Wasps are predatory insects that feed on other insects including caterpillars, flies, larvae, and nectar. It is not uncommon to see wasps swarm around garbage cans for food either.
Female wasps are responsible for creating new nests. Female wasps begin doing this in the spring when temperatures begin to get warmer. Nests have open cells along the outside of it. This is where female wasps will lay their eggs. Once the eggs hatch, this first brood will help search for food and protect and take care of any new larvae. As the seasons change and it becomes fall or winter, wasps will abandon their nest. It is quite common to find abandoned nest around your home and in your yard.
Like bees and hornets, wasps have a stinger which they use for self-defense. These stingers contain a venom which allows the wasp to paralyze prey. What differentiates wasps from bees is the fact that they can sting multiple times. Wasps are not naturally aggressive toward humans. However, if their nest is disturbed or they are swatted at, wasps will become aggressive. While wasp stings hurt, they are typically not fatal. Most people will recover from a wasp sting without any complications.
Pain and burning at the site of the sting.
A raised welt around the sting site.
A small white mark at the center of the sting where the wasp’s stinger punctured the skin.
Unless you are allergic, you can treat a wasp sting at home. If you get stung by a wasp, you should wash the sting site with soap and water in order to remove the venom. To decrease swelling and ease pain, you can apply an ice pack to the sting site. You should keep the wound clean and dry in order to prevent infection. If the sting is particularly itchy, you can apply calamine lotion, hydrocortisone cream or a paste made out of baking soda and water to soothe the sting and any irritation.
The severity of the reaction varies from person to person with the most serious being anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic shock requires immediate medical treatment. If you have a history of wasp allergies or experience any symptoms such as swelling of the face and throat, dizziness, hives in areas of the body not affected by the sting or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
When searching for a home, wasps look for a sturdy base to hang their nest from. They will also look for a sufficient supply of food. Some things wasps will look for include:
Corners of porch ceilings, eaves, and deck railings.
A supply of weathered wood - Many wasps will use the fiber from wooden materials to build their nests.
A yard with a plenty of insects and nectar to eat.
Access to indoor shelter (barns, sheds, outbuildings, attics).
Ultimately, your first line of defense should be to call an Aptive professional. Our team of experts will be able to identify the insect and its threats to your home or building right away. Aptive’s dedicated team uses the best, eco-friendly methods to effectively remove wasps and ensure that your home is protected for the future.