There are a lot of creatures out in the animal kingdom that give us the warm fuzzies. Puppies. Baby elephants. Butterflies. Fuzzy yellow chicks. One animal that usually doesn’t inspire cuddling is the dreaded wasp. Wasps have a tendency to induce fear in the hearts of even the toughest souls. They can be aggressive and sometimes sting unprovoked, which is really a jerk move, in my opinion.
Wasps can find their way into doorways, rooftops, and windowsills of your Toronto home, silently taunting you with their smug little faces. Beyond just being annoying, here’s what you need to know about wasps, along with a list of reasons why you should get rid of Toronto wasps as soon as they try and settle in.
What Are Wasps?
Wasps are cousins of bees and ants and are narrow-waisted flying insects that have stingers at the end of their abdomens. Some wasps are social and live in hives; others are solitary and can sometimes be parasitic. Both types of wasps can prove difficult to deal with, although social wasps can be even more problematic than solitary wasps; social wasps have a tendency to work as a team, and they also build nests that can get rather large.
Wasps are active in the warmer months, with summer as the peak season. They start building their nests in the spring, starting with a small cell and gradually getting larger. By summer, the wasps are in peak party mode and get all up in your personal business. Although wasps like to simply do their own thing, when their territory overlaps with ours, things can get a little hairy.
Wasps in Toronto
There are several types of insects that fall under the wasp category: wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets. Wasps understandably make many people a little nervous, and they can be found in most regions of the world. Luckily for us, we don’t have some of the more intimidating members of the wasp family, some of which can be up to five centimeters long!
In the greater Toronto area, bald-faced hornets and yellow jackets are some of the most likely culprits to rear their beady little heads in the warmer months. What’s worse about these two species of wasps is that they are the ones most likely to be aggressive without prompting. They have the potential to attack without being provoked, which is very uncool, and potentially painful and hazardous.
Yellow jackets are a summer classic and feature an unmistakable black and yellow abdomen. They can be particularly aggressive. Another common type of wasp you may see are paper wasps. Paper wasps are very social, producing large colonies that can sometimes have hundreds of members. Wasps can prove to be a daunting situation, which is why you need to call a pest control expert as soon as possible when you notice them on your property.
About Wasp Nests
You can expect to start seeing wasps in the springtime. They start to make their nests and they start out very small. It’s not unusual for things to get out of hand quickly and for nests become very large—up to the size of a basketball! When things escalate beyond the point where you can do it yourself, you’ll want to contact a Toronto wasp exterminator. Exterminators understand what it takes to get rid of a wasp nest, and an expert can make sure that the wasps are gone for good.
Where the wasp chooses to build a nest depends on the species. Bald-faced hornets, for example, like to build their papery nests in trees or on the sides of buildings. You may find them under eaves or hanging from the side of a roof. Take care to check railings and play equipment as well. Yellow jackets, on the other hand, like to hide a little bit more and will build their nests underground. Imagine finding one of those while you’re mowing the lawn. Ouch!
It’s important to get rid of wasps before the situation gets out of hand, but it can also be helpful to discourage them from setting up their home in your area. Wasps like untreated wood to make their nests, so it’s best to avoid a situation where they have an easy time of nest building. Depending on your home situation, you may be able to use insecticide to discourage the wasps, but you’ll need to be careful, especially if you have pets or children. Yellow jackets in particular are in constant search of food and water. Avoid standing water and keep a tight lid on your trash can. Talk to an exterminator for other tips for making your home feel like a place wasps want to avoid.
What NOT to Do
Some people like to tackle projects themselves, but there are a few things you should never do to a wasp nest. Don’t burn or flood the nest, and you should never hit or beat the nest. You want angry wasps? That’s how you get angry wasps.
So Why Get Rid of Wasps?
So now that you know a little bit about what kinds of wasps you may find in the greater Toronto area and where they like to live, you should also know a few really good reasons why you don’t want them in or near your home.
1. Wasps Are Annoying
Think about it. You’re just sitting outside in your yard, enjoying the pleasant Toronto summer, when suddenly you’re met with a potentially ill-tempered flying creature with a stinger. It’s hard to enjoy spending time outdoors when there are things flying around invading your personal space, constantly threatening to harm you. It’s enough to unnerve anyone.
2. Wasps Are Dangerous
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of wasps is probably the fear of being stung. Wasps, bees, and hornets all have stingers that inject a small amount of venom. For bees, the stinger is a one-time deal, but wasps seemed to have drawn the long straw and can use their stinger repeatedly. Joy.
For those who are not allergic to stings, you might experience itching and some swelling, as well as a little bit of pain. However, for some people, wasps can be life threatening. Those that are more sensitive to wasp venom can experience severe swelling and anaphylaxis, which can lead to death. And just because you didn’t have a severe reaction one time doesn’t mean another sting couldn’t be worse. Not to mention, you can lose time nursing your welts and sitting around with an ice pack.
Part of what makes wasps so dangerous is that they are very territorial. If you approach a nest, wasps are more likely to attack. Some wasps are also social. We’re not talking about having your auntie over for tea social, but rather that wasps like to protect their own and live in packs. That being said, they sometimes even attack in groups, which can cause more injury and the threat of an allergic reaction.
Children and pets can be particularly sensitive to wasp stings, and wasps have been known to attack unprovoked. Not only are they willing to invade your personal space, but they also release a pheromone when they sting that can make other wasps more aggressive.
Wasps will make their homes in attics, on decks, and even in windows. Understanding the potential danger to your health means you should contact a Toronto exterminator pronto and get rid of your unwanted roommates.
3. Wasps Can Hurt Pets
Not only are wasps a danger to humans, but they are a danger to curious pets as well. Dogs are sometimes known for their joyful and carefree attitudes, and sometimes that means running around the yard chasing anything that moves. When a wasp is the moving thing, it becomes a problem. In fact, some goofy dogs may even try and eat wasps. Curious kitties may also find wasps to be an interesting target and may bat and swat and try to play with a wasp or two.
When an animal is stung by a wasp, the reaction is similar to that of humans. The sting area is painful and will start to swell, and wasp venom can even be life threatening if the stings are on the mouth or throat. Swelling in these areas can block the airway. It’s important to protect your pets’ health, and that may mean getting rid of your good boy’s temptation to play with those stinging flying things. Getting rid of the source can also mean avoiding an expensive vet bill.
4. Wasps Can Be Unwanted Houseguests
Wasps can sometimes build nests in attics and even get inside the walls. This is problematic not just because they have the potential to get into living spaces and sting. When wasps build nests and then leave them behind, it encourages other pests to feast and live in the remains. Don’t give scavengers the opportunity to find a new home.
In addition to the possibility of scavengers, wasps can do some serious damage to the woodwork. Wasps, while not as harmful as termites, can still damage your home. Wasps like to use wood shavings as part of their nest building materials and are totally willing to sacrifice your home as a result.
A wasp nest is made of an egg-laying queen and a cadre of drones. The drones do not survive the winter, but queens will sometimes find a way into the wall and hibernate through the cold season.
If buzzing in the walls is starting to haunt your reality, it’s definitely time to call a professional. One thing you don’t want to do is spray anything in the wall yourself. It could possibly cause the wasps to rot in the walls, leading to scavengers and excess moisture in the walls, with can contribute to mold growth and one giant home-repair headache.
5. Wasps Can Cause House Damage
Depending on the type of wasps that invade your home, they can cause problems with the house. As we mentioned earlier, some wasps like to chew on wood, get it nice and pulpy, and then regurgitate it to make their nests. Not only does this sound totally gross, but it is also unsightly and nerve-wracking. When left to their own devices, wasps can start to cause damage little by little to the woodwork on your house, which will eventually need to be replaced.
Another pest that you may see during the summer that’s kin to wasps is the dreaded carpenter bee. They are rotund little things that resemble bumblebees, which means they’re harmless, right? Not so. Carpenter bees are known to burrow into the woodwork and can cause long-term damage to your home if left unchecked. If you have anything that’s actively trying to make your home their home, it’s time to contact a pest exterminator.
6. Wasps Can Devalue Your Home
When you really think about it, wasps have the potential to impact your home beyond physical damage. If you’re in the process of selling your home, it needs to be kept in top shape at all times. Summer is a prime time for buying a house, and if your property has a wasp problem, it’s going to be harder to convince a buyer that yours is the right place. While you can’t place a value dollar on what wasp inhabitants cost you, their presence can be enough to turn off prospective buyers, especially those with allergies.
Not only can wasps become a problem when you’re selling your home, but they can also become an eyesore. Wasps leave their nests in the colder months, but their nests will linger as long as you let them. Once the nest has been cleared, scavengers will take over the area, which is just an open invitation for even more creatures. Who wants that?
In short, there are many reasons why you should get rid of wasps the moment they arrive. Don’t let them control your life—contact a professional as soon as possible!
Become the master of your domain again by getting rid of wasps that invade your home. Give us a call at 647-708-7378 or contact us online the moment you see wasps turning into uninvited guests!