Catch of the Week: Paper Wasp Nest
July 20, 2018
Recently our pest control technicians removed a paper wasp nest from a Des Moines area home. Our pest professionals expect to see a lot more bees and wasps in the Des Moines area as we get deeper into the summer when their hives are multiplying with new offspring. If you notice a nest around your home, call a professional exterminator like Preferred Pest to take of the hive safely before you have wasps swarming close to your home!
Everything You Need to Know About Paper Wasps
Paper wasps are similar to yellow jackets since they are both social wasp species found in Iowa that form colonies and live together in a nest. In fact, paper wasps get their name from the hive they create. These wasps will chew up leaves and use their saliva to mold the leaf pieces together into an open-faced nest. Each hexagon-shaped opening will hold a larva that eventually turns into an adult paper wasp, and, as you can see from our photo, the nests can get very large when they form a big colony. Paper wasp nests can be found under the eaves of your house, hanging on a branch, under deck railings, and in attics.
Fun Fact: Their hanging nests are sometimes thought to look like a mini umbrella, which is why paper wasps are also known as umbrella wasps.
Paper Wasp Diet and Behavior
This species feeds on other insects and spiders, which can help keep bug populations under control. In fact, if a paper wasp nest is found away from the house and there’s a low chance of people disturbing the hive, it should be left alone to help control the number of insects in the area. Adult paper wasps will also eat nectar and pollen, helping in the pollination process of plants and trees.
Paper wasps are typically non-aggressive insects and will not sting unless they feel like their hive or their queen is in danger. Wasps can sting multiple times and they can release a pheromone, or special chemical, that signals to other wasps close by that they need help. So if you do come across a wasp, it’s best not to provoke it and avoid some painful wasp stings.
Fun Fact: Only female wasps have a stinger, which is why they are the primary protectors of the nest.
Is There a Difference Between Wasps and Hornets?
Hornets are actually a subset species of wasps, although many people refer to wasps as hornets and vice versa. However, they can be differentiated by some specific characteristics:
- Hornets are usually much more aggressive than wasps, who typically only attack when provoked.
- Most wasps can be identified by their bright yellow and black coloring, however, the bald-faced hornet is mostly black with a distinct white pattern on its face.
- Paper wasps and hornets both make their nests out of similar materials, but a bald-faced hornets nest is closed off instead of open-faced.
- The hornet’s body is slightly more round than a slender yellow jacket or paper wasp.
Wasp Control Services in the Des Moines Metro
If you think you may have a wasp nest in or around your home, contact a pest control professional before you have a serious infestation! Reach out to the insect removal experts at Preferred Pest Control to take care of it before you have a bigger problem. Schedule an appointment online or call today at (515) 276-7277.
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