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The most common complaints come when people can no longer use their patios and decks because of hornets or wasps.
Mud Wasps and Umbrella Wasps
The two most common are mud wasps and umbrella wasps. Both enter our homes with queens, wintering in attics. These queens start laying eggs in spring and by July, populations can begin to crowd our decks.
For control, best results are early spring when queens first become active, and in fall as queens shelter. Some control can be gained during summer by inspecting and controlling when the wasps are seen on buildings.
Bald Face Hornet and Yellow Jacket Wasp
The large paper hives seen in trees are the Bald Face Hornet or the common Yellow Jacket Wasp.
The Bald Face Hornet is large, mostly black with white on head. It is ggressive when disturbed. The hive is often built low to ground, increasing danger.
The Yellow Jacket Wasp often appears just as you open your picnic basket. Their hives are built in trees, on the ground or, most often, in our walls. If the hive is not dealt with early, the consequences can be serious in fall because, as cooler weather sets in, these wasps enter into our homes. They are known to chew the drywall to build their hive, leaving only a paper barrier between us and them.
In August we see 10 to 20 wasps at one time trying enter bricks or siding. The volume coming and going seems endless. Most homeowners notice them and in August and September and they are best controlled in warmer weather when hive is active.