Effective wasps and hornets treatment services
Your local hornet and wasp control specialists
At PestGuard NorthWest, we offer a speedy 24 hour emergency pest control service.
Benefit from our experience and expertise
From flea prevention to wasp control and fumigation/fogging services, we do it all. Get in touch with our experts for more information.
Wasps (coomon wasps, German wasps, Tree wasps, Norwegian Wasps, Cuckoo Wasp, Red Wasp, Hornet). Wasps can be regarded as beneficial insects as they collect insect larvae, scraps of meat and even fish to feed to larvae; they therefore help to control insect pests and clear carcasses. In general, however, wasps are regarded as a nuisance pests or a threat to health.Habitat
The Common wasp and the German wasp nests underground and in cavities in trees and buildings, The Tree wasp nests suspended from the branches of trees or constructed underground. Norwegian wasp constructs small nests on twigs e.g. on gooseberry bushes and hawthorn. Cuckoo wasp, the worked caste lacking. It is parasitic usually laying its eggs in the nests of the Red Wasp. Red wasp nests underground. Hornet nests in hollow trees and occasionally buildings. Mason wasps are solitary wasps which nest under the ground and in soft mortar.Biology and Behaviour
Up to 30mm long; yellow and black coloured. Hornets are the largest wasps, but relatively uncommon. Wasps are typically social insects with new nests constructed each year. The queens which are larger than the workers overwinter. They emerge in the spring and feed on nectar and sap. In the autumn, new queens and males are produced. The latter fertilise the queens who then search for hibernation sites. With the onset of severe weather the nests die out.
Adult worker’s body length about 1/2-5/8″ (11-15 mm). Color usually orangish brown to sometimes black, gaster (enlarged rear portion of abdomen) broadly banded with orange and brown or brown and black; with body mostly covered with branched, pale hairs, most dense on thorax. Eyes hairy. First segment of hind tarsus enlarged, flattened. In addition, hind tibiae lack apical spurs; front wing venation with marginal cell narrow, parallel-sided, and 3rd submarginal cell oblique; hind wings with jugal lobe (lobe on rear margin near body). Barbed stinger present.Habitat
Honey bees are not aggressive, and do not search for something to attack. Instead, they are defensive and will attack only whatever seems to threaten the colony.
Swarms first move to a temporary site such as a tree branch. The swarm will usually remain here for about 24-48 hours until permanent quarters are located, and then moves on. Permanent quarters may consist of a bee hive, hollow tree, hollow wall, attic, etc., typically some place which is sheltered from the weather.
Bees in a swarm are very docile and not likely to sting because they harbor no food stores or young and therefore, have nothing to defend. Likewise, honey bees encountered away from the hive are unlikely to sting unless severely provoked, like stepping on them. However, if the hive entrance is approached, the guard bees can become very aggressive; do not approach hives without proper protection. Worker bees have barbed stingers and when used, the stinger, poison sac, and associated tissue are torn from the body.
If the stinger is not removed immediately, muscle contractions will drive the stinger deeper and deeper into the skin and there is greater time for toxin injection. In addition, the stinger gives off a pheromone which attracts other bees and induces an alarm and attack behaviour.Biology and Behaviour
Honey bees are social insects and live as colonies in hives, with mature colonies of 20,000-80,000 individuals. Adults are represented by workers which are infertile females, a queen or inseminated female, and drones (males) which come from unfertilized eggs.
The entire population overwinters. There is only one egg-laying queen in the hive and she mates only once. She can lay as many as 1,500 to 2,000 eggs per day, and may live as long as 5 years. The queen produces many pheromones, mostly from her mandibular glands, which regulate among other things the production of new queens and inhibit development of worker ovaries.
The young workers care for the young or brood, build the comb, provide hive ventilation, and guard the hive entrance. Older workers serve as foragers to gather pollen, nectar, and propolis or bee glue. Workers live only about 5 to 7 weeks during the summer but those emerging in the autumn, over winter. Drones (males) appear periodically and are short lived, usually living only a few weeks.
Honey bees swarm primarily when the colony size gets too large for the available hive space or the queen begins to wane or fail. New queens are produced and the old queen leaves with a large number of workers. Honey bee colony usually swarms only once each 12 months.
Adults large, about 3/4-1 3/8″ (20-35 mm) long. Color brown with yellow abdominal stripes and pale face. Head with clypeus (upper lip) broadly truncate, slightly notched at apex; vertex (top of head) extending greatly above/behind compound eyes with distance between lateral ocellus and occipital carina (back of head) much greater than distance between lateral ocelli. Hind wing without a jugal lobe (lobe on rear near body). Pronotum in lateral view almost triangular, extending to tegulae (structure at base of front wing) or nearly so. Middle tibia with 2 apical spurs. Unprotected nests with brown envelope, comb brown.Habitat
The overwintered female selects the nesting site. Typically, European hornets nest in hollow trees, barns, out buildings, hollow walls of houses, attics, and abandoned bee hives. Unprotected nests are covered with a brown envelope, brown because they use cellulose from decayed wood.
Workers are predators on a variety of large insects such as grasshoppers and other orthopterans, flies, wasps, and honey bees. Workers will girdle twigs and branches of numerous shrubs and trees, including birch, ash, dogwood, rhododendron, boxwood, lilac, and horsechestnut. This girdling is done to feed on the sap, but it can result in the death of the plant.
European hornets fly during the day, but workers also fly at night and are attracted to lights, as are males. They can cause concern to the occupants when they repeatedly bang on lighted windows at night.
In general, the European hornet is a forest dwelling species. It therefore has little opportunity to be a stinging hazard. It is relatively non-aggressive around its nest.Biology and Behaviour
European hornets are social insects which live in colonies or nests. The adults are represented by workers which are sterile females, queens, and males which come from unfertilized eggs and usually appear in the late summer. Only inseminated females over winter and do so in sheltered places.
In the spring, she uses chewed-up/masticated cellulose from decayed wood to build a paper carton nest of several dozen cells which is usually covered with a paper envelope. One egg is laid in each cell and the queen feeds the developing larvae arthropod protein material and nectar. After about 30 days, the first 5 to 7 workers emerge and shortly there- after take over all the work except egg laying.
The queen will be attended by several workers. The typical nest will eventually consist of 6-9 paper combs which are open ventrally and attached one below another. If the nest is unprotected it will be covered with a many-layered paper envelope, but if it is sheltered, little or no envelope may be present.
A typical mature nest will contain 1,500- 3,000 cells in 6-9 combs; the record is 33 combs containing 5,566 cells. At its peak, a large colony will contain about 1,000 workers but typical colonies contain 200-400 workers at their peak. Later in the season, larger reproductive cells are built in which queens and males will be reared; males are often reared in old worker cells. The colony is then entering the declining phase.
The newly emerged queens and males leave the nest and mate. Only inseminated females hibernate and survive the winter. The founding queen, the workers, and the males all die.Control
European hornets are beneficial insects by helping to control many pest insect species. However, if the nest is located close to or within a structure, or in a recreational/camping area, then control is warranted. Just changing the exterior lights to yellow bulbs may solve the night-time problem. Decrease the attractiveness by promptly removing any fallen fruit from ornamental trees.
Adult worker body length about 1/4-1″ (6-25 mm), queens about 3/4-1″ (17-25 mm) long; robust in form. Color black with yellow (rarely orange) markings; with overall fuzzy/hairy appearance, including top surface of abdomen. Head with distinct space between base of compound eye and base of mandible. Antenna 12-segmented in female, 13-segmented in male. Hind tibia with apical spurs. Front wing with 2nd submar- ginal cell more or less rectangular, about as long as 1st submarginal cell. Hind wing lacks a jugal lobe (lobe on rear margin near body). Male abdomen with tip rounded; female abdomen with tip pointed, stinger relatively smooth, with small barbs.
In addition, female Bombus with hind tibia modified into pollen basket (surface bare and polished, marginal hair fringe) whereas, Psithyrus lacks pollen basket, hind tibia slender.
Carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) with top surface of abdomen largely bare and shining, front wing with 2nd submarginal cell triangular, and hind wing with jugal lobe (lobe on rear margin near body).Habitat
Depending on the Bombus species, the overwintering queen will select an appropriate nesting site the following spring. The queen of some Bombus species locate a dark cavity at least 3/4″ (2 cm) high by 1 1/8″ (3 cm) wide containing fine plant fiber; such a nest is usually underground and often an abandoned mouse nest.
Queens of other Bombus species select a dense clump of grass on the surface for a nest, adding grass on top. The queens of Psithyrus species are all parasitic on Bombus nests, so they bide their time until the Bombus nests are moderate in size and can therefore support them.
They then enter the nest, kill the Bombus queen, and take over the nest using the Bombus workers to care for her young. Bombus queens of later emerging Bombus species sometimes also parasitize the nests of earlier emerging Bombus species.
Bumble bees foraging for nectar fly at 7-12 mph (11-20 km/hr) and spend only 2-4 minutes inside the nest between trips. Probably they will travel at least 3 mi (5 km) if necessary for nectar. They orientate by the sky’s polarized light via their 3 ocelli, so they can forage before and after light when objects and landmarks are not visible.
They use their theromoregulation procedure to warm up flight muscles before the sun rises and to also forage when temperatures are below 50° F (10° C; lowest observed flight at 26° F/-3.60 C) whereas, most bees stop foraging at 61° F (16° C). Each worker forages independently, and bumble bees never exchange food. Old cocoons are used to store both pollen and nectar.
Defense is usually accomplished using their relatively smooth stingers that can be used over and over. Some species will also spray feces, and some cover the intruder with regurgitated honey. People sensitive to insect venom should exercise care around bumble bee nests..Biology and Behaviour
Bumble bees are social insects which live in nests or colonies. The adults are represented by workers (Psithyrus spp. lack workers) which are sterile females, queens, and males (drones) which come from unfertilized eggs and usually appear in late summer.
Typically, only inseminated queens over winter and do so underground. In the spring, the queens of Psithyrus species wait until the Bombus nests are moderate in size and then parasitize them. The Bombus queens select a suitable subterranean cavity or surface grass clump as a nesting site. Then the Bombus queen fashions a honey pot of wax scales near the nest entrance into which she regurgitates nectar.
Next she makes a pollen clump on the nest floor and lays 8-10 eggs on it. The queen will periodically add pollen and nectar to the peripheral edges of the clump, and eventually more eggs. Developmental time (egg to adult) is 16-25 days, with 4 larval molts. Workers live about 2 weeks. Most first brood workers are small due to nutrition.
The queen will increase the number of eggs laid as the number of workers to care for them increases.During the summer, parasitism may eliminate up to 50% of the colony’s workers each week. However, a mature bumble bee nest ultimately contains about 50-400 bees at any given time; the largest known nest contained 756 bees and 385 brood (larvae and pupae).
The nest temperature is regulated to about 86° F (30° C). This thermoregulation is accomplished by the bee relaxing the 3rd axillary muscle to its wings which unhinges the wings from the main power-producing thoracic muscles. Then contractions of these large muscles produces body heat without wing movement.
In the late summer only males (drones) and new queens are reared in the nest. Once these new females emerge, they mate and find a suitable place to over winter. The males, workers, old queen, and any virgin new females die with the onset of cold weather.
Do you suspect you have a wasps/hornets nest in your garden? Wasps can attack in large numbers if their nests are disturbed. Get in touch with us for professional wasp treatment services today.