From May onward, the wasp queen is busy hatching the larvae that will become her future workers. Soon, there will be hundreds, or even thousands, of workers to go out in search for food, both for the queen and for the next batch of larvae. If you have the misfortune of finding a wasp nest somewhere around your home, or perhaps even inside it, the best thing to do is to contact a wasp extermination service.
In Quebec, only young, fertilized queens can survive our rigorous winters. However, they aren’t the ones you should be wary of, as they don’t have stingers. Males don’t have stingers either. Rather, it’s the female workers who can ruin your day with their fiercely painful sting. Unlike bees, wasps and hornets can sting repeatedly.
Some species of wasp are more aggressive than others. Yellow jackets, paper wasps and hornets are the most common types found in Quebec; the yellow jackets, or Vespula, are the ones most likely to sting for no good reason. They have black and yellow stripes and measure from one to two centimetres long; they aren’t covered in the fine fur that bumble bees and honey bees have. Yellow jackets live in social groups, so if you see one around your house, it means there are almost certainly others not far away.
Wasps eat other, smaller insects as well as flower nectar. They especially like to feed on the midges that buzz around flowers in bloom—this means wasps are partly responsible for pollination. If your back yard boasts several varieties of flowers, that may be part of the reason why wasps are building nests around your home.
Don’t irritate wasps by making sudden, brisk movements to shoo them away. When they feel threatened, they trigger a chemical alarm that alerts other workers to a danger. These helpers will quickly come to the assistance of their swarm-mate, and the result will most likely be a full-on attack.
A wasps’ nest can take several different forms, depending on the species:
Queens usually build their nests in holes in the ground, under picnic tables, under roof cornices and eaves, in the wall cracks of houses or in attics and garages. If you see worker wasps investigating such a spot, or entering an opening, there’s probably a nest inside; if there isn’t, there will be one soon.
When you find a wasps’ nest, stay calm and move slowly. Keep children and pets away from the site. Don’t try to destroy the nest yourself, because the risks are too great. Call us for wasp extermination and we’ll gladly solve your problem as soon as possible.
When we come to your home or business to deal with wasps, our wasp extermination technicians wear safety gear to protect themselves from possible bites. They will inspect the area around your home to look for a nest if you haven’t already found one.
Ideally, destroying a wasp nest should be done at the end of the day, when it’s dark out. After dusk, wasp activity is reduced and thus the chances of getting attacked by a swarm are lessened. Our exterminators will spray with an insecticide only if they can’t safely remove the nest altogether. In the latter case, when the wasps begin to die, the nest will be sealed in a bag and properly disposed of by our technicians.
After the wasp extermination and nest removal, some workers might return to the scene. They were most likely somewhere else when the nest was destroyed and are now looking for it. These stray worker wasps won’t stick around for long, as they’re unable to build a new nest themselves; only queens can do that.
During the summer season, when outdoor dining is common, you’re more likely to see wasps nosing around. Sweet foods attract them, so garbage cans, empty plates and even the sugary foods you’re holding in your hands are a temptation.
The best solution is to screen in your deck or use mosquito netting around the table; however, if that isn’t possible, be sure to at least cover your plates and serving dishes. If you choose to linger over a glass of wine, clear away the used dishes so you don’t attract any problems.