Why are Stinging Yellowjacket & Hornet Wasps More Aggressive in the Fall in Ocala, FL?
Even though our Summer picnic days have come to a close and most people are spending more time indoors, hornets and yellowjackets are still out and about. If you’re like the nearly 1.5 million Americans who are allergic to stinging insect venom, you should stay as far away from these insects as possible. For those who aren’t allergic, it doesn’t mean we’re clear from harassment. Unlike bees who only sting once then die, yellow jackets and hornets alike have the painful ability to repeatedly sting you with their needle like stingers. Most bee species are rather docile and will avoid stinging people while they focus on the job at hand. Unless they feel threatened that is. Hornets and yellowjackets are a whole different story. It doesn’t take much to aggravate a yellow jacket, especially in the Fall season. So, what makes them so aggressive this time of year? What should you do should you happen to find yourself staring into the face of a yellowjacket or hornet? Is there a way to control their population around your home? Pest911 is here to answer these questions for you!
Why are Wasps Aggressive in Autumn?
In the Early Summer, social insects such as yellow jackets and hornets emerge from their hibernation and begin prepping their colony for another year of life, the Queen begins breeding like crazy to replenish the colony and workers are busy buzzing about in search for food for the Summer. Unlike other insects, social insects live in colonies where each insect plays a vital role in the survival of the colony. There is a Queen, soldiers, workers and nymphs. The hordes of sterile female workers have to take on the job of caring for the queen and nymphs, that is all they do! All through the Summer, they are busy tending to these tasks. Unlike other social insects, hornets and yellowjackets have the daunting task of starting new colonies every year! In Fall, the queen begins to prepare to overwinter and come the first frost, the rest of her colony will die off. When late Spring/early Summer emerges, she wakes up from her Winter dormancy and begins building a new nest. She does this by gathering wood shavings and other organic matter, mixing it with her saliva and building her nest. She then starts her colony for the year. In Fall, these insects become more aggressive than they were in earlier months, because they are making a last ditch effort to raise up nymphs and protect their hive before the season is over.
How to Keep Yellow Jackets & Hornets Away
Let’s face it, you can’t always avoid a flying insect and it’s inevitable at some point in your life you will make the unfortunate contact with one. It’s especially important to warn children who play outside of the dangers of wasps. Kids tend to frequent the areas these insects make their homes. For instance, the bald faced hornet prefers to make their colonies in trees and under the eaves of homes. Paper wasps like exposed beams or less used door ways for their colonies. However, yellowjackets can be especially dangerous because they can build their colonies in holes in the ground or inside the walls of our homes, storage sheds or garages. They enter through any crack or crevice they can squeeze their bodies through and begin their colony. If you are ever faced with the task of having to run away from one of these stinging insects, run as fast as you can and seek shelter. Getting indoors is the safest place for you. Even if one or two make it inside it is far better than having hundreds of stings. Never jump in water! Hornets and yellow jackets are determined beings and will wait it out until you emerge!