Wasps and Hornets and Mud Daubers, Oh My! What To Do When You Find a Nest

09 May 2024 · 3 min read

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As we move through the Spring and into warmer months, you may hear a buzz in the air or even find that your home has become a construction site for unwelcome neighbors. If it makes you feel uneasy, we completely get it – stinging insects can be terrifying. Wasps and Hornets and Mud Daubers can be scary, and Greenhouse recommends waiting for a pest management professional to safely remove any nests. If your next appointment isn’t for a while or if the nest is in a dangerous place like right outside a door, just give us a call. We are more than happy to return for a free reservice. Before we’re able to make it to your home, be sure to follow the tips below to protect yourself and the ones you love.

Safety

Allergies

Does anyone in your home have an allergy to insect stings? If so, be extra careful when moving around areas of higher than normal activity.

Pets

Our four-legged family members are just as vulnerable to wasp stings as we are. Be on the lookout for low-hanging nests and plants that may attract them down to pet-level. Wasps also have an interest in the food your pets consume, so make sure to cover it and minimize food debris as much as possible.

Hornets

Are your wasps bigger, bulkier, and less colorful? If so, you may be dealing with hornets, an especially angry variety of wasp. Hornets are even smarter, and more aggressive than their wasp cousins. They’re known for devastating coordinated attacks and their stings are even more painful. Though hornets typically nest in tree branches, they’re sometimes found on human-made structures. If you discover a hornet nest near your home, avoid the area as best you can until a pest control professional is able to safely remove it.

Stings

Sometimes stings do happen, and that’s ok. First make sure the stinger is gone by scraping away from the wound with a hard, flat surface such as a fingernail or credit card. From there, wash the sting with soap and water, apply a bandage, and use a cold compress to reduce swelling. You can even take mild pain relief medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Within a few hours, the pain will have subsided and you’ll be feeling much better.

*We at Greenhouse are not medical professionals and recommend consulting with a doctor if symptoms persist

Prevention

Eyesight

As small as they are, wasps rely more on their eyesight than you might think. It is not uncommon to find forager wasps using their visual memory to return to sites where nests have recently been removed, sometimes even rebuilding in the same location. It may be worthwhile to change up how the area around a nest looks to confuse wasps who may return. Floridians have found success with a number of strategies to dissuade future construction. Some hang up fake nests to give the appearance of a competing colony. Others have gone so far as to paint the eaves of their home a shade of sky blue to make the visually-reliant wasps believe they’re simply part of the sky.

Attractants

Like all other pests, wasps are attracted to three things: food, shelter, and potential mates. Without the big three, pests have no reason to go near your home. While shelter and mates can be mitigated by regularly checking your eaves and soffits for nests, cutting off food is a bit more involved. Thankfully Greenhouse operates under a pest control philosophy called Integrated Pest Management, or IPM for short. IPM means that we use a holistic approach when treating the health and safety of your home, viewing it as an ecosystem of cause and effect.

Because wasps feed on other insects in your yard, keeping wasps away can be as easy as working with a regular pest control provider. Greenhouse performs treatments on both quarterly and bimonthly schedules and even offers Lawn Sprays, a treatment designed to rid your yard of all the creepy crawlies wasps find delicious. Give us a call today. We’d love to hear about you, your home, and what we can do to make a difference.

References

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/facts/wasps#:~:text=Wasps%20make%20up%20an%20enormously,solitary%2C%20non%2Dstinging%20varieties.

https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/MISC/WASPS/Sceliphron_caementarium.htm

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