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!

10 Tips to Keep Your Backyard BBQ Pest Free

Charcoal grill outside of home. United Pest Solutions, serving Seattle WA offers tips to keep your BBQ pest-free.

United Pest Solutions provides expert advice on keeping your BBQ pest free in Seattle WA

[2021 Update]

It’s officially summer and one of the highlights during these warm months are backyard BBQs. To ensure your BBQ isn’t ruined by ants, flies, or wasps, follow these helpful tips from United Pest Solutions.

Make Necessary Repairs

Inspect your home, looking for any signs of cracks or holes in window screens or doors. This will keep summer pests outside. Also, remind guests to close doors tightly behind them when entering and exiting your home.

Carry Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes are most active at night. If your BBQ is in the evening, have an EPA-approved repellent with DEET or picaridin on hand to ward off mosquitoes.

Remove Standing Water

Remove or drain any sources of stagnant water in your yard including bird baths, garden ponds, and wading pools. Mosquitoes and wasps are especially attracted to standing water. In fact, mosquitoes only need about a bottle cap full of water to breed.

Avoid Perfumes

Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances that can come from perfumes, hair products, candles and food so consider skipping scented bath products if you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outside.

Keep Food Covered

Keep food and drinks covered or keep them in sealed coolers to help deter ants, flies, and wasps.

Clean Up Spills

Pick up trash and crumbs immediately and wipe up any spills. Ants and flies are especially attracted to leftover food.

Serve Indoors and Eat Outdoors

Serving food and drinks indoors and using the outdoor space for eating and entertaining keeps the majority of food inside, therefore keeping pests away.

Pest Removal Solutions

We hope these tips help but if these measures still don’t work, you can count on your local pest professionals at United Pest Solutions. We’ve been providing high-quality pest control services in the greater Seattle WA area since 1960. To schedule a personalized quote, contact us today!

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.

Tips for Having a Wasp-Free Spring and Summer

Up close image of wasp on nest. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA and Kirkland WA talks about tips for having a wasp-free spring and summer.

Up close image of wasp on nest. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA and Kirkland WA talks about tips for having a wasp-free spring and summer.Wasps play a critical role in our environment. They not only pollinate flowers but they also prey on other pests including caterpillars, flies, and aphids. However, wasps can inflict very painful stings — and not just once but several times. So whether you have small children or you’re allergic to wasp stings, there are some steps you can take to help keep wasps away.

What Attracts Wasps?

Many people think wasps are only attracted to sugary foods, but that’s only partially true. It actually depends on the season.

In the spring, a queen will emerge out of hibernation. She’ll find a nest location and begin laying her eggs. When the colony grows, the wasps will need a lot of protein so, in the spring, they’re typically attracted to eggs, pet food, meat, peanut butter and other sources of protein.

Then toward the end of summer, once a wasp colony has reached its max, waps will be more attracted to sugar sources like ice cream, candy, and soda to help maintain the queen wasp and the worker wasps.

Wasp Prevention

Wasps are more difficult to eliminate than other pests. When a wasp stings you or is squished, it will release pheromones that alerts other wasps of the danger, causing more to attack. So the best way to solve a wasp problem is by preventing it from occurring in the first place. Below are some ways you can help keep wasps away from your property.

  • Keep your outdoor garbage cans and recycling cans tightly sealed
  • Don’t keep pet food out for long periods of time
  • Seal cracks that may serve as entry points including in your siding, foundation, and under eaves
  • Cover your chimney opening with wire mesh
  • Remove water sources
  • Harvest any fruit you have

Additionally, if you’re going to be outdoors for a while, you may want to:

  • Avoid wearing perfume and other scented products
  • Wear light-colored clothing
  • Bathe and wear clean clothes (sweat can sometimes anger wasps)

If you see a wasp near you, don’t panic and begin to swat at it, you’ll only anger the wasp. Instead, stay still.

We hope these tips and information help keep your property wasp-free this spring and summer and if you already have an active nest, you’ll want to contact a professional. They’ll be able to eliminate the problem and help prevent it from coming back.