April's Pest of the Month: Wasps
Different species of wasp
While there are several different species of wasp, the most common are hornets and yellowjackets. Hornets are the largest and most aggressive types of wasps, and they are native to Asia. Over time, they have spread throughout Europe and parts of North America. Yellowjackets are very similar but have a bright black and yellow pattern. They tend to move side to side very quickly when they are flying.
While wasps are an important part of the ecosystem, they aren't something you want near your home or workplace. Their stings can be quite painful, and many people are very scared of them. If you notice droves of wasps near your home, they have probably made their nest nearby. Their nest-building tendencies can vary slightly from species to species, but typically they like to build their nests near buildings or other large structures.
Wasps are attracted to things that are sweet, so you should keep any food or trash outside completely secure, or avoid keeping it outside at all. They particularly like perfumes and lotions, so avoid using them or throwing them away outdoors if you have an issue with wasps. You should also keep the exterior of your home in good condition. If there are any little crevices, wasps can make their nests there.
If you've already noticed a wasp's nest near your home, you'll have to take more drastic action. If you need to get near the nest, be sure to wear gloves and goggles as well as protective clothing. There are many chemical solutions that are designed to deter wasps. However, you can also use essential oil blends with peppermint, clove, or lemongrass, as wasps do not like these plants.