What are wasps?

Wasps are a type of stinging insect. Most species of wasps have pinched waists, two pairs of wings, and six legs that hang down when flying. The majority of wasps are predatory, killing and feeding on various species of garden pests, spiders, and other insects. Adult wasps feed on nectar and pollen. Therefore, wasps are responsible for some pollination.

a paper wasp crawling on a nest on a home in fairfax virginia

Two of the most common species of stinging insects living throughout greater Fairfax, Virginia are mud daubers and paper wasps.

Mud daubers
Mud daubers are a large species of wasps. They have narrow waists and a thread-like segment between their thoraxes and abdomens, giving them the appearance of being stretched. Mud daubers range in color from black to metallic blue and may have yellow or green markings. They are solitary pests that are commonly identified by the unique nests they create out of mud and mud-like material.

Paper wasps
Paper wasps have bodies that are brown or black with yellow or orange markings, and their wings are gray. They create upside-down, umbrella-shaped nests from a plant and wood fibers that are mixed with their saliva.

Are wasps dangerous?

Wasps have the potential to be dangerous to people and pets; this is especially true when they build their nests on your property. While not all wasps are considered aggressive, all species of wasps will defend themselves if they feel provoked or threatened.  Most wasps have smooth stingers that allow them to sting their victims repeatedly. These stings are extremely painful and the venom they inject is powerful enough to cause allergic reactions in some people, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis in extreme cases.

Why do I have a wasp problem?

Wasps are most active in the late summer and fall, and are attracted to properties that provide lots of easily accessible food sources. They invade your property because it provides them with a suitable place to nest or forage for food. Most are predators and hunt a variety of garden insects and spiders. Other potential food sources for wasps include compost, honeydew, nectar, proteins, and trash. Stinging insects live, breed, and feed outside, but can become a problem on any residential or commercial property.

Where will I find wasps?

Wasps build their nests in areas that provide them with protected shelters. All wasps typically nest outside, but sometimes find their way inside of a home and build their nests in secluded spots like attics, chimneys, and wall voids. Mud daubers prefer to build their small nests underneath overhangs or within tight crevices. These nests are constructed in doorways, in rock crevices, under porches and decks, or under roof eaves. Paper wasps place their nests off the ground in door frames, in trees, on utility poles, or under decks.

How do I get rid of wasps?

If wasps have become a problem in your home or on your property, it is best to seek the help of a pest control professional. When you partner with the licensed experts here at Miche Pest Control, you will have the peace of mind to know that the entire wasp infestation will be eliminated. Our friendly, highly trained professionals use effective and modern pest control methods and products to control wasps and other common household pests living in and around your home or business. To learn more about our exceptional wasp control services that are performed throughout our service areas in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., contact Miche Pest Control today!

How can I prevent wasps in the future?

Preventing problems with wasps is difficult, but we want to help you guard your property against wasps by offering these helpful prevention tips:

  • Fill holes in your yard and remove fallen trees, tree stumps, and other debris from your property that could be used as a nesting location.

  • Switch out white outdoor lights on your property with yellow or LED lights that are less attractive to insects.

  • Trim tree branches back away from the exterior of your property.

  • Make sure any outdoor trash cans and compost bins have tight-fitting lids.

  • Eliminate water sources by fixing leaky pipes and fixtures, and removing birdbaths and containers that can collect rainwater.

  • Eliminate entry points by placing caps on chimneys, placing weather stripping around doors and windows, fixing holes along the roofline, and replacing damaged screens.


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