The European paper wasp (umbrella wasp) is a relative newcomer to BC, and is often confused with the native paper wasp and the yellowjacket. It has a more slender body with longer legs, but like it’s cousin it still has a stinger that doesn’t quit. The sting from a paper wasp is not as painful however as the bald faced hornet or yellowjacket.
Yellowjackets are often confused with bees because they’re about the same size, but the similarities pretty much stop there. They don’t have pollen carrying capacities, they hunt for meat to take home to the larvae, and their stingers can sting repeatedly for defense.
Hornets are the largest of the trio, and the ones in BC are usually identifiable by their striking black and white ‘bald face’ – hence the name bald-faced hornet. Like the other two on this list, the bald-faced hornet can sting repeatedly.
How Serious Are Wasps?
Wasps near the home can ruin outdoor activities and make yard work difficult. While they rarely go out of their way to sting, wasps may become hostile if threatened or disturbed. Their stings are painful but typically nonthreatening to those without allergies to the wasp’s venom.
How Do I Get Rid of Wasps?
Colonies can be located inside the walls of your home or in the ground. Top Line pest control will use sprays or bait to kill wasps, or try removing the nest. However, you should never remove a nest by knocking it down or hitting it with a bat or other item. Read the following steps to see how you get rid of wasps:
1. Care should be taken when spraying directly on trees and bushes with the product, spraying as little as possible.
2. When dealing with social wasps, such as hornets, wear protective equipment including a bee hat, long-sleeved shirt, coveralls, eyewear, and gloves.
3. Locate the wasp nest by examining all protected areas in the vicinity of wasp activity.
4. The best strategy is to treat the wasp nest at night when all the workers and queen are present. Spraying into hornets nests should ALWAYS be done at night. They are far less aggressive and are all at home. This tactic maximizes the effect of the pesticide application by killing most if not all of the wasps. If treatment is made at night, avoid shining a light directly on the nest or use a red filter on the flashlight to dim the shine.
5. Daytime treatments are successful when the wasp nest is treated, or if the wasps present on the nest are killed. Then, the wasp nest is removed, and the attachment area treated. Returning workers looking for the wasp nest contact the residual and die. Complete the job by removing the wasp nest, particularly.
6. After treatment of the wasps/hornets nests, continue to monitor the area for wasp activity.
Types of wasps
There are different types of wasps, and each wasp class has their own unique appearances.
Mud dauber wasp
Mud daubers are yellow and black or metallic blue or black. Mud daubers can measure in at 1/2- 1” with 6 legs. They have antennae and their body has a long, slender waist.
Mud daubers are unsocial wasps, which means they spend most of their time making nests and hunting for food for their young. Mud daubers live up to their name. They make tubes out of mud in sheltered areas like ceilings, eaves, garages, attics and sheds. Mud daubers have good vision and use landmarks to locate their nest.
Ichneumon wasp species color can vary. Some are dark colored, and others are brightly colored with patterns. Some ichneumon wasp species have yellow and black bands, which make them look like stinging wasps. Ichneumon wasps have a long body and measure in at about 1 ½ inches with long antennas.
Ichneumon wasps control pest populations by preying on boll weevils, wood boring insects and tomato hornworms. Adult ichneumon wasps feed on shrubs, nectar and trees. A majority of Ichneumon wasps won’t sting humans.
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