paper wasps in west des moines.

Catch of the Week: Paper Wasps in West Des Moines

July 10, 2019

Imagine stepping out your front door and meeting face-to-face with over a dozen wasps. Would you know what to do after you ran back inside screaming? Most people in this situation are uncomfortable, scared and unsure what steps to take next. Luckily, the West Des Moines homeowners who actually experienced this called Preferred Pest Control! A colony of paper wasps took over the pillar on their front porch by crawling between a small gap between the pillar and the overhang. Our wasp nest removal experts treated the problem, saving these homeowners from the inevitability of a growing problem and the possibility of some painful stings.

Why Do Wasps Sting?

Most wasps are not very aggressive and will only sting people when they feel threatened. As the wasp colonies expand and the nest grows, wasps can get more defensive since they are more likely to sting when in large groups.

There are a few main reasons why wasps sting:

Stinging is a defense mechanism for wasps. In order for the colony to grow, the wasps must protect their nest. If they believe the hive is in danger, they will do their best to keep intruders away, and a wasp’s best defense mechanism is their painful sting.

Wasps sting when they are irritated. If wasps are left alone, most species are not very aggressive. However, humans usually react to wasps by shooing them away or waving their arms in panic, which can aggravate the wasp and make it think it’s in danger.

Some wasps sting to capture their prey. There are certain types of wasps that use their venomous stings to claim other insects as their prey. For example, the venom from a cicada killer wasp sting paralyzes cicadas before they are fed to the wasp’s larvae. Stinging the other insect allows the wasp to easily transport them back to their nest.

Wasps Can Inflict Multiple Stings

When wasps are looking to sting a threatening target, they can be ruthless opponents. These insects are able to deliver multiple wounds, and they’re known to chase after their victim. It is common for wasps to attack in a group, because when a wasp feels it’s in danger, it will release a pheromone that lets other wasps know it is in trouble. A swarm will soon appear and hunt down their prey, inflicting multiple painful stings.

Does this mean we should be scared of wasps? Not necessarily, but it’s best to not disturb these insects. Unfortunately, wasps typically build their nests in discrete locations, so humans will stumble upon it by accident before being bombarded by stingers.

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.

Des Moines Pest Control & Wasp Nest Removal Experts

Have you noticed any wasp activity around your home lately? It’s best to get rid of wasp nests before the colony becomes too large and aggressive. Get in touch with the exterminators at Preferred Pest Control to take care of any wasp issues. Call us at (515) 415-5550 or schedule an appointment online today.

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