Monday, April 30, 2018

Eliminating Wasps and Hornets: What You Need to Know

Summer is around the corner, and that means you’re going to be spending more time outside. Unfortunately, that also means you’re going to encounter wasps and hornets from time to time, especially if you’re having food and drink.

The bane of picnics and barbecues, wasps and hornets can really make people uncomfortable. Even one lone wasp can ruin someone’s day at the park. That’s most likely because people associate them with getting stung – which does unfortunately happen from time to time.

Here’s what do you need to know when it comes to defending yourself against these flying menaces.

Solitary vs. Social Wasps

Wasps and hornets (which are actually a type of wasp) are generally categorized into two main types according to their behavior: solitary or social. Of all the species of wasps in the world (there are over 30,000) solitary wasps form the vast majority. However, social wasps are the type more commonly found in Ontario, and include Yellow Jackets, Paper Wasps and Bald-Faced Hornets.

What’s the difference? Well as you might have guessed, solitary wasps live their lives by themselves, and are much less aggressive and less likely to sting you. They mostly use their stingers to disable their prey. Social wasps live in colonies, and if they feel threatened in any way, especially near their home, they will attack and sting aggressively.

Yellow Jackets are a particular concern as they will tend to sting without even being provoked.

If you notice an active wasp nest near your home or business, you should take it very seriously. Call a professional wasp nest removal expert right away. Meanwhile, you can educate yourself about wasps and hornets and find out the best way to prevent an infestation.

Here are a few tips:

Ensure your home doesn’t have any openings for them to enter through. Inspect your home or business exterior thoroughly and seal up any cracks, crevices, gaps and holes with quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.

Make sure to check out:

·         Windows, doors, siding, eaves and fascia boards

·         Roof joints and behind chimneys

·         Places where utility pipes, plumbing, wires or cables enter the building

Repair or replace torn window and door screens and weather stripping. Repair or replace screens in the roof and soffit vents if necessary.

Trim back trees, shrubs and bushes. Make sure to remove any empty wasp or hornet nests from previous seasons.

Store garbage and recycling with tight-fitting covers away from your building.

Regularly clean garbage cans, green bins and recycling receptacles to remove sugars and proteins. These will attract wasps.

In the summer, help keep wasps away (especially Yellow Jackets) from outdoor social areas by keeping food sealed or covered and cleaning up any spills as quickly as possible.

You can try to lure yellow jackets away from your outdoor eating areas by placing a cup fruit juice or other sweet beverage away from the area, which will help keep them at bay.

If you do notice a large number of wasps or hornets near your home or business, it’s best to call a professional exterminator right away. There’s no reason to put up with a wasp nest – and you should avoid handling it yourself. Leave it to the pros!

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