Why Are Wasps More Aggressive in the Fall?

Wasp on an orange autumn leaf

Wasps are notorious for their aggressive behavior and painful stings. Since these pests are capable of stinging multiple times in a row without dying, they can be deadly – especially to young children or those with an allergy. While wasps are dangerous year-round, they become particularly active and hostile when winter is approaching. But, why are wasps more aggressive in the fall?

Limited Food Sources

From fruit and nectar to barbecue leftovers, wasps have easy access to all sorts of food sources throughout the spring and summer. However, as fall sets it, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to find anything to eat. Not only does this prompt the wasps to search through your trash and other high-traffic areas for food, but it also causes them to become more aggressive. To deter wasps from invading your space in search of food, be sure to:

  • Pick up fallen fruit
  • Store pet food bowls inside
  • Avoid leaving leftovers out
  • Use lidded trash bins

Higher Populations

Queen wasps begin laying eggs in the spring when the weather begins to warm up, and they continue to reproduce all throughout the summer. That means the colony’s population is at its highest once fall comes around. Paired with the limited access to food, this peak in population increases competition and hostility in wasps during this time of year.

Protecting the Queen

Wasp colonies are very protective of their queens all year long. If even one wasp detects a threat, they will release special pheromones that alert the entire colony of a nearby danger. This can lead to deadly swarms, which become even more harmful in the fall because of the increased populations and higher level of aggression.

Searching for Warmth

Though most wasps will die once temperatures drop, queens typically seek out a warm and protected area where they can survive the winter. That makes your home the perfect place for a wasp to wait out the cold season. For this reason, it’s important to keep an eye out for wasps in spaces such as:

  • Attics
  • Sheds
  • Wall voids
  • Eaves
  • Porches

Get Professional Wasp Extermination Services

If you notice the signs of a wasp infestation, it’s important to get professional help as soon as possible. An experienced wasp exterminator will have the tools and expertise needed to safely remove these pests while preventing more wasps from invading your space in the future. At United Pest Solutions, we strive to provide you with exceptional service so you can rest assured that your home and family are protected from wasps this fall. If you need quality wasp extermination services, contact us today!

Stay Safe from Wasps While Working

Wasp on a jobsite

If your job takes you outdoors, then you’ve probably run into wasps or other stinging insects while working. These pests are capable of delivering painful stings that could be fatal for some, which is why it’s important to be alert and take precautions to keep yourself and your coworkers safe. While it may not be possible to avoid them completely, there are some steps you can take to stay safe from wasps while working outside:

Carefully Inspect Your Jobsite

Before starting your work for the day, carefully look around for any places that stinging insects could be hiding. Taking just a few minutes to do so could save you from unknowingly running into a nest and upsetting a hive. When inspecting your jobsite for wasps, look in places such as:

  • Hollowed trees, wall voids, or attic spaces
  • Tree branches, overhangs, or eaves of a building
  • Shrubs, bushes, hedges, and other greenery
  • Crates, boxes, and playground equipment
  • Abandoned vehicles and rubber tires

Wear Protective Clothing

Protective clothing will keep you safe from all sorts of dangers, from stinging insects and parasites like mosquitoes to harsh weather and poisonous plants. For full protection, be sure to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and close-toed shoes. It may also be useful to wear gloves, a hat, or an extra layer of clothing to ensure the fabric is thick enough to prevent stings or bites. We also recommend tying up long hair that pests could get caught in, and avoiding any fragrant perfumes that may attract wasps.

Be Cautious With Power Tools

Wasps and other stinging insects are very sensitive to vibrations, which means they may become irritated by loud power tools such as lawn mowers and weed eaters. Moving too quickly near a nest could cause a hive to swarm. To avoid aggravating wasps when using power tools, screen the area beforehand and move cautiously as you work.

Have a Safety Plan

Wasps are capable of stinging multiple times at once, which can be extremely painful or even fatal to individuals with severe allergies. That’s why it’s important to have a wasp safety plan in place if you or any of your coworkers are stung. If you encounter a swarm while working, try to avoid the insects and contact an expert right away.

Should you or a coworker get stung, safety is your first priority. Once you are away from the threat of being stung again, assess the damage. If you experience an allergic reaction or are otherwise concerned about the sting, call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Swollen eyes or eyelids
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Shock or unconsciousness
  • Hives or swelling outside of the sting

Get Wasp Control Services

If you encounter stinging insects on a job site, don’t try to handle the pests yourself. A swarm can be dangerous to you and your coworkers, so it is best to contact an experienced wasp control specialist to have the insects removed quickly and safely. For reliable wasp removal services, you can count on the experts at United Pest Solutions! We have proudly served the greater Seattle metropolitan area for nearly 60 years, and we are committed to providing quality solutions that you can depend on. Give us a call today to get fast and effective results!

Common Summer Pests in the Pacific Northwest

Image of a wasp on a flower - common summertime pests - United Pest Solutions in Seattle WA

Few things are better than sitting outside on a warm summer’s day… that is, unless you’re having to battle pests the whole time! It can be difficult to relax if you need to defend yourself from bugs every few minutes, which is why it’s useful to know what pests to expect in the summer and how you can avoid them. Here are the most common summer pests in the Pacific Northwest and what you can do to keep them away:

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are infamous for their annoying buzzing and itchy, irritating bites. Though these pests are one of the most common in the world, they are also one of the most dangerous. Since they are blood-sucking parasites, they are capable of spreading serious diseases to their hosts – despite only feeding for a few seconds or minutes. While it may feel impossible to completely avoid mosquitoes, there are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid infestations or bites:

  • Remove sources of standing water from your property
  • Wear thick and long-sleeved clothing when possible
  • Consider wearing an EPA-certified insect repellent

Bees, Wasps, & Hornets

Stinging insects are one of the most feared summertime pests, and understandably so. Stings can be quite painful and for some people could even be deadly. Especially for individuals with allergies or vulnerable small children, it’s important to avoid these pests as much as possible. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to stay safe from bees, wasps, and hornets:

  • Properly dispose of trash and food scraps in lidded bins
  • Avoid leaving out pet food or other possible food sources
  • ALWAYS contact a wasp specialist if you encounter an infestation

Ants

A pile of ants can be unsightly – especially if they start moving toward your home or kitchen. Since these pests are most active in warm weather, it’s useful to know how to keep ants at bay no matter the season. Here are some ways you can keep ants out of your home this summer:

  • Regularly clean your floors and countertops
  • Avoid leaving food out and store trash in lidded bins
  • Seal any cracks or openings that lead into your home

Bed Bugs

Since bed bugs are active year-round and primarily infest indoor spaces, many people are surprised to discover that their populations surge in the summertime. Bed bug infestations are more likely to occur during the warmer months for two main reasons: first, the heat encourages the insects to feed and breed. And second, humans do a lot more traveling over the summer. Luckily, there are some preventative measures you can take to avoid bed bugs even while traveling:

  • Carefully inspect hotel or guest rooms before staying the night
  • Vacuum your luggage and wash your laundry upon returning home
  • Cover your luggage as you travel or use a hard-backed suitcase

Your Local Pest Control Experts

While there are several steps you can take to keep yourself safe from the common summertime pests here in the Pacific Northwest, sometimes infestations are inevitable. If you are dealing with pests in your home or property, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts at United Pest Solutions! We have proudly served the Seattle metropolitan area since 1960, and it’s our goal to provide you with effective, affordable, and long-term solutions that you can rely on. Contact us today if you need help getting rid of your summer pests!

7 Ways to Prevent Yellowjackets

Man trimming shrub. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA and Everett WA offers 7 tips to help prevent yellowjackets.

Man trimming shrub. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA and Everett WA offers 7 tips to help prevent yellowjackets.

The arrival of summer means grilling, hiking, and vacations, but it’s also peak season for yellowjackets. To help prevent painful stings and swarms while you enjoy your outdoor areas, follow these tips from United Pest Solutions.

1. Trim Trees

If you have trees that are touching your home, you may want to prune them. This is a great way to help prevent many pests from easily invading your home, from rodents to yellowjackets.

2. Remove Standing Water

Yellowjackets need water to stay hydrated, so your birdbath or clogged gutters may be attracting these stinging insects to your home. Consider removing these sources of standing water to help deter yellowjackets.

3. Make Repairs

Yellowjackets will take advantage of small holes in your home to build nests. Inspect your soffits on a regular basis and make sure to seal up any holes that would allow the yellow jacket access to a wall void. Check your windows for gaps as well, so these stinging insects don’t fly into your home. If necessary, consider touch-up painting. Yellowjackets love bare wood, so any flaking or peeling paint areas will be prime candidates for nesting or obtaining nesting materials.

4. Clean-Up Food Waste

Yellowjackets love soda, juice, and other sweets, especially in late summer. They’re also meat-eaters which is why you often see yellowjackets swarm your BBQs and picnics. Clean up crumbs, keep your garbage bins tightly closed, as far away from people as possible, and cover your drinks to help keep yellowjackets away.

5. Avoid Perfume

If you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, consider skipping scented bath products as yellowjackets are attracted to sweet-smelling scents.

6. Landscape Wisely

Yellowjackets are attracted to certain plants, especially blossoming flowers. Keep these stinging insects away from your property by avoiding plants they love such as cherry blossoms, hydrangeas, and clover.

7. Work With a Pest Professional

More than 500,000 people are sent to the emergency room every year because of stinging insects. So if you’re dealing with yellowjackets or other wasps on your property, don’t attempt to remove the nest on your own. Turn to a pest professional such as United Pest Solutions. We provide yellowjacket removal services in the greater Seattle WA area. We’ll quickly and safely remove your yellowjacket nest so you can return to enjoying your outdoor activities.

Common Spring Pests in the Pacific Northwest

Yellow jacks on a sandwich. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA talks about the common spring pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Yellow jacks on a sandwich. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA talks about the common spring pests in the Pacific Northwest. Ah spring, a time for warmer weather, sunshine, blooming-plants…and pests! When the cold weather subsides, we often get caught up in the excitement of the season change that we forget about pests being abundant this time of year.

Many pests emerge in spring looking for places to nest and food to eat–which can lead them into your home. To help prevent your spring from being ruined by a pest infestation, here are some common pests to lookout for and what you can do to stop them in their tracks.

Ants

The two most common ant species in the Pacific Northwest are odorous house ants and carpenter ants.

Odorous house ants, commonly referred to as sugar ants, are a nuisance more than anything. They’ll send scouts into your home in search of food, and when they find it, they’ll signal the others to come on over.

Carpenter ants are wood-destroying pests that cause a lot of property damage every year. These ants are smaller than most ant species and they favor damp or rotting wood. When they find favorable wood, they’ll excavate through it to build their nests. Because they’re most active at night and are hidden, carpenter ants are difficult to locate.

There are several steps you can take to deter ants, including:

  • Trimming back shrubs away from your home
  • Keeping all surfaces clean
  • Sealing holes and gaps
  • Ensure windows and doors are sealed

Spiders

Most spiders are harmless and don’t have enough venom to cause severe harm, but there are a couple that are considered dangerous in the Seattle area–the black widow spider and the yellow sac spider. However, the most common spiders you may encounter are the giant house spider, domestic house spider, jumping spider, and the funnel web spider.

Many people often forget that spiders are beneficial to our environment as they help control other pests such as flies, moths, and earwigs.

Here are some tips to help protect your home from spiders.

  • Remove clutter
  • Trim vegetation
  • Fill gaps around the home
  • Ensure windows and doors are snug fitting
  • Remove other insects, which spiders feed on

Stinging Insects

Yellowjackets and honey bees are the most common stinging insects during spring. Honey bees are considered beneficial as they pollinate growing plants and trees. Yellowjackets, on-the-other-hand, are very aggressive and territorial. If they’re provoked or feel threatened, they may sting multiple times.

Here are some tips to help keep yellowjackets away from your property.

  • Remove standing water
  • Cover trash cans properly
  • Cover any holes in the ground
  • Keep doors and windows shut
  • Inspect decks, under eaves, and other wood structures as some wasps build their nests using wood fiber

Spring Pest Control in Seattle WA

Now that you know more about the common spring pests in the Pacific Northwest, you are one step closer to preventing an infestation. If you’ve tried the suggestions above or want professional help, turn to United Pest Solutions. We’ve served the greater Seattle area since 1960.