There are several species of wasps inhabiting Pennsylvania, but you are not likely to encounter all these types. The two most common in Pennsylvania are the paper wasp and the yellow jacket.
Paper wasps are so named for the nests that they build from a paper-like substance that they produce. They build these nests on horizontal surfaces, preferring tree branches, garages, barns, and sheds. Aggressive when they feel threatened, paper wasps have a nasty sting that is incredibly painful and known to cause an anaphylactic reaction to allergic people.
Yellowjackets are named for their yellow coloring. They build nests in the ground or the walls of buildings. Come fall or early winter, they will often venture into living spaces in search of warmth. This is a temporary problem but still very unsettling. Yellowjackets are often attracted to our leftover food, especially sweets or meats. While technically a wasp, yellow jackets are so aggressive they often seem to belong to their own category.
The Nature Of Attraction
It’s in a wasp's nature to seek out resources. We will never be able to stop an insect or animal from acting on its instinct, nor should we want to. And, we recognize that all pests, no matter how pesky, have a role to play.
However, you can make your Pennsylvania property less desirable for wasps looking for a place to build their nests by limiting access to the following features:
- Meat: Wasps need protein, so your steak is a natural attraction for them. They are a terrible nuisance at backyard barbeques.
- Flowers: Wasps like flowers. They are attracted to the sweet nectar as a food source, but also they enjoy the smell. People that enjoy flower gardens aren’t likely to give them up to reduce the wasp population. However, it is something to consider when planning your next garden.
- Insects: This is another source of protein for the wasp. If you have an existing pest population, you may be attracting wasps to your property.
- Fruit Trees: Dropped fruit is another attractor for wasps. It's important to clean up dropped fruit and vegetables around your property periodically.
- You: Or rather, your sweet-smelling perfume or lotion. When spending time outdoors, it's worth thinking about which scents you choose to apply.
Wasps will naturally seek these things out regardless if it’s in the middle of a pool party or at a BBQ rib cook-off. They may be inevitable, but that doesn't mean there is nothing to be done.
Take Away The Welcome Mat
Wasps move in because your home is inviting. You have all the qualifying attributes that a homeless wasp is searching for, but you can minimize them in the following ways:
- Reduce harborage sites. This includes, but is not limited to, the eaves of your house, shed, or barn. Any place that is sheltered makes an ideal nesting site.
- Remove standing water. Bird feeders and other features that collect water should be used sparingly.
- Be sure outdoor garbage is tightly covered.
- Grow plants that have natural wasp repelling properties.
- Fill in any small holes in the ground where a yellow jacket might nest.
- Keep the dropped fruit picked up. Use caution when disposing of fruit; many people are stung while collecting dropped fruit.
- Armed with the knowledge of what attracts wasps and how to take away the welcome mat, the next consideration is what to do if you do all the right things and wasps don't go away.
What To Do About These Wasps
We’ve talked about what to do to keep wasps away from your Pennsylvania home, but what if you have a huge active nest with hundreds of aggressive wasps flying around your house? In this case, you need to bring the kids inside and pick up the phone. Call BHB Pest Elimination to come out and do a wasp nest remediation. We are experts trained in safely removing the nest and all the wayward wasps as well. Call today for a free wasp removal estimate and reclaim your King of Prussia backyard today!