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Wasp Control in Idaho

Paper Wasp Image

There are over 4,000 species of wasps in the United States. Including other stinging insects like bees and hornets, these dangerous pests are responsible for sending more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Wasps and bees are social creatures that will aggressively defend their nests if threatened, but only female wasps have stingers. Both males and females are known for pollinating flowers and plants, which make them very beneficial to the Idaho ecosystem.

At Gemtek Pest Control, we pride ourselves on providing fast, effective wasp control in Idaho for both residential and commercial customers. While you may be tempted to deal with wasp infestations yourself, it can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Your best bet to fight back against wasp infestations is to contact us immediately. The following are just a few of the stinging insect species common to the Idaho area.

Paper Wasps

Polistes sp.

Paper wasps are flying insects often mistaken for yellowjackets; however, paper wasps tend to build their nests in more exposed areas. They get their name from the appearance of these nests, which look like they’re made from paper. Seen as beneficial to gardeners, paper wasps excel at controlling the populations of other pests that feed on plants. In spite of these benefits, care should be taken when near paper wasps and their nests, as they will sting if they feel threatened.

Paper Wasp Identification

Color

Typically black or brown with yellow markings, although color can vary by species. Wings are smoky-black and fold lengthwise at rest.

Shape

Slender, narrow-waisted body with long legs that hang beneath during flight

Size

¾ – 1 inch long

Food

Primarily nectar, but adult wasps will capture and feed insects like caterpillars and flies to their larvae

Habitat

Build paper-like nests built from wood fiber and plant matter. Nests are constructed in rows of exposed hexagonal cells, forming an umbrella shape. Eggs are then laid in cells. Wasps typically build nests under overhangs like eaves and door frames, as well as on tree branches.

Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Removal

While paper wasps are ecologically beneficial, they can be aggressive if provoked. Venom from stings can cause allergic reactions, so it is advised that any nests near your home or in high traffic areas be removed by a licensed professional.

Yellowjackets

Vespula spp.

Yellowjackets are a flying, stinging insect that are often mistaken for paper wasps because of their similar shape and coloring. Although they can be beneficial to the environment, yellowjackets are an aggressive species of wasp – because they feed on meats and sugars, they are often found around trash cans, grills, drink containers, and other areas where meat or carbohydrates are found. They will sting if provoked, which can cause dangerous allergic reactions. Therefore, it is important to know what to look for and to avoid contact if possible.

Yellowjacket Identification

Color

Typically black and yellow bands on abdomen

Shape

Similar to paper wasps; narrow-waisted body with legs that hang down during flight

Size

⅜ – ⅝ inch long

Food

Other insects, meat, and sugars

Habitat

Typically build nests underground or in concealed voids on structures. Some species will construct enclosed aerial nests from a paper-like material made from chewed up cellulose.

Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Preventive Measures

Mud Daubers

Family Sphecidae

“Mud dauber” is a common name for a species of wasp that builds nests from mud. While most species actually build their nests, others like the metallic-blue mud dauber move into nests vacated by other species. Mud daubers build nests around paralyzed spiders and insects which are left for their young to feed on. These wasps are rarely aggressive and don’t often sting.

Mud Dauber Identification

Color

Depends on species; typical colors are black, black and yellow, and metallic blue

Shape

Long and slender with a straw-like waist

Size

About 1 inch in length or more

Food

Adults typically feed on nectar, but stock nests with paralyzed spiders for their larvae

Habitat

Prefer sheltered areas like covered porches, under eaves, garages, barns, and sheds

Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Removal

While mud daubers are rarely aggressive, if you spot a mud dauber nest, you should immediately contact a licensed pest control professional. More aggressive and dangerous wasp species often move into vacant mud dauber nests and should be treated with care. Furthermore, nests should be destroyed as they can host populations of cabinet and carpet beetles. These can be of further detriment and expense to home and property owners.

Carpenter Bees

Xylocopa spp.

Carpenter bees are considered solitary, meaning they do not nest in colonies. They get their name from their habit of boring into wood to make homes where they can raise their young. While bumblebees and carpenter bees are extremely similar in size and shape, carpenter bees have a hairless and shiny abdomen, whereas a bumblebee’s abdomen is covered with dense hair. Male carpenter bees have larger eyes and may have a white or yellow face.

Carpenter Bee Identification

Color

Black and yellow

Shape

Large and oval

Size

½ – 1 inch long

Food

Pollen and nectar gathered from flowers

Habitat

Typically bore circular holes that are the same circumference as their bodies into wood, and then begin to burrow along the grain of the wood

Region

Various species found throughout the U.S.

Threats

Bald-faced Hornets

Dolichovespula maculata

Bald-faced hornets are not true hornets and are actually a type of yellowjacket. Unlike most yellowjackets, they do not build nests underground, but instead construct enclosed, hanging nests. They are sometimes considered beneficial in reducing populations of nuisance insects, but should be removed by a licensed professional if spotted around homes.

Bald-faced Hornet Identification

Color

Mostly black with white pattern on face

Shape

Long, segmented body similar to yellowjacket

Size

½ – ⅝ inch long

Food

Habitat

Build pear-shaped, enclosed aerial nests typically found on tree branches, although sometimes found on buildings. Nests are grayish-brown and up to 3 feet long with high insect traffic near opening. Nests are used for only one season, then abandoned.

Region

Found throughout the U.S.

Removal

If bald-faced hornets are suspected, it is best to contact a pest control professional for identification and removal. They are more aggressive than other types of yellowjackets and will sting repeatedly if provoked. Nests should only be observed from a distance.

Africanized “Killer” Bees

Apis mellifera scutellata

Africanized “killer” bees are a hybrid species of Western honey bee. The only way to tell the difference between Africanized bees and European bees is by measuring their bodies and wings – “killer” bees are generally larger than their European counterparts. Africanized Bees are more aggressive and attack relentlessly if a threat is perceived. The venom from their sting is no more potent than other species of honey bee, but because Africanized bees attack in vastly larger numbers, the danger of “killer” bee attacks is exponentially greater. If Africanized bees are found in or around the home, call a licensed pest control professional immediately.

Africanized “Killer” Bee Identification

Color

Golden-yellow with darker brown bands

Shape

Oval

Size

½ inch long

Food

Pollen and nectar are gathered from flowers to feed larvae and other colony members

Habitat

Africanized bees typically have small colony sizes and may build nests in tires, boxes, or crates, as well as sheds, garages, and disused vehicles.

Region

Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oklahoma

Prevention

Wasp Prevention in Idaho

At Gemtek Pest Control, we always recommend contacting a pest management professional instead of attempting to deal with wasps or bees yourself. Because nests may be very large, and these pests can be extremely aggressive, you may be putting yourself or your family in danger.

If you discover a wasp infestation on your property, don’t wait another moment. Fill out the form on this page or contact us today to schedule your free ant inspection.

Pests

Ant Control

Spider Control

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Rodent Control

Wasp Removal

Termite Control

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