Wasps in California – What You Need to Know
Wasps in California are a natural part of the state’s make-up with hundreds of the winged insects that make the state their home. Examples of some wasps found in California include paper wasps, sand wasps, mud daubers, yellow-jackets, thread-waisted wasps, and potter wasps.
Wasps and bees have similar characteristics making it easy to mistake one for the other. While bees are frequent visitors to flowers to collect pollen and nectar for food, wasps may also be seen gathering nectar, but not as often. A wasps’ diet consists of spiders and other types of insects. Another difference is bees have hair distributed over their body, abdomen, and legs. These hairs are used to gather pollen. A wasp tends to have little to no hair on their legs.
General physical characteristics of the wasp include:
- Front and hind wings
- Slender body
- Three pairs of legs
- Body length ranges between 1/2 inches to 3/4 inches
- Body colors include brown, black, yellow, blue, or red
The three types of wasp are the social wasps, parasitic wasps, and solitary hunting wasps.
Social wasps are colonizers with most of the residents being worker wasps whose job is building and maintaining the communal nest, gathering food, and taking care of any offspring the queen produces. Social wasps are carnivorous with their major food source being flies and caterpillars. The food is fed to the larvae, which is then turned into a syrup filled with nutrients that the adults consume.
Parasitic wasps may be small, but they serve gardeners by attacking many insects in the garden, paralyzing them, and killing them, proving beneficial to a healthy garden. Parasitic wasps do not usually sting but can do so when provoked or mishandled. Basically, they are not considered harmful to humans. A characteristic of the parasitic wasp is its egg-laying process. These wasps will either lay their eggs in or on a host insect, which will result in death of the host at some point.
Solitary Hunting Wasps
Many, if not most, wasps provide prey to their larvae making the solitary hunting wasp also carnivorous. While the solitary hunting wasp is considered non-aggressive, the social wasp is just the opposite, becoming aggressive whenever their nests are in danger. Solitary hunting wasps are broken down into two groups: Sphecidae, which include sand wasps, mud daubers, and thread-waisted wasps, and the Vespidae, or the social wasps consisting of yellowjackets, hornets, and paper wasps.
Preparing Your Home for Wasps
Wasps are a nuisance that can cause pain if inhabitants of the home are stung, including pets. While damage to a home may be minimal, there is still the potential for it to occur. This can happen if nests are left in place and are not treated and/or removed. The paper-like material of a wasp’s nest can work like a sponge and absorb rainwater, which, in turn, can lead to exterior wood damage. Nests can also be constructed inside a home’s walls using the wood material available for the workers to chew that is then used to construct the nest.
Whether nests are inside or outside the home, attempting to remove the wasps from your home can be dangerous. When wasps feel the nest is threatened, they swarm to the intruder, which can result in multiple stings. For this reason, it is always best to be lean to the side of safety and leave removal to the professionals at O’Connor Pest Control.
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It takes knowledge, knowhow, and skill to remove wasps. We have all this plus 60 years of experience removing wasps and their nests quickly and efficiently. When wasps are invading your property, don’t hesitate. Contact us immediately to schedule a free inspection.
How to Prepare Your Home for Wasps in California? Pest Control in Ventura CA
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