Hornets and yellowjackets are considered beneficial social wasps because they live in colonies that can number in the thousands. Normally, they wouldn’t be a bother to humans, but with their habit of creating nests in structures they can become a nuisance. These wasps enjoy beverages and food, especially fruity-types. In the summer there is plenty of food outdoors for them to find, but when temperatures start to cool, fruit has ripened and humans and their food have gone indoors, wasps start to migrate indoors. Fall is also the time when their population increases as the new wasps seek warmth and light.
There is only one species of a true hornet that is found in the United States. It is aggressive and large, reaching almost 1.5” long. They are active until late November. Generally, they’ll build nests in hollow trees, but nests have been found in attics and wall voids of structures.
In northern climates, the life cycle of wasps is short-lived. They undergo an annual cycle. The males dies after mating. The workers and the original queen of the nest do not survive the winter. The mated females seek places that will provide protection during the winter. Places such as under stones, in abandoned rodent nests, attics, chimneys and under bark are commonly used to survive the winter.
To prevent wasps from entering walls, chimneys, and attics in search of shelter, seal all holes, cracks and openings into your home. Make sure all foundation and attic vents are equipped with tight-fitting screens. If you find a wasps nest or see wasps entering or leaving your home, it’s best to call a pest professional.
If you are a brave soul, you can try getting rid of the wasps yourself, otherwise call a pest control professional. Be very CAUTIOUS if you decide to do it yourself. Because you are going to go after the nest, the wasps inside will try to sting you. Wear protective covering over your entire body including gloves and a veil. Tape cuffs at wrists and ankles to ensure safety. The best time to remove the nest is at night because hornets and yellowjackets will be slower to react.
- For nests above ground, cover the nest with a bag and seal it off at the top. Pull the bag down and tie it as quickly as possible. If possible, submerge the bag full of insects in water.
- If the nest is inside a wall, we strongly recommend using a professional. Most inexperienced eradication efforts will only push the insects further into the house.
Stinging insects can be a real pain. If you don’t exercise extreme caution, the insects may get the best of you. If you want the job done right and would rather safely watch a trained professional eliminate the nest, call HomeTeam Pest Defense at 855-855-4873.