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It’s the backyard barbeque guest no one wants: uninvited, aggressive and always ruining all the soda. No, we’re not talking about your cousin, we’re talking about wasps. It’s that time of year again, when wasps come out of hibernation to create new nests and wreak havoc on all our outdoor plans. But don’t let them ruin your dreams of a fun and safe summer, keep reading to learn more about what to look for when it comes to wasp infestations and how to protect your property and family from these stinging pests.

Fear the Buzz: Wasp Statistics

While a single wasp can be an inconvenience, wasp infestations are nothing to mess around with. Consider these facts:

  • According to the CDC, there were 788 deaths from hornet, wasp, and bee stings from 2011 – 2021. That’s 72 deaths per year!
  • About 2 million Americans have allergies to the venom of stinging bugs. And if you’re allergic to bee stings, you may also be allergic to yellow jacket, wasp, and hornet stings, according to WebMD.
  • Some wasps can even do structural damage, either by chewing through wood, or building nests in wall cavities.

Types of Wasp Infestations in New England

While there are thousands of species of wasps globally, and over 200 here in Massachusetts, there are really only four you have to be on the lookout for as the most common:

1. Yellow jackets: These wasps live near the ground, such as under porches and in hollow trees.

2. Paper wasps: These wasps tend to nest in enclosed locations, including eaves, attics, and gaps between walls.

3. Mud daubers: These wasps prefer areas with protection, including garages, attics, eaves, and on the side of buildings.

4. Bald faced hornets: These wasps often build their nests in trees or structural overhangs.

Think they are hard to tell apart? You’re not wrong. If you need help identifying different types of wasps, check out our post on how to identify wasps like an exterminator.

Warning Signs of a Wasp Infestation

How do you know if it’s just a wasp or two or a full-blown infestation? Look for these infestation signs:

  • Lots of swarming insects: When wasps swarm in a specific area, it’s usually a really good indication there is a nest nearby.
  • Chewed wood: Since some wasp species use wood to create their nests, this is always a good sign to watch for. Specifically, You may see holes or tunnels forming on wooden surfaces on the exterior of your property.
  • You find a nest: Nests are usually made out of wood pulp or mud. They start small and get bigger over time. But depending on what type of wasp you’re dealing with, the nest can look different. Check out this helpful post which has images of the different types of nests.
  • You find wasps INSIDE your home: One wasp. Ok, maybe he followed someone in. Multiple wasps? You could have a nest in your attic or crawl space. Best to call in the pros.
  • You hear lots of buzzing: Wasps make tapping or buzzing noises when they build nests. So even if you can’t see them, if you hear these types of noises, they might be busy taking up residence.

Wasp Infestation? Follow These Three Steps

After you notice one or two wasps buzzing about, you might follow their flight pattern back and discover what you think is a nest. Here’s what to do next:

1. Inspect: Begin by identifying the nest's location and assessing the extent of the infestation. You can try removing a small wasp nest yourself before it gets too big. But if you do so, proceed with caution – the best times of day are very early morning or after dusk when they are inactive. Do not remove a nest yourself if it’s hard to reach, if you’re allergic to wasp stings, or if it’s active (i.e. lots of wasps).

2. Gather Proper Equipment: Utilize protective gear, such as bee suits, correct ladders, gloves, head protection, and appropriate products for removal, such as repellent or non-repellent insecticide sprays.

3. Call in Professional Assistance: For all infestations, especially inaccessible nests, get assistance from pest control experts like the team at Ford’s Hometown Services. Professionals possess the expertise and tools to manage the situation safely and effectively.

Keep The Wasps Away

To keep wasps away, keep things that attract them away. Be sure to remove:

  • Wood piles
  • Trash and food sources
  • Vegetation that has overgrown

It’s also important to perform routine maintenance on your property. Sealing up entry points and checking screens on windows can go a long way to protecting your home.

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Get Wasp Help Fast

If you think you have a wasp infestation, don’t mess around. Call the professionals at Ford’s Hometown Services to protect your family and your property. We have more than 80 years of combined experience in pest control. Call us today at 800-649-9992 or get an online quote.

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