How to identify wasps?

  • Long, thin legs that dangle when they fly
  • Two pairs of wings
  • Usually brightly colored
  • They have smooth bodies and legs

How do I know if I have an infestation?

The queen spends the winter hibernating and laying eggs in the nest. So, in the spring you may notice new wasps buzzing around the outside or even inside of your home. Wasps enjoy making attics their home, so keep an eye out for them there. They enjoy eating sweets also so keep this in mind when you’re having picnics and pool parties in the summer. They may come out to enjoy some of the sweet drinks and treats you’re serving. Please do not attempt to remove a wasp nest on your own. They are very aggressive and this should be handled by a professional.

What kind of colony do they build?

Wasps are either social or solitary. If solitary, they do not build nests. They look for naturally concave enclosures or burrow out an area in and make it their home. Every solitary wasp is fertile. One egg is laid in each cell of its nest and the cell is covered up. As the larvae develop, they have no contact with the adult wasp, as in the social nest. When the larvae becomes an adult it leaves the nest.

Social wasps build nests that can reach numbers in the thousands. The queen is the only female in the nest who can mate with the males. All other females are sterile. The nest could be up to 3 feet wide and flat or concave in shape. It will be made of wood pulp and have a papery look.

What do they eat?

As larvae, they are carnivores and they are fed meaty insects by the queen. When wasps become adults they move toward a sweeter diet and will eat nectar from flowers. They also enjoy eating insects, especially dead ones.

Wasp Fun Facts:

  • Wasp venom carries a pheromone that causes other wasps to become aggravated when one releases this pheromone.
  • You can treat a wasp sting with deodorant.
  • Only the young, fertilized queen survives the winter.
  • Wasps are not nocturnal and return to their nest each night.