Wasp and Hornet Control...
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Wasp and Hornet Control" will offer some helpful information
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Wasps can strike terror in the hearts of
human beings. Most of us have had experience with a wasp sting
as children, and some of us may even have severe allergy to
the venom in a wasp sting. The only types of wasp that people
should be concerned about are Yellowjackets and hornets. Yellowjackets
and hornets have given a bad name to honey bees, and paperwasps.
Yellowjackets are aggressive insects, and the worker female
have a painful sting. Yellowjackets and hornets are just about
the only types of wasp to be worthy of serious concern. Yellowjackets
can be a problem around dwellings and in playgrounds, but in
most situations they are a minor pest and of no economic importance.
In fact yellowjackets have a slight value as predators, preying
on pest insects, and scavenging animal flesh.
The term wasp is a description of body type
and not temperament. The vast majority of wasps are very beneficial
insects. For example there are wasps that are species specific
parasites and predators of some very serious pests.
Yellowjackets and bees share the same coloration
but can be differentiated by the presence of hair. Bees have
hairy bodies and wasps are smooth and hairless. Hornets bodies
are primarily black with a yellow tail end. Many other insects
have adopted the black and yellow colour scheme as protection
from predators taking advantage of bee's and wasp's defensive
reputations. Therefore, it is important to note that not all
black and yellow insects sting. Yellowjacket and paper wasp
nests can be differentiated by the outer structure of the nest.
Paper wasp nests are not protected by an outer paper cover,
unlike yellowjacket nests which are enclosed by papery material.
Yellowjackets live a social hive situation
similar to honey bees. There may be 5000 wasps per nest. The
nests are paper and may be underground, in a tree or a building
There is an overwintering queen, who, in
the spring selects a nesting site. She constructs a small nest
and lays a few eggs. The eggs hatch, go through a larval stage,
mature and begin to tend the queen much in the same way as worker
bees tend their queen.
These "worker" wasps are female
and the main source of concern: they are the stingers. The worker
wasps expand the nest and hunt other insects to feed the developing
larva and queen. The workers are known to steal small bits of
meat from picnic tables.
In the fall the queen will leave the nest
and search out an over wintering site, typically a crack in
tree bark. The worker wasps also leave the nest, but they do
not over winter and eventually die.
As wasps and hornets aggressively defend
their nests, the safest method of destroying a nest is to wait
until October, after the queen has left and the workers died.
Simply dig up or knock down the nest and destroy it.
During other times of the year control can
be obtained through a number of methods. A piece of cooked meat
soaked in an insecticide such as diazinon and hung in a tree
(away from children and pets) will be visited by the worker
wasps. The wasps will collect a piece of the poisoned meat and
carry it back to the nest. Eventually the entire nest can be
killed by this method.
A similar method, that does not use an insecticide
is to suspend the cooked meat over a bucket of water and detergent.
Wasps that visit the meat may fall in to the bucket of water
A more active attack on a wasp's nest should
be undertaken at dusk, when the wasps are in the nest. There
are specific aerosol wasp and hornet killers. The chemical ingredient
has a rapid knock-down, which is a good thing considering the
wasps aggressive defensive of the nest.
It is important to note that
some people are very allergic to wasp stings. If someone is
stung and has a severe reaction, medical attention should be