As the time of summer closes, we see less and less of wasps and bees. These insects are going into hibernation in the forests and trees. That means that they will leave behind many different artifacts of what they’ve done. One thing that you can find are the nests of the bald faced hornet. This nest is a gray, semi round paper mache looking nest that is usually hanging from a branch of the tree. In the winter months, these are abandoned nests can be seen very often. But how do hornets make their nest? Wasps will chew up small bits of wood creating a paper type substance that they will make the cells and outside envelope of their nest out of. So let’s take a minute and explore hornets and other stinging insects that are found across the Oklahoma wildlife scene.
Bald face hornets over winter in stumps and gaps in the ground. Before these wasps become dormant, a generation of females will hatch and mate. Once these queens are fertilized, they will find these gaps and holes in wood and other places to hide over the winter months. This will shield them from the cold and protect them through the winter. The rest of the colony will die off leaving the nest hanging in the tree. It will never be populated again. In the spring time, when the new queens emerge from their hiding places, they will begin by creating their own first few cells and laying eggs in them. Once these first few eggs hatch, they will be the workers that will create the rest of the new paper nest.
Hornets, like most other wasps and bees, are eusocial insects. They develop in a colony. Bald face hornets are actually part of the yellow jacket family. They have a queen and the rest of the insects in the colony are either workers, or late in the season they will be new queens for new colonies. The workers will build the nest, forage for food and take care of the young. These insects are black and white in color and about 3/4 of an inch long. In the beginning of the season, they will feed mostly on other insects including flies and yellow jackets. This provides the proteins to raise their young. Later in the season when the younger wasps are grown, these insects will feed mostly on nectar and other forms of carbohydrates. Shortly after the first frost, all of the insects will die except the overwintering queens.
Wasp nests can be very dangerous if they still have insects in them. These wasps do not have barbs on their stingers, giving them the ability to sting multiple times. They have a venom that they can inject when they sting which can be very painful and can cause severe allergic reactions. If you’ve been stung by any wasp or bee it’s important to seek medical attention immediately, especially if you suspect that you will have a severe allergic reaction to them. These nests can be removed by a licensed, professional Tulsa exterminator. Call your local Broken Arrow exterminator as soon as you can if you see one of these nests in an inconvenient location.
In addition to the bald faced hornet, we have southern and eastern yellow jackets. Many of these breeds of yellow jacket will create their nest underground or in a wall void or an attic space. They also build their nests out of paper using rotted wood by chewing it up and creating a paper of it. Removing a nest that’s underground or in a gap in your home is something that needs to be undertaken by a licensed professional. Contact your local Tulsa exterminator for more details.
LARGE HORNET POPULATIONS
There are many individuals in each of these nests. The bald faced hornets nest can carry anywhere from 200 to 700 adults in it. The yellow jacket colonies that are found underground can be anywhere from 1000 to 5000 adults. Because of this, these are a very dangerous insects especially for people with allergies.
While yellow jackets and hornets are eusocial insects, we also have solitary wasps here in Oklahoma. What are the most common solitary wasps are the mud daubers. These insects use mud to create a single cell that they lay an egg inside of. With that egg they will capture spiders and other insects to paralyze and deposit inside of the cell with the egg. When the egg hatches, the young lava will eat through the paralyzed insects and then emerge from the mud as an adult. While these insects are very prolific here in Oklahoma, they do not pose a large threat when it comes to stinging. If you corner one they will sting you, but they aren’t defensive of their nests like hornets or yellow jackets.
Another solitary wasp that you may see at your home is the potter wasp. These solitary wasps have come to be named potter wasp because of the single mud cell that they create looks much like a clay pot. Even down to the neck of the pot, these small cells are uncanny. They often prey on caterpillars which they also store in their nests. This gives their young something to feed upon when they emerge from the egg.
If you’re having an issue with hornets, yellow jackets or any other kind of wasp, it’s time to go to a Tulsa exterminator that you can trust. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business when it comes to dealing with bees, wasps and any other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area including Owosso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Prattville, Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Coweta, Claremore, Catoosa, Turley and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!