Wasp Season is Upon Us. Beware!
For those of us in the South, The Red Wasp (Polistes carolina,) is a pest we wished never existed. They have been known to inflict some pretty powerful stings that will send a grown man into a weeping fit. But how much do you know about these invaders and what can you do to help keep them away from our families?
The Red Wasp is generally about an inch long, with a red body (hence the fancy name) and has dark red to purplish-black colored wings. They are social creatures and can nest in populations exceeding 800 individuals. That’s 800 more than we like!
Since they’re social, like ants and termites, the nests contain a Queen, female and male reproductive’s, and workers. The female Red Wasp is really the aggressive one as she tries to protect her nest, like any good mother. They build their paper-like nests out of plant materials, even wood. The problem is that they seem to construct their nests in the worst places for humans – generally under eaves, around door and window frames, out buildings and sheds. Basically, everywhere we don’t want them to!
Red Wasps are not all bad though. They are beneficial to the environment because they hunt for other insects to feed to their colony mates and some of those pests are actually worse if you can believe it. But, that said, we still don’t want them around so how do we get rid of them once they’ve set up house?
As with all stinging pests, handle with care – safety first. It’s important to try to remove their nests as early as possible after its been built. This will dramatically reduce the population potential and reduce your chances of getting stung.
Nests can be removed with a rake or shovel but that may be a little too close for your com-fort. A high-powered water hose might work best and provide a safe distance from the impending chaos. Make sure you have an escape plan in place just in case you need to high tail it out of there.
In addition, most retail hardware stores have chemicals for Wasps that can be effective. These products generally are under high pressure and application can be done from a moderately safe distance. They are often foamy in texture so when applied clings to the nest like shaving cream. They work on contact, however, there will be Wasps in the nest that will not be affected and it’s important to note that just because you hit your target, you’re probably not in the clear right away.
Most importantly, any attempt at removal should be done after sunset. The Red Wasp does all its foraging during the day and return to the nest just before dark. You’ll have the greatest chance of getting all of the members if you wait until dark.
If all else fails, call Okeena and we’ll take the risk and get rid of your Red Wasps so you don’t have to. We will take a two-pronged approach. We apply a product that provides for a fast knockdown while another keeps them from coming back from up to 90 days.
For more information please call the office at 731.285.4982 or visit our website at okeena.com
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