As Summer Cools off Stinging Pests Are Heating Up
August 23, 2021
Nothing interrupts a lazy late summer day lounging in your backyard quite like hornets or wasps can. Whether you’re attempting to host one last backyard barbeque of the season, are determined to catch up on overlooked landscaping, or just want to flip through a scintillating summer read in peace, hornets, and wasps can really put a damper on your plans.
As we move closer to the fall season, hornet and wasp activity tends to change. While they preferred to feed on insects earlier in the year, the late summer and early fall months see them more aggressively “binging on sugars before they die off at the first hard frost.” That’s why they might seem more persistent around your plants and patio offerings.
Fortunately, our team at Pest-End is standing by to help take the sting out of end-of-summer hornet and wasp problems. But, until you’re able to enlist the help of a professional, here’s what you should know when it comes to prevention to avoid future occurrences.
Prevention Should Be Your Top Priority
We hesitate to encourage DIY attempts to remove or control a hornet or wasp issue on your property. Hornets and wasps are predatory, posing a threat to insect populations, including beneficial bees. Given that hornets and wasps can deliver painful stings, repeatedly, especially when they feel threatened, a better approach involves taking the steps necessary to keep them away from your home in the first place.
Although less than 1% of children and only 3% of adults suffer severe allergic reactions when stung, no one enjoys the persistent irritation, redness, and swelling that often accompanies a hornet or wasp sting.
Hornets and wasps are attracted to sources of sugar, which includes the nectar from flowers and plants — though, unlike bees, they do not make honey. Wasps and hornets also enjoy fruit and insects, so farmers and gardeners should take special care when cultivating their backyard gardens.
Pro-tip: Plant natural wasp repellent in the form of citronella, eucalyptus, spearmint, and thyme, along with flowers like geraniums and marigolds to help repel wasps and hornets from helping themselves to your harvest.
You’ve likely also encountered hornets or wasps at a summertime picnic or barbeque. That’s because they are willing to sample whatever is on offer, which can include anything found in trash cans — that’s why you should always ensure your trash and recycling bins are fitted with tight lids to keep out hornets, wasps, and any other pests looking for sustenance.
Taking a hard look at your home is a smart idea when it comes to safeguarding against stinging insects, and their nests. Wasps and hornets are not opposed to building their nests in high-traffic areas; for instance, under an eave above main entrances, like your front or back door.
Evaluate key entry points near your basement, attic, and ensure that your insulation is in good shape to avoid any potential for nesting. If you have smaller structures around your property, like birdhouses, for instance, scrubbing the area beneath the roof with bar soap can help deter wasps and hornets from entering and possibly building nests.
DIY Nest Removal
Although we always err on the side of professional pest removal to ensure safety, there are some options to remove a hornet or wasp nest from your property.
Typically, most people will choose an insecticide developed specifically for wasps and hornets to target an active nest. In this case, timing is everything and you’ll want to wait until the sun goes down to treat the nest; wasps and hornets are typically tucked in and less active during this time.
Be sure to wear protective clothing, like long sleeves and pants, taking care to tuck them into your socks, and wear sneakers or boots. Goggles and masks are also a good idea; all of this gear can be sprayed with a pesticide for an extra layer of protection, too.
If you’re dealing with a ground nest, you might consider “nest dusting,” which simply means sprinkling a dust format of the same insecticide found in sprays. In the event that you need a spray, opt for a long-distance (sometimes referred to as “flying insect” spray) variety, allowing you to keep away from the nest in case the wasps or hornets emerge. For this reason, do not ever spray a nest while standing on a ladder. If you are stung or swarmed, you could suffer even worse injuries from a fall.
Does this all sound like more trouble than it’s worth?
Skip The Hassles: Hire The Pros
You really can’t be too careful when it comes to dealing with wasps and hornets on your home turf. We encourage everyone to err on the side of safety by calling your pest management professionals to send hornets and wasps packing.
That’s why we offer control and prevention solutions to keep your property a no-fly zone for stinging insects.