What is wasp?
A wasp is any insect of the narrow-waisted suborder Apocrita of the order Hymenoptera which is neither a bee nor an ant. Wasps are distinguished from the ants and bees of Apocrita by various behavioral and physical characteristics, particularly their possession of a slender, smooth body and legs with relatively few hairs.
Wasps also generally are predatory or parasitic and have stingers with few barbs that can be removed easily from their victims. Similar to other members of Apocrita, wasps have a narrow petiole, or “waist,” which attaches the abdomen to the thorax. Wasps have biting mouthparts and antennae with 12 or 13 segments. They are normally winged. In stinging species, only the females are provided with a formidable sting, which involves use of a modified ovipositor (egg-laying structure) for piercing and venom-producing glands. Adult wasps may feed on nectar and, in some species, on the secretions produced by larvae. Larvae of predatory wasp species typically feed on insects, while larvae of parasitic species feed on their hosts.
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). Others, such as potter wasps (Eumeninae) and sand wasps (Ammophila, Sphecidae), repeatedly build nests which they stock with a supply of immobilized prey such as one large caterpillar, laying a single egg in or on its body, and then sealing up the entrance (mass provisioning).
How to distinguished between wasp and bee?
Many of us are unaware of the difference between bees and wasps and consider both of them equally harmful. However, this is not the case. Although they may look similar in color, the physical and behavioral characteristics of bees and wasps are different:
|Long and fat, Hairy body
|Long and thin, Hairy body
|Flat and wide
|Round and waxy
|Social or solitary
|live in wax hives.
|live in papery nests.
|Less aggressive. Honey bees die after sting.
|More aggressive. Can sting multiple targets.
What attracts wasp to your house?
Wasps may be hanging out in your yard because they’ve found safe refuge there. Things like insulated walls, crevices, and cracks shelter wasps from potential predators and harsh elements.
After hibernating all winter long, the queen and her workers emerge in preparation for the summer months. And after a long winter, they’re hungry and looking for food sources. If they can find something to eat in your yard or garden, they’ll stay. Because of this, one of the best ways to prevent a wasp infestation on your property is to get rid of other pest species like spiders first.
While wasps hunt for some of their food, they also love a free meal when they can find it. They eat protein-based foods, and will scavenge leftovers like meat scraps or grill drippings. While you can’t keep wasps from noticing your cookout altogether, you can discourage them from staying by covering your cooked food and cleaning up spills promptly.
When fall comes around, wasps start searching for sources of sugar to get them through the winter. Wasps will seek out fallen fruit from trees, soda cans, hummingbird feed, fruit juice, and anything else that is a good source of sucrose.
Wasps are attracted to flowering plants. They enjoy the nectar of the flowers and the fragrance, and can quickly take over a garden bed. If you wear strong perfume, they may also be attracted to that scent.
How to identify a wasp nest in your house?
Different species of wasps build their nests from various materials. The places that attract them also differ. But a wasp nest is a wasp nest through and through and shouldn’t be too hard to identify.
In most cases, a wasp nest would look like a hardened blob, with the outside looking like it’s made of strands of paper. The inside resembles a beehive, with tiny cell-like honeycomb structures. The overall feel of this type of nest (and we don’t recommend touching it!) is papery. In some cases, it can look like a hardened cotton ball.
Another popular look might be more familiar to you – miniature pottery. Some species build nests that resemble small vases or other mud structures. In most cases, those would be smaller than the paper alternative because most of these species are solitary. However, we’ve encountered huge nests looking like vast termite mounds, which isn’t always the case.
How to get rid of wasp?
If you have wasps in your yard, these tips can help you get rid of them:
Hang wasp traps
Wasp traps are one of the most common—and effective—ways to get rid of wasps in your yard. The traps feature a liquid that attracts wasps. When the wasps crawl into the trap, they get stuck and drown. While wasp traps are effective, they accumulate dead wasps and can be unsightly to look at. Replace them often and be sure to hang them away from your outdoor living areas.
Spray wasp nests
If you see an active wasp nest around your home or property, spray it with store-bought wasp nest spray. For best results, wear protective clothing and spray the nest late in the evening, when the wasps are dormant, and the workers and queen are all present. Purchase a wasp spray with a nozzle that allows you to spray from a distance. Re-spray the nest repeatedly over the course of a few days, if needed.
Use soap and water
If you want an alternative to store-bought insecticides, tackle small wasp nests with soap and water. Mix two tablespoons of dish soap into a spray bottle of water and spray it on the nests. The mixture will clog the wasps’ breathing pores and kill them instantly.
Create homemade traps
Build a homemade wasp trap by cutting the top off a large soda bottle and adding a few inches of soda or fruit juice (with a few drops of dish liquid) to the bottom. Invert and replace the top and hang the homemade trap in your yard.
Kill emerging wasps
Store-bought wasp killing sprays can be effective for eliminating individual wasps. Spray wasps as you see them, being sure to follow all label directions on the insecticide you buy.
Treat future nesting areas
In addition to spraying existing nests, you can treat future nesting areas. Purchase residual liquid insecticides at your local home or hardware store and spray it in the areas where you think wasps would nest, such as your deck, pool, patio, playset, and wood fence. This discourages future nest building.
Call a professional
Getting rid of large outdoor wasp colonies can be impossible to DIY. For fast, professional results, contact Smith’s Pest Management. Our team will remove existing wasps and take steps to prevent new colonies from forming.
Recommended Trapall Products:
Trapall has been an experienced manufacturer and supplier of insect control products for many years. We have developed various of traps and other accessories to help you expel and eliminate your wasp problem:
- Wasp Bottle Trap (ATPL7114)
- Wasp Bottle Trap (ATPL6720)
- Wasp Catcher Control System (ATPL6956L)
- Portable Fogger Machine (ATE111124)
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Caza, S. (2015, July 4). Differences between bees and wasps. Beekeeping.IsGood. Retrieved January 7, 2022, from https://www.beekeeping.isgood.ca/resources/differences-between-bees-and-wasps
Ross, K. G., & Matthews, R. W. (1991). The Social Biology of Wasps (Illustrated ed.). Cornell University Press.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2020, March 5). wasp | Description, Types, & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved January 7, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/animal/wasp
Wikipedia contributors. (2022, January 1). Wasp. Wikipedia. Retrieved January 7, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp