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Why Are Wasps So Aggressive At The End Of The Summer

Why is it that our late summer picnics, barbecues, and other events are terrorized by aggressive wasps and yellow jackets? Imagine the joy and fun everyone is having right up until these stinging insects realize that their favorite foods are laid out for them to enjoy.

Their main focus is caring for their colonies but their appetite for sugary sweets like soda, fruit and candy is what makes them so aggressive. Their aggression causes thousands of Americans to be stung every year, many of those individuals may experience anaphylactic shock and if they are not treated immediately, can cause death in some cases.

Every year hornets and yellow jackets start brand new colonies. The new young queen comes out of dormancy and builds a new nest by herself out of wood pulp to lay her eggs and care for them. Eventually, her worker daughters will take over laying eggs and so on until many rounds of eggs have been laid and cared for. This is the process that is going on for most of the summer.

All of those eggs, larvae, and pupae are not flying around like the adults looking for sweets. On top of that, the adults are gathering dead (and alive in some cases) insects to feed the young, with no time for a quick sweet delicacy of their own. By the end of the summer, the queen has created a large army of up to 1,000 workers. This is when they become more aggressive to satisfy their insatiable appetite for sweets.

Yellow jacket nests are particularly troublesome as well, since they build them inside the walls of homes and in holes in the ground where people can disturb, step on or mow over, which will make them extremely angry. You should also know that they can attack in a swarm and their stinger doesn’t get stuck in your flesh, so each one can sting multiple times in a row.

Keep an eye out for nests, avoid perfumes and don’t wave your arms about when a stinging insect comes close. Tightly cover and seal food that is brought outdoors, and beware of sugary drink cans, bottles and cups, as you wouldn’t want to take a sip unaware of the occupants having their own sip. The stinging insects’ rage will end and eventually, they will all die off by November, leaving just the new queen to remain dormant throughout the winter months.

Are you seeing wasps?  We can help. Give us a call at 215.799.2010 or fill out the form below and we will contact you. 



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