A Natural Predator with a Mean Sting
When we find a wasp inside our home, our first reaction is often panic. That’s a reasonable response, as wasps have a well-earned reputation for stinging without provocation. Unlike bees, wasps may seem to serve no purpose in the natural order other than inciting fear, but in fact they are beneficial creatures. Wasps perform an essential function in the plant world: They prey on insect populations that can destroy vital crops. Some farmers have turned to using wasps as a natural pest control in lieu of chemical methods.
Wasps are easily distinguished from bees by the narrowing between their front and middle section, which is absent in bees. A variety of wasps are prevalent in North America, including:
- Paper wasps – These insects are about one-half to three-quarters of an inch and live in papery nests just a few inches in diameter. Because these wasps eat insects, they are beneficial but may pose a threat when nests are found near human activity
- Hornets – Hornets come in several varieties. Their nests are larger (usually about the size of a basketball) than the paper wasps and are often found hanging from trees and sometimes attics
- Yellowjackets – The aggressive yellowjacket is easily identified by its black and yellow markings. Their paper nests are found in trees and shrubs, on the ground, and sometimes in sheds, garages, and other interior spaces.
- Mud daubers – Mud daubers are black or dark colored wasps that use mud to build nests. Unlike other wasps, these solitary insects prey on spiders
Depending on the species, wasps will build their nests in trees, under roofs and eaves, in sheds and garages, and on decks, porches, and railings. Wasps will aggressively defend a nest under attack.
Wasp venom, like bee venom, can be a serious risk to health if an allergy is present. Unlike bees, however, wasps can sting without provocation and repeatedly, without any adverse effects to the insect. Even when an allergic reaction doesn’t take place, wasp stings can be extremely painful.
Removing a wasp’s nest can be a difficult and risky undertaking. If you find one on or near your home, call the experts at Greenleaf Pest Control for safe removal using eco-sensitive methods. Call us for a consultation at 416.998.9473 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.