Summer is the prime season for wasps, and no one likes a picnic ruined by a hovering bunch of hungry hornets. Wasps love to eat meat and sweets—so they’re highly attracted to your outdoor events—but they also eat spiders and other insects. They are more aggressive and hot-tempered than bees, so caution is needed.
Two common wasps found in Chicago and the surrounding areas are yellow jackets and hornets. Here’s how you can tell which kind of wasp to watch for:
This social wasp is typically ½ inch in size and bright yellow. Commonly mistaken for honeybees, yellow jackets are a bit quicker and smaller. They also fly in a rapid, side-to- side flight pattern before they land. They are highly attracted to sweets and meat, and will often be found hovering around your picnic or other outdoor event. Their nests are often in holes in the ground, but occasionally they’ll built nests in walls and attics, and they will fiercely defend their home if disturbed. Unlike the honeybee, yellow jackets will sting repeatedly and don’t die after stinging. It’s not recommended that you try to remove an active yellow jacket nest on your own.
Another social wasp, hornets are larger than yellow jackets and can be up to 2 inches long. Most species are yellow and black, but some are also white and black. Slightly less aggressive than yellow jackets, hornets still deliver a painful sting and can sting their victims repeatedly. Their nests are much larger than those of yellow jackets, and can be found in walls, sides of buildings, in bushes and trees, or your attic. They will eat some tree sap but they are also accomplished predators, eliminating many flies, bees, and other insects.
Although their sting can be scary, wasps are considered to be a positive source of organic pest control and are beneficial to the environment. Their nests are usually abandoned by late autumn, but if you think you may have a nest in or around your property, it’s highly advised you call a professional. Whatever you do, don’t poke around a potential wasp nest! Let the well-trained professionals at Pointe Pest Control safely remove any threat of wasps to your home. Give them a call today.