Category Archives: Wasps

Pests to look out for in the early spring

Warmer weather introduces new challenges in terms of pest control. As winter wears on and spring approaches, homeowners may want to check for signs of infestations.

Ants
Carpenter ants are a common issue in the spring. They are more than just a nuisance- they are known to cause structural damage in homes. Spotting one or two ants isn’t indicative of a nest, but homeowners would still benefit from checking for their presence. Ants tend to congregate near the spot that they entered the building. The SnoValley Star suggests looking around where wiring comes through the wall, around windows in the basement, and small, out of the way spaces. Carpenter ants are known to nest in wood, and can often be found in walls and ceilings.

Wasps
Wasp nests can also pose a new threat in the springtime. The University of Michigan warns that yellow jackets tend to nest in attics, walls, and under eaves. The only way to verify an infestation is if the insects are spotted flying in and out of a crack in the walls. Paper wasps, one of the more common species, are typically found on horizontal surfaces such as beams, overhangs and supports in places such as attics, garages and tool sheds. Both types of wasps gravitate toward quiet, out​-of-the-way areas, but can be dangerous if they choose to stay in the walls of a home.

If a nest is spotted, but no wasps were seen in the area, it’s possible that the nest is dead or inactive. Wasps only use their nests for one season, so it may be that the nest is not in use. It’s better to have an exterminator come and look at the nest before attempting to remove it, however, to avoid the risk of getting stung.

Termites
One of the most common pests early on in spring is the termite. These pests are nearly impossible to spot, and the best method of prevention is to have a house inspection each spring. According to Business Wire, they can chew through most flooring materials in addition to wallpaper, making them able to invade a home with ease. Tips for termite control include keeping the areas around a house’s foundation dry, keeping holes sealed and stacking lumber away from structures.

Ask an exterminator agency to send a professional to evaluate the risk of pests for your home if you’re concerned about infestations as spring approaches.

Wasps on the rise

Have you noticed an increase in wasps around your home? Even though it's common to see more wasps during this time of the year, homeowners in some areas are noticing an enormous spike in the local wasp population. The pests threaten the safety of some residents who are sensitive to stinging insects.

While exterminators in some areas used to receive several calls about wasps over the course of an entire summer, they're now getting up to five calls per day. The enormous population is most likely due to the mild winters many parts of the country experienced, combined with the drought currently sweeping through parts of the nation. The large wasp populations are expected to remain a problem until severe storms or the first frost of the season.

Recognizing a problem
If you've noticed an increase in the number of wasps around your home, you may have a pest control issue on your hands, so it's a good idea to make sure there isn't a nest or infestation nearby. Even if you don't fear the pests, young children and pets may annoy the insects and cause them to sting. This can cause a dangerous reaction in those allergic to wasp venom.

There are several different types of wasps that can cause problems for homeowners. Yellowjackets tend to be extremely territorial and may attack when disturbed. They sometimes build their nests in the ground, so they may be hard to detect. Filling cavities and holes upon discovery can ensure the wasps do not have a place to nest in your yard.

Hornets are extremely defensive and unpredictable wasps, and their presence can be dangerous. If you've noticed a large ball attached to your tree or home, you may have a hornet infestation.

Even though paper wasps are not as aggressive as yellowjackets and hornets, their presence can still be unpleasant. These wasps usually build papery nests under ledges, near doors or around windows. Their close proximity to entry points means they can easily gain access to the home.

When to call a professional
It's important to keep an eye on your wasp problem to note if it's worsening. Because these pests tend to become more aggressive as the season continues, a growing population may mean an even bigger threat to kids and pets. Eliminating a nest yourself can be dangerous, and homeowners who want to take care of a wasp problem themselves should be aware of the potential risks. If you see an increase in size or territorial behavior, the safest and most efficient option may be to contact a pest control expert.

Giant wasps prominent in Texas

Giant wasps, also known as cicada killers, have been a problem in Texas since June, the Country World News reported.

The pests are two inches long and have orange wings, making them easy to spot. Residents often have no idea what they are, and report the insects as hornets, bees or scud missiles.

The wasp stings and paralyzes the cicadas before taking them back to their wasp burrow. There, the female wasp lays her eggs on the cicada and seals the nest. When the eggs hatch, the grubs can feed on the cicada.

Female cicada killers have stingers, but tend to rarely attack humans. Male cicada killers are territorial pests that can become aggressive, and although they lack stingers, they can prick humans with sharp spines on their abdomens.

The wasps can be a nuisance because of their tendency to dig tunnels in yards. They burrow into the ground where bare dirt patches are readily available, such as in gardens and around trees. Parents are also concerned about nests in yards where young children play.

Watering, fertilizing and putting mulch on bare dirt can assist residents in keeping the large pests out of their yards and gardens. Pest control measures and pesticides may be recommended by a professional if the cicada killer infestation is severe.