Wasp Facts & Information
Protect your home or business from wasps by learning techniques for identification and control.
Types of Wasps
What do wasps look like?
Wasps vary tremendously depending on species. Most have two pair of wings and a pinched waist. They range in colors from black to metallic greens and blues, and vary in size from almost microscopic to several centimeters long.
How do I get rid of wasps?
What Orkin does
Orkin uses an integrated approach that employs a variety of effective and efficient methods to control wasps. Our integrated program includes using:
Inspection – determining what is needed to provide an effective wasp control plan.
Documentation – explaining the specifics of the overall control plan and the findings and results of, not only the initial inspection, but scheduled follow-up services as well.
Education – explaining the behavior, diet and habitat of wasps and how this information will be helpful to the homeowner.
Cultural controls – modifying the area around the home or business to reduce the number of sites that are suitable for wasps to nest.
Exclusion – making it hard for wasps to get inside the structure.
Sanitation – keeping the area clean and efficiently reducing access to the wasp’s sources of food.
Selection of the best wasp control methods – traps, light modification, mechanical and insecticidal controls, physical removal.
Emergency services, if needed.
For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Orkin branch office.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
Wasp Colony Facts
Wasp species are categorized as social or solitary. As their name implies, social wasps live in colonies, which may number in the thousands. Within these colonies, female workers perform all duties within the nest. Solitary wasps live alone and therefore do not have a colony. They do lay eggs, but their eggs are left alone to hatch.
Some wasps are predatory, while others are parasitic. Predatory wasps kill and consume other insects as well as other animals which they often feed to their larvae.
Parasitic wasps typically lay their eggs in the bodies of living creatures like caterpillars or spiders. The larvae feed on the still-living host. Wasps can assist in the management of other pests, particularly in agriculture as biological control agents. Many wasps also feed on nectar from flowers and therefore function as pollinators.
Some wasps are aggressive species and can sting when threatened. Unlike honey bees, wasps often are capable of stinging multiple times.
Are wasps pollinators?
There are many species of wasps that are important pollinators. However, taken as a group, wasps do pollinate, but are not as effective at pollinating as the bees. This is primarily because bees have hairier bodies than wasps, so pollen is more likely to stick to a bee’s body and be transported from one flower to another.
Life Cycle of Wasps
Late in the summer, the queen of some species will produce unfertilized eggs. These will develop into males. The males will fertilize the wasps that will become the queens of the following year. These fertilized females will overwinter in a sheltered location. In most cases, the rest of the colony will perish when winter comes. Next spring, the queen will start laying eggs. The fertilized eggs that they produce will become workers, building the nest and feeding the larvae produced by the queen.
Wasps often are beneficial to mankind. Several species are used by humans as parasites to control pests, such as in agriculture. Others are predators that help maintain insect populations. Others function as pollinators and help with plant fertilization.
How to Prevent Wasps From Building Nests
Although wasps can be a nuisance, it’s important to keep in mind that most species are actually beneficial. By keeping other predatory insects at bay, different types of wasps should be carefully removed or left alone. In order to prevent wasps from building nests in the first place, it’s good to know which measures work best as a wasp deterrent.
Here are a few things you can do to help prevent wasps from nesting in or around your home:
Seal up and repair any damaged window sills, vents, or screens
Cover any open compost bins or garbage cans
Keep doors and windows shut and make sure that screens are installed
Remove sources of wasp-friendly food (such as ripe or rotten fruits and vegetables or hummingbird feeders) from around frequently trafficked areas such as porches, decks, and front doors
Cover holes in the ground
Check for current or empty nests
Even if you take the necessary steps to help prevent wasps from making a home on your property, it’s not always 100% effective. Since every home is different, an Orkin Pro will design a unique wasp repellent program for your situation. Through a specialized approach to pest control, Orkin can help protect your home with a plan suited to your specific needs. We can provide the right solution to help keep wasps away and out of your home.
If you’re experiencing wasp activity or you notice a nest around your home, it’s best to contact a trained professional. Orkin Pros are experts in identifying different types of wasps and the most effective ways to remove wasps nests.
To learn more about how to get rid of wasps and protect your home, contact your local Orkin branch.
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