10 Interesting Things You Never Knew About Wasps And Their Hives

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They sting. They’re black and yellow. We’re talking, of course, about wasps – one of Nature’s most aggressive insects. They’ll defend their nest at any cost and stop at nothing to protect it. Even though wasps can be jerks to us humans, you have to admit they’re fascinating. Keep reading to brush up on your wasp knowledge! It may come in handy at the next trivia night!

10 Neat Facts About Wasps

1. Wasps Are Repeat Offenders

Bees can only sting one time because doing so kills them. Wasps don’t have that problem and will happily sting you if they think you’re endangering their hive. However, only female wasps can sting, just like only female mosquitoes bite.

2. They Don’t Always Live In Hives

You might think wasps live in hives as bees do, but that’s not always the case. Some species of wasps, like yellow jackets and hornets, live in groups while others, like the tarantula hawk, live alone. Interestingly, wasps use their stingers differently, depending on which type of environment they live in. Social wasps, i.e., those who live in hives, use their stingers to protect and defend their nests. On the other hand, wasps who live alone use their stingers for hunting prey.

3. Wasps Like To Hunt

You might think that wasps drink nectar from plants as bees do, and no one could fault you for thinking that with how similar in appearance these two bugs are. However, wasps are meat-eaters. If they weren’t so aggressive with their stings, it would be beneficial to have them around since they eat many other bugs we consider pests.

4. There Are Thousands Of Wasp Species

All told, wasps come in over 30,000 different species.

5. Wasps Don’t Have Hair

Unlike bees, famous for their adorable fuzzy backs, wasps are hairless. Wasps also have a narrow waist, known as a petiole, while bees have thick thoraxes.

6. Nest Are Like Papier-mâché

While bees make their nests from waxy comb-like structures, wasps instead rely on paper-thin wood fibers. By scraping away at wood, they create fragile flakes, which they can mold into nests that resemble paper-mâché. That’s why some wasps are referred to as “paper wasps.” Because wasps need wood fibers to build their nests, you’re most likely to find them in attics, porches, and garage rafters. These places usually have exposed wooden beams which the wasps can carve. That’s one of the reasons why wasp protection is so important if you’ve had issues with wasps before. You can avoid leaving things like open soda cans out so the sugar doesn’t attract wasps, but you can’t cover up every piece of wood on your property.

7. Wasps Are Meat Lovers

While wasps do like sugar – as you may have noticed, if you’ve left your lemonade unattended outside – they prefer to hunt other insects – especially the larvae of other bugs.

8. Males Die After Mating

The majority of wasps in any given hive are female. The females are the workers who handle the task of running a hive. One female is in charge of laying new eggs – this is the queen. In late summer, any male wasps, called “drones,” will mate with a few special females who will leave the nest and go on to start their own hives. Unfortunately for the drones, they will die after mating with the queens-to-be.

9. Wasps Use Scent To Communicate

It might seem counterintuitive, but you should avoid swatting a wasp if possible. When wasps die, their body releases a pheromone. If other wasps are in the area, it will alert them that a comrade has fallen and make them more aggressive. If you happened to get rid of a wasp near its nest, you could soon have the whole hive swarming you to avenge the death of their friend.

10. Wasps Come In All Colors

You’re probably most familiar with the black and yellow varieties, but wasps can come in just about any color you can think of! The cuckoo wasp of Australia is known for its metallic blue and green exoskeleton!

Hire Okeena For Flying Insect Control

If you’re looking for wasp removal in West Tennessee, look no further than Okeena Termite and Pest Control. We’ll eliminate any existing bugs, so there is no active infestation. Contact us to schedule one of our experienced technicians today!

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