Insects that can cause painful stings, such as hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets, are at their most active during the summer. As the weather warms up in the spring, wasps will begin their annual cycle of reproduction and growth, which will carry them through the late summer and into the early fall.
Wasps, like other insects, are at their most active midday when it’s warmest outside, and they often return to their homes as night falls. Because of this, stinging insects like wasps tend to be most active while humans are having fun in the great outdoors. Wasps are likely to show up at outdoor events when a lot of people will be gathered around a meal.
What Season Are Wasps Most Active?
The number of active wasp nests and foraging wasps will fluctuate with the seasons. Summertime, when a wasp nest is at its largest, is prime time for wasp activity. These stinging insects, like wasps, are actively foraging for food at this time so they can expand their colonies. If you want to see a decline in activity, wait until temperatures cool off after their peak, which will last several months.
Wasps Create New Colonies in the Spring
As the weather warms up in the spring, wasps emerge from hibernation and begin establishing new colonies. In the spring, when temperatures rise, pregnant female wasps emerge from their winter hibernation sites to build a new nest in which to lay their eggs. In order to start a new colony, the queen of a paper wasp will construct a little nest out of wood pulp and saliva.
These eggs will eventually hatch into female workers who will help the colony expand over the coming weeks. It is the job of the first generation of worker wasps to expand the nest’s food supply, care facilities, and overall capacity in preparation for the next generation of wasp eggs.
Where Do Wasps Create New Colonies?
The paper wasp is one of the more common wasp species that causes problems for homeowners. You may notice a few paper wasp nests hanging about, but they will remain undisturbed for the most part. Common locations for these nests include the eaves of a home’s roof, the area around the gutters, and the exterior of a shed or other outbuilding.
Yellow jackets and hornets, two more common types of wasps, construct their nests on trees, shrubs, and even underground. Constant access to food is the most important factor for wasps to thrive. They will likely set up shop near your home if they can get their nesting needs met by picking at your fruit trees, flowers, and garbage.
Like bees, wasps are drawn to a variety of flowers, some of which they only visit because of their distinctive aroma. Since wasps are picky pollinators, you can track down their hotspots by searching for plants they favor.
When is the Best Time to Spray a Wasp’s Nest?
After a busy day, wasps head back to their nests in the evening. Ineffectively spraying during wasps’ active hours could be to blame if you’ve had trouble eliminating a nest. Many times, when wasps return to the site of a collapsed nest, they will begin construction right where the old one once stood. Spraying the nest at night, when the wasps have all gone inside for the night, is more successful.
At night, when wasps are sleeping, is when you should go spraying for their nest. However, that is not an excuse to forgo sleep. According to the University of Minnesota’s Extension, it’s best to start late at night or early in the morning.
Spraying a wasp nest is most effective when the temperature is at its lowest, so checking the weather forecast for the time when nighttime temperatures are expected to dip is a good idea. Then you should get it done before the sun comes up and the temperature rises.
How to Kill a Wasp Nest
Wasp nest elimination methods depend on where the nest is situated. Avoid using a ladder while spraying a nest. In case the unwanted insects decide to swarm, you should have a simple and fast escape path planned.
It’s probably best to get in touch with a pest control expert if the nest is too big or too far away for you to handle on your own. Crafting a nest in a concealed location can be challenging as well. Quickly call a pest control service if you discover wasps emerging from crevices in your home’s exterior. The wrong action may allow the stinging pests to penetrate further into your home. There are, however, two types of nests that can be easily eliminated with do-it-yourself pest control.
A long-range spray, such as Ortho Home Defense, should be effective against a tiny, easily-accessible nest on your property. Up to 20 feet distant, it can still access nests. The wasp spray foams up after being sprayed, enclosing the insects in their nest. After waiting 24 hours, check on the nest and re-spray if necessary, as recommended by Ortho. If you wait until the nest is abandoned, you can destroy it by striking it with a long stick.
Use a powdered wasp killer such as Sevin to eliminate ground nests rather than a spray. To get rid of the powder, the wasps will take it to their nests. Also, Sevin is effective against other garden pests, such as ants and Japanese beetles.
Wasps Are Most Aggressive in the Summer
Because there are so many more of them out and about throughout the summer, wasps tend to be more hostile in those months. Increased wasp activity usually means more encounters with humans, and more stings and attacks from those stinging insects.
Wasps serve an important role as a beneficial insect in these systems. Aphids and caterpillars are among the insects they feed on, but their numbers dwindle as summer progresses. Consequently, wasps will seek food sources elsewhere, which may bring them to human gatherings such as barbecues and celebrations.
Some kinds of wasps are quite territorial and will attack without provocation, in contrast to the generally docile nature of bees when engaging with humans. They have venomous stingers that they can use repeatedly without wearing out, and they generate chemical pheromones that signal to other members of the colony to swarm a perceived threat to the nest.
Wasp Activity Declines in the Fall
Wasp activity declines after the summer months as the insects prepare for the cooler weather. Since many of the worker wasps perish in late September and early October due to a lack of food, there are fewer wasps left to tend to the remaining eggs. Consequently, the queen will lay fewer eggs, and each egg she lays will have a distinct purpose.
The queen never stops churning forth sterile female workers, who tend to the nest’s eggs and larvae, for an entire year. The survival of future generations of wasps depends on the queen’s ability to generate fertile male and female offspring when the seasons change.
After mating, these fertile male and females will disperse to find a new home for their colony’s winter hibernation. Those female wasps who make it through the cold winter months will mature into queens when the weather warms up again in the spring.
When Does Wasp Season End?
Most stinging insects, including wasps, hornets, and bees, are not able to endure the cold, hence their activity is seasonal. Most wasps will perish in the winter, in contrast to bee colonies that simply move their hives indoors for the season.
Wasps’ life cycle is complete when the new queen lays her final batch of eggs, which hatch into fertile female wasps, and the rest of the colony, including the older queen, perish in the winter. When the queen dies, the workers no longer have to tend to the eggs and larvae, and they are allowed to fend for themselves. This allows the wasps to leave the nest and starve to death or be eaten by predators while foraging for food.
How is Climate Change Impacting Wasp Season?
Both positive and negative effects of climate change on wasp populations have been observed. When the warmer weather is around for longer, it gives wasps more time to reproduce and populate.
However, there have been cases where temporary warm periods occur too early in the spring, causing fertile females to emerge from hibernation, only to perish from hunger due to a lack of food.
Wasp Pest Control
To avoid a situation in which a wasp and a human could become entangled and cause injury, it is crucial to treat wasp nests once they have been discovered. If you have a wasp infestation, call On Demand Pest Control to have one of our qualified inspectors take a look.
We can tailor a solution to your specific wasp problem, ensuring that the problem is eliminated in a way that poses no risk to you or your family. Wasps can be a nuisance, so let us assist you in quickly eliminating them.