Signs of Wasps
If you are experiencing high numbers of wasps in your home or garden there is likely to be a nest nearby, either on your property, in your garden, or very close by.
A mature nest in summer can contain thousands of wasps.
It is important to treat a wasp nest early to reduce the threat of a wasp sting, which can be very painful and even cause an allergic reaction.
A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant; this excludes the broad-waisted sawflies, which look somewhat like wasps but are in a separate suborder.
Adult solitary wasps mainly feed on nectar, but the majority of their time is taken up by foraging for food for their carnivorous young, mostly insects or spiders. Apart from providing food for their larval offspring, no maternal care is given. Some wasp species provide food for the young repeatedly during their development (progressive provisioning).
Social wasps are considered pests when they become excessively common, or nest close to buildings. People are most often stung in late summer when wasp colonies stop breeding new workers; the existing workers search for sugary foods and are more likely to come into contact with humans; if people then respond aggressively, the wasps sting.
Wasp nests made in or near houses, such as in roof spaces, can present a danger as the wasps may sting if people come close to them. Stings are usually painful rather than dangerous, but in rare cases, people may suffer life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
How can you prevent a wasps infestation around your home?
Remove sources of food from around your porch. This means removing ripe or rotten fruits and berries from your property. Move hummingbird feeders away from your home to the trees in your yard as well. Lastly, make sure no pet food is left outside.
Keep doors and windows shut. Use caulk to seal any crevices and cracks around your porch to prevent wasps from entering your home. Remember, wasps can sneak through even the tiniest of holes.
Place wasp-repelling plants around your home and porch. Instead of planting flowers around the areas in which you enjoy relaxing, consider placing wasp deterring plants to add a natural border of protection. Such plants can include wormwood, marigold, mint, basil, pennyroyal, and geranium.
Check for nests. It is important to locate nests before they develop and grow into larger ones. Check sheds, garages, and wall cavities in early spring while they are still golf ball size or smaller and can be treated quickly.
Seal garbage cans and cover compost piles. Wasps aren’t picky and love old rotting food just as much as freshly cooked meals. In the spring and summer wasps crave protein-rich foods, which means they will be drawn to any kind of meat you have on the grill this summer. In the colder months, wasps become sweets junkies, attracted to every sugary substance.
Pick up trash. To add to the last tip, it is very important to make sure no trash from food or drinks is left lying around your property for wasps to gravitate to.
Cover any holes on the ground. Fill in any holes, big or small, that you find in cement or grass. Solitary wasps search for cavities in which to make their home.