Flying bugs freak most people out – especially ones that can sting.
Bees can look a little bit cuddly, sure, but they can still sting. Wasps have a reputation for being more aggressive, and unlike bees, the same wasp can sting you multiple times. This is because once a bee stings you, their stinger gets stuck on your skin and the bee actually dies after. Wasps don’t have this problem though so people are understandably more wary of them.
Anyone would undoubtedly be dismayed to find a bug’s nest on their property. But a nest full of aggressive, flying creatures that sting too? Zero shame in noping right out of there.
WASPS ON YOUR PROPERTY:
Obviously if you see wasps on your property that’s a good indication you may have a nest nearby. So you don’t mistake bees for wasps – they have much less hair on their bodies and look shinier. They also have rounder legs, versus the flatter legs bees have. The yellow jacket wasp is common in Arizona and is frequently mistaken for the honey bee. These wasps have yellow and black markings, but they have a brighter yellow as well as the other differences mentioned earlier.
When you spot these wasps on your property, try to determine their flight path to see where their nest is – of course, from a safe distance.
If you hear a lot of buzzing, that may be another sign that you have wasps on your property, albeit not where you can readily see them (for example, if they’ve established a nest in your attic).
If you’ve seen wasps or you hear them, do a perimeter check on your property to spot a wasp nest.
IDENTIFYING A WASP NEST:
The nest you are likely to see on the external surfaces of your home or place of business would a paper wasp nest. These nests are made out of regurgitated wood pulp and saliva, and as such look papery. They’re typically gray or straw-colored.
Wasp nests may start out as small as a golf ball, and during the summer as the wasp population increases, grow to be as big as a football or even bigger. These are smooth on the outside, but on the inside may contain hexagon-shaped cells where wasp eggs are deposited.
They’re usually found in attics, porch ceilings, the undersides of a deck, or in tree branches.
Other species of wasps build nests in the ground, and other solitary wasps prefer to lodge in natural or man-made recesses where they’re protected from most of the elements.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
These wasps will eventually go away on their own. Or rather, they’ll mostly die off during winter months. It’s only the queen that survives and she’ll be off to find a new home come spring.
Unlike a beehive, leaving an abandoned wasp nest right where it is won’t leave you with any significant property damage. Nor will it attract other wasps – and may even deter them from the site. Unlike other pests, wasps don’t re-use nests.
That said, you can still get new wasp nests on your property. Because they are more aggressive and can sting you repeatedly, we would recommend getting in touch with a professional to have them removed.
For more information on wasps, check out our other blog entries here.