Uh-Oh, I’m Seeing Wasps

Uh-Oh, I’m Seeing Wasps

If you’ve noticed a wasp or two buzzing by your head, don’t panic – just yet. This is the time of year when queen wasps emerge from hibernation and begin to form a colony. After slumbering away the cold Virginia months in deep crevasses, the survivors (only a small percentage of queens live through the winter, either starving to death or being eaten by predators, such as spiders) are now on the hunt for well-sheltered locations that are not easily accessible.

Their favorite locations? Loft spaces, high overhangs, window frames, garages, sheds, and other less-frequented places. With a location selected, the queen will build the foundation for her hive before laying the eggs of the worker wasps. Interestingly, a queen will never build a hive where one has existed before.

When Will the Swarms Come?

The worker wasps, also known as drones, will emerge in a few weeks’ time. The worker wasps will complete the building of the hive, allowing the queen to focus all her attention on populating the colony. So, for now, if you see a wasp, it is likely to be a solitary drone that presents little concern.

But that won’t last long. By June or July, the queen will have fully populated the colony, which can grow to as many as 10,000 wasps. It is now that you might have need to worry, as wasps begin to spend as much time outside the nest as inside, primarily because the workers need to continuously bring back food for the larvae.

Sometime around the end of summer, the queen wasp will leave the nest with a few males to create new queen wasps. With the queen gone, the workers no longer need to provide food for young larvae. Free to scavenge for themselves, this is when worker wasps become most aggressive. They are also now willing to stray farther from the hive.

What to Do If You Have Wasps

Adult wasps eat sugars such as nectar and fruit. The larvae wasps are carnivorous and feed on other insects brought to them by the adults. So, using wasp traps that are baited with sugary substances is a great way to keep wasps away from you.

However, if you have a large wasp nest on your property, do not disturb it. A single wasp sting can result in an angry swarm, because the pheromone released in wasp venom acts as a warning beacon to other wasps and instantly makes them more aggressive. Instead, call us. Our trained technicians use prescribed treatments in local areas and remove nests in hard-to-reach places. This treatment does not require any additional preparations on your part. We have more than 15 years of experience keeping properties in the greater Richmond, Newport News, and Williamsburg areas free of pests, including wasps.