provoked or feel they need to defend their nest. Stings are painful but don’t have lasting effects unless the person stung is allergic to the venom.
Why Do I Have Wasps Around My House?
Gutters, eaves, and soffits on the exterior of your home are common wasp nesting locations. The plant life and flowers in your yard attract the wasps, as do outside patios and spaces where sticky spills and crumbs remain unclean.
Any garbage cans with loose or no lids are excellent food sources that wasps are attracted to as well. The insects and spiders in your yard also provide ample food for mature and developing wasps.
Contrary to a common belief, old wasp nests are generally not reused by other wasps in the following years.
Are Wasps Dangerous?
Wasps around your house can make doing yard work difficult and ruin outdoor activities. Although they rarely will go out of their way to sting, they may become hostile if they are threatened or disturbed. Their stings are not life-threatening (unless you are allergic to the wasp’s venom) but are very painful.
Signs of a Wasp Infestation
Generally, you will know you have a wasp infestation because you find the nest, or you see them flying around your yard in abundance (or get stung).
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Wasps?
Tri-County employs an integrated approach that uses a variety of efficient and effective methods to control the wasps. Our thorough program includes:
Inspection – We do a thorough examination of the property to develop an effective wasp control plan.
Documentation – We will communicate the findings of our inspection and any follow-up inspections to you and provide you with a wasp control plan.
We will talk to you about wasp behavior, habitat, and diet to help you understand the “why” behind our control plan.
–We recommend modifications to the outdoor areas of the business or home to reduce the number of suitable nesting areas for wasps.
– We will make it difficult for wasps to get inside your home or business.
– Recommend reducing the wasp’s sources of food by keeping the outside spaces clean and free from spilled food, drink, and garbage.
Emergency Visits – Available if needed.
Our experienced Tri-County technicians:
- Can answer your questions and provide recommendations about the use of traps and other wasp control methods
- Can quickly identify the places where wasps are most likely to construct their nests.
- Are familiar with Mississippi wasp species and determine if the species on your property are aggressive or more docile. They will use that information to choose the appropriate treatments.
- Will offer ideas to manage waste products in a manner not attractive to wasps.
- Have the products and equipment necessary to safely and effectively control wasps without putting your pets or family at risk.
Enjoy Your Yard Again
At Tri-County, we understand how the wasps can keep you from enjoying your yard. Give us a call today at (662) 840-1163 to schedule a visit and discuss what we can do to get rid of your wasps so that you can enjoy your outdoor space.Read More about Pest Information