Archive for the ‘Hornets’ Category

 

yellowjacket


Yellowjackets and hornets pose threats to our customers in Orlando (Central Florida), Charlotte NC, and Winston Salem NC. Our phone has rang off the hook this July at our office in Orlando located of 9064 Dowden Rd # 03310 Orlando Florida 32827 as panicked customers have called in with their horror stories about being chased and stung by yellowjackets and hornets. We have heard several stories of pets experiencing life threatening and dangerous encounters. For information on treatment options call our office at 407-580-7124 or see our website Orlando Pest Control 

Many consider hornets and yellow jackets as the bullies of the insect kingdom. These stinging, flying insects ruin backyard barbecues, family outings, and any other summertime outdoor activity with their aggressive appetite for picnic food, fruit and sodas.. They sting thousands of Americans every year, killing up several dozens through anaphylactic shock. This weekend, one of them stung me three times in the face as I walked out of a bathroom in Ocean Lake Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. What an asshole, right? No, not me, the yellow jacket.

 

I’ve always wondered what’s up with hornets and yellow jackets that makes them so vicious in mid-summer?

It turns out that, like many humans’ bad behavior, the wasps’ assholishness can be traced back to their families.

 

Many of the hornet and yellowjacket species that sting us are social insects. Unlike solitary insects such as carpenter bees, social insects live in colonies, where hordes of sterile female workers tend to their younger sisters and fertile mother. As living incarnations of Ayn Rand’s nightmares, these social insects do everything for the good of the colony.

But unlike human socialists (and unlike distantly related honeybees), hornets and yellow jackets must start their colonies from scratch every year. In spring, a young queen emerges from winter dormancy and builds a new nest by herself out of wood pulp and spit. Her lonely labor continues until she’s raised her first brood of worker daughters, which dutifully take over caring for the next rounds of eggs, larvae, and pupae. And there are many next rounds: A colony of hornets or yellow jackets may grow to 1,000 workers, says President and CEO of Orlando Pest Control – Rodney Allman. Although you wouldn’t know it in the beginning of summer says Allman.


Until midsummer, most human and wasp encounters happen because people disturb the nest. Many of these disturbances are by accident by homeowners inadvertently mowing over yellowjacket nests or by trimming shrubs which harbor hornet nests. Bald-faced hornets like building their nests in trees, under the eaves of houses, and in shrubs, while paper wasps favor exposed beams. Yellow jackets can be particularly troublesome: They build their homes inside the walls of our homes, as well as holes in the ground—often where people walk and mow grass. “I’ve personally disturbed their nests” while perimeter pest control treatments for quarterly customers, says  Rodney Allman. Which required a lot of running away, he continues, because “they’ll follow you a lot longer than honeybees.” They’ll also sting you a lot more than honeybees, thanks to their smooth, venomous stinger, which doesn’t get stuck in your skin after one thrust like a bee’s barbed stinger.

 

July, August, and September have the most yellow jacket stings because the offspring have developed into adults, and as adults, they spend every hour of daylight foraging for sugary foods that give them a quick boost of energy. Sugary foods like ice cream, soda—and fallen fruit that is fermenting. Many of these foraging excursions inherently cross paths with humans who are enjoying outdoor barbeques, picnics, and events such as festivals, theme parks and other activities involving both humans and the aforementioned food items these stinging insects seek.

 

I’ve read that fermenting plant sap will cause hornets and yellowjackets to be inebriated. Although we really shouldn’t begrudge them a drink – these workers have devoted their brief lives to serving queen and colony, and they will all die of cold and old age by Thanksgiving. Only the mated queens will survive the winter huddled behind house siding and beneath rotting logs, waiting until spring returns to start the whole cycle over again.


Not many can wait for the icy hand of death to squash these stinging picnic thieves. In fact there is hardly any offseason for our Florida customers. Rarely Orlando will see a night with below 32 degree temps. A few things homeowners can do to avoid stings is to keep an eye out for their nests. Be vigilant when working around shrubs and landscaping where there is pine straw and bushes. Additionally, keep food and garbage in tightly sealed containers and be prepared to flee if multiple insects start attacking.


While you’re running for your life, bear in mind that this is only temporary. Unlike us road-raging, Twitter-trolling, lion-shooting humans, hornets and yellow jackets are only assholes for part of the year. But I understand that can be hard to remember—especially if one of them just stung your cheek.      

Orlando wasps, yellowjacket, and hornet control