The Different Wasp Species That You May Find In Your Garden

Wasps are annoying to say the least. They come on your property, bother you when you’re going about your day, and they may even attack you and sting you. Worst case scenario, you get an allergic reaction to the sting and you end up in the hospital. However, not all wasps are trigger happy. In fact, some wasps can’t even sting. And once you move past the whole “ruining your summer” issue, wasps can be quite interesting insects.

The scavenger species

You’re having a picnic and you start to hear that all too familiar buzzing noise. Not again! You have just been visited by the German yellowjacket, which is currently looking at all the food you brought and trying to figure out what to do with it. Should it steal some of your ham to take it back to the larvae? Or maybe it should take a sip of soda and get a sugar rush. Wine or beer would be even better, since they have the same taste as fermented fruit. Despite being a nuisance, the wasps are fulfilling their natural role as scavengers, removing leftover meat, sugar or fermenting plants from the environment.

The architects

What is that grey lump of mass up there in the tree? Closer inspection should reveal that it is a wasp nest, in particular the nest of a bald-faced hornet, which can be technically considered a yellowjacket. However, these hornets nest above ground. The nests themselves are quite interesting structures – construction begins in late springs with a queen building the core of the nest where it lays eggs. Once the eggs have hatched into workers, the hive gets busy, scraping up wood pulp, chewing it into strips, and then adding these strips one at a time building up the nest. Bald-faced hornets are often harvested and then shipped off to medical laboratories where they are used to create immunizations for people who are allergic to wasp stings.

The intelligent wasps

You’ve been waiting all winter to barbecue outside, only to open your grill and find a nest of paper wasps. These wasps live in complex, social structures that are sometimes started by multiple queens that battle it out for dominance. The winner of this struggle is able to lay the most eggs, while others help the rest of the colony with child care, nest maintenance and foraging. Paper wasps are also able to recognize individuals within the nest based on the unique markings on each other’s faces. Queens will also size each other up, and observe each other during struggles for dominance. Based on these observations, a queen will decide if she wants to challenge the dominant female.

While interesting, wasps can still be a giant nuisance, and they will attack if they feel threatened. Needless to say, you do not want them nesting on your property. If you have any problems with wasps, contact us today and we will help you remove them.

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