Have you ever come across an intricately-patterned nest, seemingly made of paper tucked snugly into the eaves of your home, or perhaps in an attic?
If you have, then you probably learned fairly quickly to keep your distance. Those paper nests are the home of a pest that’s quite common in California, especially in the Greater Sacramento area.
Paper Wasps are typically around an inch long, slender, and have long legs and a distinct thin waist. They’re usually dusty brown or black with large patches of yellow or red. Paper wasps are beneficial to our local ecosystem in the Greater Sacramento area in that they are predatory insects. As friends of gardeners, they prey upon caterpillars, beetles, and other leaf-eating pests.
The trouble occurs when they build their nests close to where we call home. Normally non-aggressive towards people, paper wasps are very protective of themselves and their nests.
Every spring a new nest is built by the queen by gathering fibrous plant material and mixing it with saliva to craft an all-weather dwelling. Nests can become very large by summer (six to eight inches in width) and typically house around 30 paper wasps. If you have a lawn where moisture can gather or even a pool, chances are that you will attract wasps. Wasps may build their nests in wooden nooks and crannies, but they prefer to be near places with moisture and water.
Paper wasps may not go out of their way to attack intruders, but if they feel threatened they can and will sting. Unlike bees, paper wasps can sting multiple times without dying. This is a high risk for those of us who are allergic to bee stings.
If you encounter a paper wasp, avoid swatting or aggravating it. If you are perceived as a threat, they’ll call for back up from their nest and that can lead to serious trouble for you. Never try to get rid of a paper wasp nest yourself! Contact ProActive Pest Control and we can help to safely remove the nest and its wasps from your home or business.
ProActive Pest Control starts treatment of paper wasps by first finding and removing the source of your pest problem–the nest. We then create and maintain a barrier by spraying repellant to reduce nesting and minimize wasp activity in and around your home. We can help to manage your local wasp population and keep conflict between insect and human to a minimum.