Wasp

Family: Vespidae
Order: Hymenoptera

There are several varieties of wasps in North America, including the yellow jacket, hornet and paper wasp. Colour ranges from black to combinations of black with yellow, white or brown markings. The slim, winged body measures 10 to 19 mm (l/2" to 3/4"). All wasp species have chewing mouth parts and the females possess a stinger.

 

Wasp Identification

Varieties common in North America are the yellow jacket, hornet and paper wasp. All wasps have chewing mouth parts and females posses a stinger.

Wasp Habitat

Colonies consist of queens, workers and males. Nests can be found around buildings on verandas, under eaves, ceilings, attics or in trees and shrubs. Several varieties of wasps build nests under ground. They are also found within building wall voids.

Wasp Life Cycle

The queen (female reproductive) lays all the eggs. Most eggs develop into sterile workers. Late in the season, the queen produces eggs which develop into queens who will establish nests the following spring. An average of 1,000 to 3,000 eggs are laid per nest which hatch and develop on daily basis. Only the new queens survive the winter while the rest of the colony dies off when weather becomes cold. The queen overwinters under loose bark or in crevices and lays eggs in the spring to start a new colony.

Wasp Prevention

Whenever possible try to eliminate fallen fruit and refuse which will attract wasps. Sealing holes and other potential sites may help prevent nesting. Once a nest is established do not seal the hole until after treating and there is no more activity.

Preparation Steps for Wasp Treatment

1. Abell Pest Control will be injecting a pesticide directly in the nest to kill all stages of the insect present in the nest. If possible, Abell will remove the nest. Wasps that are out of the nest at the time of the treatment may return to the area and be controlled upon re-entering the nest. Where the nest has been removed these insects will typically disperse from the area.

2. Generally, there is no need to vacate the premises; however, it is advisable to avoid the immediate vicinity of the nest for at least 24 hours.

Download the Prep Sheet for Wasp (PDF)

Wasp - Questions and Answers

Are wasps hazardous to humans?

Yes. A wasp sting, aside from being very painful can prove serious and sometimes fatal. If you suspect a reaction to a wasp sting report to your nearest hospital immediately.

Do all wasps sting?

Only the queens and workers possess an ovipositor (egg-laying tube) which forms the stinger, Normally the stinger is used to kill prey on which wasps and their larvae feed, but will use it on animals and man if provoked.

Do wasps cause damage?

No. Since they feed on flies and other insects they are considered beneficial. However, because they are attracted to sweet substances such as fresh fruit and juice their presence can prove to be a nuisance.

When are wasps most common?

During summer and early fall months when workers are foraging for food.

When am I most likely to see wasps?

Wasps are most active during the daylight hours.

Where do you find wasps?

Nests can be found around buildings on verandas, under eaves, ceilings, attics or in trees and shrubs. Several varieties of wasp build nests underground.

What are their breeding habits? Do they multiply quickly?

The queen (female reproductive) lays all the eggs. Most eggs develop into sterile workers. Late in the season, the queen produces eggs which develop into queens who overwinter will establish nests the following spring. An average of 1,000 to 3,000 eggs are laid per nest which hatch and develop on daily basis.

Do wasps die off in cold months?

Yes. Only the new queens survive the winter while the rest of the colony dies off when weather becomes cold. The queen overwinters under loose bark or in crevices and lays eggs in the spring to start a new colony.

Can weather conditions affect the size of a wasp infestation?

Yes. An abnormally cold, wet spring or hot, dry summer can have an effect on the size of a wasp colony.

Can I do anything to prevent wasp activity on my property?

Yes. Whenever possible try to eliminate fallen fruit and refuse which will attract wasps. Sealing holes and other potential sites may help prevent nesting. Once a nest is established do not seal the hole until after treating and there is no more activity.

If I have wasp nests on my property what can be done to eliminate them?

Your local Abell Pest Control office has products developed for the control of pests such as wasps. Due to the potential danger from a wasp sting, it is advisable to contact an Abell Service Representative.


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