There are 4,000 kinds of wasps in the United States. Typically, wasps are most active during the day and usually return to their nests at dusk. These pests are often seen flying around during the second half of summer and early fall when the colonies search for food that will sustain their queens during the winter. Common home remedies for stings include coating the sting site with a meat tenderizer/water solution rinse, baking soda paste or even rubbing the site with an aluminum based deodorant!
Hornets are the largest of the wasps, and are similar in appearance to their close relatives yellow jackets. Some species can reach up to 5.5 cm (2.2 in) in length. They are distinguished from other wasps by the relatively large head and by the rounded segment of the abdomen just behind the waist. Wasps native to North America are commonly referred to as hornets (e.g. baldfaced hornets), but are actually yellowjackets.
Like other wasps, hornets build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Each nest has one queen, who lays eggs and is attended by workers who, while genetically female, cannot lay fertile eggs. Most species make exposed nests in trees and shrubs, but some build their nests underground. In the tropics, these nest may last year-round, but in temperate areas, the nest dies over the winter, with lone queens hibernating in leaf litter or other insulative material until the spring. Hornets are often considered pests, as they aggressively guard their nesting sites when threatened. This is particularly true for hornets nesting close to human habitation, as their stings are more dangerous than those of bees.
If you suspect you have wasp or hornet infestation or find a nest on your home or property, contact contact us. Avoid hornet stings; do not attempt to remove a nest on your own.