WASPS

Can Strike Fear Into All

 

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Wasp Nests

Friend Or Foe?

There are around 30,000 identified species of wasps around the globe, of which only 4,000 live here in the United States. Wasps are most active during the daylight hours and return to their nests once the sun goes down. The life cycle of a wasp varies. Some wasps will live for only a few months while others will live almost a year. Wasps come in all varieties of colors and sizes yet the wasps most people will recognize are the brightly colored wasps that signal impending doom in the form of a painful sting. It never fails, when we see one of these brightly colored wasps, there is usually another lurking nearby, ready to attack and sting us along with his friend. However, these social, stinging wasps are actually less common than the solitary, non-stinging wasps. No matter the shape, size, stinging ability, or lack thereof, all wasps are important to our ecosystem. Wasps help control other pests that harm our agriculture, which is needed to sustain our ability to eat fruits and vegetables. To be informed, we need to know more about wasps. 

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FAQ

Appearance

What do wasps look like?

Wasps grow through four stages: egg, larva, pupa, adult. This is called metamorphosis. Let us take a look at an adult wasp. An adult wasp consists of:

 

  • Head 
  • Abdomen 
  • Thorax
  • Two antenna
  • Four wings
  • Six legs
  • Chewing mouth parts
  • Stinger (only females can sting)

Habitat

Where Are Wasps Found?

The habitat of a wasp varies by the species for which the wasp belongs. Wasp species are categorized by two groups: social wasps and solitary wasps. 

 

Social wasps live in colonies that have a queen. The social wasp colony, including the wasp queen, will die out every year while a newly fertilized wasp queen will find somewhere warm to wait out the cold winter. This could be somewhere inside your cozy home. Once it warms up outside, the wasp queen will emerge, start a new nest and begin laying eggs that she will raise to become a new colony. If not disturbed, a wasp colony can grow to more than 5,000 wasps in one year. One wasp colony is capable of producing multiple new wasp queens. Social wasps tend to be brightly colored and they pack a powerful sting. Examples of social wasps are hornets and yellow jackets. Social wasps will attack and sting when they feel threatened. Social wasps only use their stingers for defense. Social wasps are happy to build their nests around your house, above the door of your home, and in your garage. These social wasps that have invaded your home will then proceed to attack you as you attempt to enter your home. 

 

Solitary wasps do not live in colonies and do not have a queen. These wasps live alone in holes in the ground. Some will build a home out of mud on the side of your house.  Solitary wasps do not attack or sting people. Solitary wasps will only use their stingers to kill or paralyze insects for food for themselves and their offspring. Solitary wasps are used in agriculture to kill off pest insects that are infesting crops. Some species of solitary wasps are being raised by humans then released in large areas that have a bad pest infestation that is killing the crops. Some species of solitary wasps are quite large, like the cicada killers and tarantula hawks. 

Entry into your home or business

Wasps Will Find Entry Into Homes And Businesses

Wasps will enter your home or business through any opening it can fit through. They will even slip in when you are opening the door to enter yourself. The stinging wasps inside your home are a problem because you never know when it will attack. If you find a stinging wasp inside your home, you should look around for the nest, especially if it came through the door with you. Chances are there is a nest nearby. Here are some places to look for a social wasp nest:

 

  • Under the eaves of your home
  • In the corners of your porch
  • In air vents
  • Under your porch
  • Under any equipment laying around that hasn’t been moved in a while (lawnmower)

 

Some solitary wasps will make their nests out of mud right outside your front door. They look like long tubes and harden as the mud dries. These are unsightly and hard to remove. 

Damage

Wasps Can Cause Damage

The obvious damage of a social wasp is the sting. The sting of a social wasp is painful. If you have an allergy to stinging insects, you should know that the sting of a social wasp will probably affect you in the same way. At the very least, the sting will hurt. The site of the sting could possibly swell, burn, produce hives and itch. If at all possible, you do not want a social wasp to sting you. 

 

Social wasps will also try to build their nests under the eaves of your home, right above your front door or garage. If left alone, the nests will grow. You will be at risk of being stung any time you try to enter your home. Your children will be at risk of being stung as they play in the yard. In addition, the nest itself will damage the paint of your home at the point of attachment. 

 

Some species of solitary wasps will build their nests out of mud on the walls, garage doors, doorframes, and doors of your home. While these wasps will not attack you for getting too close, they are ugly. They are also hard to remove. As the mud dries, it hardens. It is difficult to remove a solitary wasp’s mud nest. If left to harden, it can damage the paint to which it is attached. You do not want this to happen to your beautiful home. 

Control and Safety

Wasp Control and Safety

Your home is your sanctuary. You expect your home to be a safe place for you and your family to enjoy. You expect your yard to be a safe place for your children to play. Social wasps jeopardize that safety and you are obligated to keep your children safe. All wasps can be controlled. If only you knew all there is to know about all the species of wasps that can sting and damage your home. Thankfully, there is someone you can call. A pest control professional knows the habits, life cycle, and behaviors of all species of wasps. Pest control professionals will keep you and your family in a wasp free home. 

Prevention and Removal

Prevention And Removal Of Wasps

Prevention is key to eliminating any pest from your home. If they do not ever come in, they can’t establish residency, right? You can do your part in prevention by keeping an eye out for any wasp activity. Check the eaves of your home regularly throughout the summer for the beginnings of any new hive activity. If you see a wasp beginning to build a nest, you can treat it with an over the counter wasp spray and knock it down with a broom. You have to be careful, though, because not all wasps will be on the nest and will attack once they realize you are destroying their nest. Regular pest control treatment will prevent wasps from choosing your home as its next place of residency. If you don’t have a regular pest control professional regularly treat your home and you find an established wasp nest,  it’s always best to call a pest control professional to remove the nest and treat the house for future wasp infestations. They know wasps and how to prevent wasps from returning and disrupting the safety of your family.

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With 30,000 wasp species worldwide and 4,000 wasp species in the United States, it is impossible for you to know all there is about wasp control in and around your home. Social wasps pose an imminent threat to the safety of you and your family by an attack of a stinging wasp because you walked too close to its nest. Both social and some solitary wasps can damage the paint on your home with their nests. It is possible to prevent the nests from being built if you are diligent about patrolling your home for signs of nest activity. Once a nest is established, however, it is best to let the professionals do the job. Wasp control professionals are knowledgeable of wasp life cycles and behaviors and what treatment works with each species. Do not risk a sting to yourself or your family by treating yourself. Let the wasp control professional take care of all your wasp control needs.