Paper wasps look a bit scary. They have six long legs, 2 long antennae, and are brown with yellow stripes. They are also a bit large for a flying insect, ranging from 5/8th of an inch up to 3/4th of an inch in size. They have long wings that are almost transparent. When spring weather arrives, these pests are suddenly on the scene too. Let’s examine their behavior and see just what kind of foe these stinging insects are to Nashville homes and businesses.
First of all, these flying insects can and do sting multiple times because they do not lose or release their stinger after they sting. It’s safest to do all that you can to avoid getting tangled up with these formidable stingers. DO NOT attempt to remove a nest on your own. Even if it looks like it is deserted, it may not be. Even though they are not considered to be extremely aggressive, paper wasps will certainly protect themselves and their nest if they feel threatened. They do not, however, seek out something just to sting it. It is truly just a defensive behavior. In the unfortunate event that someone does get stung remember that stings are painful and have the same risk for an allergic reaction as any other insect bite.
These semi-social insects live in small colonies. Their diet consists of nectar and other insects like caterpillars and flies. They reside in nests that are made of a paper-like material that they make out of plant material combined with their saliva - thus their name ‘paper wasps’. Their paper-like nests have open combs (cells) and are built from a single comb that is added onto. They can be found attached to trees, shrubs, eaves, deck railings, wood fences, wood playground equipment, and outdoor wood furniture among many other places.
In the spring, their nests seem to start popping up because this is the time of year when the females that have already mated during the previous fall leave their winter hibernation site to build a nest in which to lay their eggs. Once the young start emerging, they become the workers and start gathering paper and food to enlarge and protect the nest. The colony grows quickly during the summer as the queen female lays eggs constantly, and the colony is usually at a maximum size of 20 to 75 adults in the late summer or early fall.
Preventing the females from finding a nesting site on your property in the spring is possible with a few preventative measures and help from the professionals here at All-American Pest Control, Inc. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent paper wasps from making their nests nearby:
Treat wood fences, deck railings, wood playground equipment, and any outdoor wood furniture with a repellent oil to discourage wasps from gathering cellulose from the wood and from building their nests on it.
Decrease the amount of insects on your property that wasps would consider a food source by implementing a year-round pest control service for home or business with any of our effective packages.
Remove anything that may be considered a food source, like pet food, picnic and barbecue scraps, open trash, recycling containers, and unattended compost piles.
Repair and seal any possible entry points on the exterior of your buildings or home.
Repair or replace any damaged screens on windows, doors, and eaves.
Paper wasps are most assuredly a formidable foe to Nashville residents. Like so many pest issues, prevention and preparation are really the best and most assured way to lessen confrontations with them. Here at All-American Pest Control, Inc., we know how busy life can be which is why we offer the very best in residential and commercial pest control with our year-round pest control programs. Contact us today for a free evaluation and stop worrying about these and all other pest threats.