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!

Late Summer Pests in the Pacific Northwest

United Pest talks about the late summer pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Family enjoying a BBQ. United Pest talks about the late summer pests in the Pacific Northwest.

[2021 Update]

Summer brings warm weather and longer days, but it also brings pests. As you anticipate your pest control needs this summer, keep in mind the various pests that invade homes and businesses in the Pacific Northwest during this time of year.

Here are some of the most common invaders and tips to help control them.

Common Late Summer Pests in the PNW

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests discovered in hotel rooms. Since summertime is a time when many families travel, it’s important to stay on guard. Remember, these pests are great at hitchhiking.

Ticks

Ticks can transmit diseases to humans, some of which are considered harmful. These pests breed in the summer and live in tall grassy, or wooded areas and on pets.

Ants

These tiny pests start to come out in the springtime and stay around during the warmer summer months. You’ll most often see them out on pavement but after a good rainfall, they may make their way into your home seeking dry shelter.

Flies

If you’re having a lot of gatherings outside your home that involve food, you’re likely to see flies buzzing around. They like food and warmth. So summer BBQs are a good recipe for attracting flies.

Stinging Insects

Like flies, stinging insects including bees, hornets, and wasps prefer warmer weather. Since they’re out more during this time of year, the chances of someone coming near a nest are higher.

Mosquitoes

This time of year is famously known for its high number of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so mosquito problems may increase after heavy rain.

Wildlife

As summer turns to fall several critters, including squirrels and raccoons, may start planning ahead to the winter months, looking for warm shelter. This may involve them invading your home, damaging it in the process.

Termites

Subterranean termites and Dampwood termites live in the Pacific Northwest. They will make nests in your soil and in any wood items you may have around your home including old wood stumps.

How to Prevent Pests During Late Summer

  • Eliminate standing water: like previously mentioned, mosquitoes breed in standing water. So eliminating these sources will help reduce mosquitoes on your property. Think buckets, tarps, birdbaths, and flower pots.
  • Keep your grass trimmed: this will help reduce mosquitoes and help
    prevent ticks.
  • Relocate firewood: if you keep firewood on your property, store it away from your home and if possible keep it elevated.
  • Properly seal your home: ensure windows, doors, and garage doors aren’t kept open for long periods of time and install or repair any screens.

Pest Control Seattle

If you’ve tried these methods or already have a pest infestation on your property, we can help! United Pest Solutions is your local source for pest control in the Seattle area. Our certified technicians will identify which type of pest you have and find a solution. So contact us today!

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.

Summer is Buzzing with Stinging Insects

Wasps and pupae in nest. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA & Everett WA talks about how summer is buzzing with stinging insects.

Wasps and pupae in nest. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA & Everett WA talks about how summer is buzzing with stinging insects.[2021 Update]

Wasps may be one of the most fearful summer pests in the Pacific Northwest. These stinging insects will quickly ruin your BBQ and other outdoor festivities with their aggressive behavior. Not only are they potentially dangerous to people who are allergic to their venom, but some wasps can wreak havoc in your home if they nest inside wall voids. Keep reading to learn more about wasps and what you can do to help prevent an infestation.

What Attracts Wasps?

While they build their colonies in the spring and summer seasons, wasps are attracted to protein such as meat, pet food, and peanut butter. So keep your garbage in a tightly closed trash container and don’t leave food out.

In late summer and early fall when a wasps’ nest has already reached its maximum size and food is scarce, wasps tend to become more aggressive and will turn their attention to sugary sweets like fruit and soda. It’s also not uncommon for wasps, particularly yellowjackets to target honeybee hives for food.

How to Prevent Wasps

Wasps like to build their nests in areas where they’ll go undisturbed such as eaves and overhangs. Some will also nest underground. A pest control company can help you eliminate these stinging insects but you can also practice these wasp prevention tips.

  • Walk around the perimeter of your home and take note of any small cracks and crevices wasps may fit into, don’t forget under eaves and soffits
  • Use a silicone-based caulk to seal those openings
  • Ensure your window screens don’t have holes
  • Install mesh sheets on the vents outside of your home
  • Keep your trash cans tightly closed
  • Don’t leave pet food out
  • Pick up any fallen or ripe produce
  • Plant bright flowers far away from your home

How do you get rid of a Wasp Nest?

While there are sprays and other DIY methods to removing wasps nests, we don’t recommend ever approaching them. When a wasp is squashed or feels threatened it will emit pheromones that essentially tell its buddies to come and attack. wasp nests are a job best left to the professionals.