Wasps are annoying and potentially dangerous to you or your animals, so it's important to keep them from nesting around your home. Here are some reasons why wasps may be attracted to your home, their dangers and benefits, and how you can keep them away.
What Are the Dangers of Wasps?
The wasp's most obvious danger comes from their stings. Unlike bees, they can sting repeatedly and, if you are sensitive, this could be deadly. Some wasps, like yellow jackets, can be very aggressive when it comes to food and won't hesitate to crawl into soda cans or right on your burger as you're eating it. Wasps are also highly defensive of their nests.
How Are Wasps Beneficial?
Wasps can actually be beneficial because they are predators that prey on many species and types of nuisance insects such as flies and harmful crop-eating caterpillars and those big Japanese beetles. Some wasps also eat spiders and aphids. Many farmers consider them beneficial and will leave nests alone in less-used areas.
What Attracts Wasps to a Home?
Generally, if you have dark and isolated eaves and overhangs, such as a porch roof or attic, and you have good, weathered wood with lots of crevices and holes, then wasps may choose your home for a nest. In addition, if you have animals that produce a lot of manure that attracts flies, then that will bring additional appeal. Fallen fruit is also another high attractant.
How Can Wasps be Discouraged?
If you have a fruit tree, be sure to pick up any fallen fruit, especially in the fall when many species of wasps show a preference for sweets. Make sure your barbecue is cleaned after you cook any meat and keep your trash tightly closed. Also, keep your yard clear of animal manure.
Finally, check your property for unwanted and potentially dangerous nests so that you can remove them before they become established. You can even set up your own nest decoy to trick territorial wasps into thinking that your home has already been claimed by another wasp.
Though wasps are beneficial in many ways, they can be a serious problem. The best thing you can do is prevent them from nesting where you don't want them. However, if you find a fully formed and active wasp nest, call in a professional local pest control company to remove it. Do not rely on home remedies because you could not only get stung but also cause damage to your home.