The first question that most people ask is “Am I dealing with a wasp or a hornet?” The answer isn’t an easy one. The average person can’t tell the difference between the two. The classifications are broad and varied, but for the layperson, ultra-aggressive behavior is the clue. Wasps are less aggressive than hornets. They are in the same family and share the same traits, behaviors, and characteristics, for the most part.

paper wasp on a nest

Common Area Wasps

Here is a list of common wasps in the Richmond area:

  • The paper wasp - Named for a nest built from a paper-like substance they produce. These wasps build their nests on horizontal surfaces, preferring tree branches, garages, barns, and sheds. Extremely territorial and aggressive, they have a nasty sting that is incredibly painful. Known to cause an anaphylactic reaction to those that are allergic.

  • Yellow jacket wasp - Named for its yellow coloring. They build nests in the ground or the walls of buildings. Come fall or early winter they will often venture into your living space in search of warmth. This is a temporary problem, but still very unsettling. They love meat, and will sting you as they swarm around your hamburger.

  • The mud dauber wasp - Named for its nest built from mud. You will see these nests under eaves, stuck to concrete walls, and in apartment complex breezeways. Any place where they can be out of the harsh elements, but still outdoors. These nests will last years if undisturbed. The mud dauber is usually only aggressive when threatened.

What Attracts Wasps To My Richmond Yard

Many factors will draw wasps onto your Virginia property. The problem is, most of the things they are attracted to are enjoyed by humans as well, so eliminating those factors isn’t so easy.

  • Flowers - Wasps like flowers. They are attracted to the sweet nectar as a food source, but also, they enjoy the smell. Maybe they are just taking time to smell the roses, but whatever the reason, humans that enjoy their flower gardens aren’t likely to give them up to reduce the wasp population.

  • Meat - Wasps need protein, so meat is a natural attraction for them. Have you ever been to a BBQ and had wasps try to help themselves to your steak? They are a terrible nuisance at backyard outings.

  • Fruit trees - Dropped, rotting fruit is another attractor. You should keep the dropped fruit picked up. Use caution when disposing of fruit, however, as many people are stung as they reach for the fruit. Try using an extension grabber, so you can maintain a safe distance.

  • Insects - As we said earlier, wasps like protein. This includes insects. Mud dauber wasps will even eat black widow spiders.

  • Sugar-based drinks - If you are sitting poolside with a soda, there is a pretty good chance you will be visited by a wasp.

Ways To Reduce The Wasp Population 

So, with wasps being interested in so many of the same things we love to enjoy, what can you do? The best solution is to reduce possible harborage areas for the wasps. However, this is impossible to completely do, since wasps prefer to nest in the eaves and overhangs of your house. You can remove standing water, ensure garbage can lids are secure, and grow plants that have natural repellants.

Please Do Not DIY

This is not a problem you should attempt to handle on your own. A botched hive removal could cause serious injury. Pestmaster® Services can eradicate the hive without putting your family in jeopardy. Call us today for an inspection. We will gladly help you regain your Richmond backyard, and become King of the BBQ once more.

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