Wasps

Identification

  • Colour Yellow, white, black, reddish
  • Size From 13 mm to 40 mm long
  • Description Have no hair on their abdomen, which is connected to their thorax with a thin petiole waist. They have three pairs of legs and two pairs of membranous wings. Their head features mouthparts, sensory organs, compound eyes, and segmented antennae.
  • Notes Different wasp species have distinct markings.

General Facts

Why do I have wasps?

More than 500 species of wasps live in Canada, and most are social creatures that live in colonies ranging from half a dozen to 15,000 members. The most common pest wasps are hornets, yellow jackets, paper wasps, and mud daubers. Paper wasps build single-layered nests from masticated plant matter and attach it to fences, branches, twigs, eaves, door and window frames, exterior joists and soffits. The nest may be exposed or protected in a paper envelope and will house up to 300 bees. Yellow jackets and hornets also build nests from masticated plant matter but these are multi-layered and located in hollow trees, wall voids, inside structures such as sheds, garages, and attics, in trees and brushes, or on the ground. These nests will house up to 3,500 bees. Mud daubers are solitary wasps and build nests from mud in sheltered areas like protected building structures and walls. Such nests are generally plastered side by side forming a cluster of nests more than a metre wide. Most wasps primarily feed on nectar, fruit juices, or honeydew from plants, but the most common wasps are scavengers, preying on insects and human food. Wasps are typically attracted by food, beverages, and garbage. Female wasps often hibernate in attics, barns, garages, or other accessible storage spaces.

How worried should I be about wasps?

Wasps are beneficial because they prey on insect pests in agricultural crops and gardens, but if provoked, wasps can sting multiple times, potentially causing fatal anaphylactic shock in allergic individuals if not treated. Wasps can be dangerous, aggressive and extremely territorial and removal of a wasp nest and eradication of a wasp infestation is best left to a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent wasps invading?

Seal all potential entry points to your home, Fix cracks around windows and doors, Repair door and window screens, Fill holes in ventilation lines, Check soffits and recessed lighting fixtures, Seal gaps leading to wall or baseboard voids, Reduce available food sources, Eradicate flies, ants, and spiders, Keep all food sealed outdoors, Clean up spills and crumbs promptly, Cover trash with tight fitting lids, Move garbage bins away from house, Reduce available nesting sites, Trim back bushes and vegetation, Remove old, unused wasp nests

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