Pest Identification

Wasps

Latin Name

Vespula vulgaris

Overview

Wasps are distinguishable from bees by their pointed lower abdomens and the narrow "waist," called a petiole, that separates the abdomen from the thorax. They come in every color imaginable, from the familiar yellow to brown, metallic blue, and bright red. Generally, the brighter colored species are in the Vespidae, or stinging wasp, family.

Wasp species are categorized as social or solitary. As their name implies, social wasps live in colonies, which may number in the thousands. Within these colonies, female workers, perform all other duties within the nest. Solitary wasps live alone and rarely build nests. They do lay eggs, but their eggs are left alone to hatch.Some wasps are predatory, while others are parasitic. Predatory wasps serve an important role in pollination. Parasitic wasps typically assist in the management of other pests. Some wasps are aggressive species, which sting when threatened, and, unlike bees, wasps are capable of stinging multiple times.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

First of all, they have an important role in the ecosystem. They control the insect population as every insect has at least one wasp species that feeds upon it. They also like to feed on any kind of sweet human food, such as jams and cakes.

Habitat

Wasps build their nests in a variety of places, often choosing sunny spots. Nests are commonly located in holes underground, along riverbanks or small hillocks, attached to the side of walls, trees or plants, or underneath floors or eaves of houses. Wasp nests are most easily found on sunny days at dawn or dusk as the low light levels make it easier to spot the wasps flying in and out of their nests. Wasps will attack and sting humans, particularly if threatened, so care should be taken around wasps and their nests. Wasp nests found in dangerous places (such as in houses or in commonly used public spaces) should be reported to the local council or pest control service for removal.