Are brown and yellow wasps building a nest in your yard? These are likely Guinea wasps, a common type of paper wasp. While these wasps can be beneficial as they pollinate flowers and prey on insects, they can also be problematic when they build nests close to (or inside) your home. If you are dealing with these stinging insects in Tampa, this guide can help. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about Guinea wasps, from identification to prevention along with professional pest control in Tampa.
What Guinea Wasps Look Like
Guinea wasps are a common species of the paper wasp. Like other paper wasps, Guinea wasps build aerial nests out of a paper-like material. Guinea wasps are brown with yellow markings, which is why they are sometimes confused with yellow jackets. They have long legs, a thin waist, and look triangular from the side. These wasps are around ⅝ to ¾ inches long.
Guinea wasps are social wasps that live in colonies founded by queens who have overwintered in protected areas. The queens emerge from their overwintering sites in the spring to build a new nest. Usually, several queens will join forces to start a nest, with one queen eventually dominating the others, who are then relegated to the role of worker. The triumphant queen will lay eggs in the nest, and the larvae will join the colony as workers once they have pupated.
Guinea wasp nests are made from a pulp of chewed wood and are in the shape of an umbrella. The wasps choose sheltered areas to build their nest, where they are protected from predators and the elements. Tree branches, shrubs, roof overhangs, porch ceilings, and underneath decks are all common places to discover Guinea wasp nests. If you can't keep keep wasps away from your Tampa property, you should avoid approaching or disturbing Guinea wasp nests.
Why Guinea Wasps Are Attracted To Your Home
Guinea wasps are extremely common in the spring and summer, and they aren't very picky about the yards they decide to inhabit. However, certain factors could make your home more attractive to Guinea wasps and other flying insects that sting.
Wasps build nests in elevated, protected locations. If your yard has lots of trees and shrubs, this can be attractive to Guinea wasps. Structures like sheds, porches, and decks can also provide ideal nesting locations for wasps.
Your yard may also attract Guinea wasps if it provides food sources. Paper wasps feed on both plant nectar and insects. Yards with flowering vegetation, fruit trees, and high populations of garden pests are especially hospitable to wasps. Water sources can similarly attract wasps; ponds, pools, and other water features could be drawing wasps to your property.
While some of these wasp-attracting factors may be difficult to avoid, there are some steps you can take to reduce wasps in your yard. Try these simple tips for wasp prevention:
- Remove or reduce water sources in your yard.
- Limit the flowering plants in your yard, especially around your home's exterior.
- Use trash cans and recycling bins with secure lids.
- Remove any fallen fruit from your yard.
- Seal potential entry points into your home, such as cracks or gaps.
- Keep food and drinks covered while eating outside.
- Inspect your property to catch wasp colonies early.
These measures can help keep Guinea wasps and other stinging insects away from your property. If wasps have built nests around your home and you are concerned about being stung, be sure to reach out to a Tampa residential pest control professional for wasp removal and control.
Are Guinea Wasps Aggressive?
Guinea wasps, like most stinging insects in Florida, are not particularly aggressive but may attack if they feel threatened. While they won't go out of their way to sting you, they will defend their nests if you get too close. This can happen unintentionally while you're doing yard work or when children or pets play outdoors. Guinea wasp stings are painful and become red and swollen. For most people, the swelling is localized and will subside after a few hours. However, people allergic to stinging insects can experience severe symptoms that may be life-threatening.
Although Guinea wasps are generally not aggressive, it is important to exercise caution around wasp nests, especially if you are allergic to wasp venom. In the next section, we'll explore the best way to address Guinea wasps on your property.
How To Properly Deal With Guinea Wasps
As with most pests, seeking professional assistance when dealing with Guinea wasps is always best. Tampa commercial pest control and residential pest control professionals have the training, products, and experience to properly eliminate wasps and remove their nests.
The pros at Haskell Termite & Pest Control will identify, treat, and remove the wasp nests from your yard or home. Contact us today for your free wasp control estimate.
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