Annoying and potentially dangerous, wasps can quickly interfere with our outdoor dining and other activities when a nest is nearby. To ensure the safety of the entire family, including our pets who roam the yard, it is necessary to hire a professional to exterminate wasps and their nests.
Wasps : the different species and their way of life
The wasp is an insect belonging to the family Vespidae: there are more than 200,000 species in the world and several in Canada, including :
- the social wasp, black and yellow, which lives in colony and is aggressive;
- the yellow wasp, larger than the social one and just as aggressive;
- the mason wasp (or potter), black with yellow or white patterns and equipped with bluish wings, which lives alone and is less aggressive;
- the gall wasp, black in color and with a tapered abdomen, also less aggressive.
The social wasp is certainly the most common species and the most frequently observed near our homes. They live in colonies and take care of the queen or queens, which can measure about 20 mm, while the workers generally reach 12 to 17 mm in maturity, just like the males. However, only the workers have a stinger, with which they do not hesitate to sting when they feel threatened or when someone comes too close to their nest.
It is important to note that even though the harmful aspect of wasps may make us want to eliminate all wasps in our environment, these pollinating insects are essential to our ecosystem. Normally, only nests near the house should be destroyed.
Wasp vs. bee: how to tell them apart?
Bees are smaller than wasps and more hairy than the latter. Another distinction: the wasp has a thin waist separating the abdomen from the thorax, which is not the case for the bee, whose stripes are more orange than bright yellow. In addition, the wasp keeps its stinger when it stings, unlike the bee, which also dies a few moments later.
Hornet vs. wasp: how to tell them apart?
There are different species of hornets, including the European hornet, which looks very similar to the social wasp. However, it is larger in size: the female is about 3 cm long, but the male is smaller. The European hornet is less aggressive than the social wasp, but defends its nest if it feels threatened.
As for the Asian hornet, it measures from 17 to 32 mm. Its thorax is black, while its abdomen has some yellow-orange stripes. It has been observed for a few years in the United States, particularly in Washington State and north of the Canadian border in British Columbia. This beetle decimates bee swarms, in addition to stealing honey from hives: biologists and populations are trying to eradicate it, because it undermines the biodiversity of our ecosystems.
Hornet stings are very painful, although they are not usually life-threatening, except for those who are allergic to them.
How to destroy a wasp nest?
A social wasp nest can house thousands of specimens as well as larvae. The wasps can build their nests under a roof, a wooden balcony, a picnic table or materials leaning against a wall, in a tree and even in the ground, directly in former rodent burrows. Some small nests are shaped like a parasol, while the larger ones are recognizable by their conical shape. All are made of chewed wood fiber that looks like a kind of grayish paper.
Some people may try to remove the nest with a water jet or spray it with a product designed for this purpose. However, it is not advisable to destroy a nest yourself, as the operation represents a great risk of stings. Once the nest has fallen, the agitated wasps will emerge to defend the colony. Also, if proper techniques are not used, another colony is likely to establish itself in the same area the following year.
Only professional exterminators can safely and permanently eradicate a wasp (and hornet) nest.
The false wasp nest: an effective preventive measure?
There are fake wasp nests on the market, similar to Chinese lanterns made of grey paper, which are installed in a tree or under a tree in spring. These are supposed to make the queen think that the territory is already occupied by another colony, pushing her to found her own further away. The idea seems excellent, but the results are far from being conclusive. Indeed, the inefficiency of this solution is such that we have already seen wasp nests built directly next to fake ones!
How to prevent wasps?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent wasps (like any other flying insect) from coming into our yard. However, if you are outside and wasps are bothering you, avoid wearing floral scents and drinking sugary drinks. If you do want to drink them, make sure you use glasses rather than cans, as a wasp could slip in without you knowing (you wouldn’t want to swallow it).
What to do in case of a wasp sting?
A wasp sting is painful and causes swelling and redness to varying degrees in non-allergic people. Sometimes, a red spot may form where the sting has penetrated. Here are some things you can do to reduce and shorten the pain.
- Remove/eliminate venom
The venom responsible for the unpleasant sensation of the sting can be removed with a venom pump or by bringing a source of intense heat close to the sting without touching the skin (a lighter or hair dryer will do the job).
- Disinfect the wound
Disinfect the bite with an antiseptic. A solution of vinegar diluted in a little water could also be used to clean the bite. It is not recommended to cover the sting with a bandage.
- Other tips for fighting pain
Lavender essential oil, applied directly to the bite, calms the pain effectively (it is used for all insect bites). A slice of onion or a crushed clove of garlic will also have the same effect.
Why call an exterminator for wasp problems?
Because destroying a wasp nest yourself is very dangerous. In addition, the colony could rebuild a nest if the work was not done properly. Professional exterminators, on the other hand, use special high concentration insecticides not sold in stores or cold treatments and are protected by special wasp-proof suits. They also dispose of the nest remains safely.
Contact Extermination Chomedey / Mirabel for unparallelled pest control services and say goodbye to rodents!