Wasp

Wasps are members of the order Hymenoptera. Other members of this order are the bees and ants. Currently, there are not less than 150 species of wasps in the country, with most of them being social wasps.  Such social wasps exist in colonies of up to 15,000 wasps. The most common was species in the country, which commonly infest homes and other man-made structures, are the paper wasps, mud daubers, yellow jackets and the hornets.

Identification

Depending on the species of the wasps, the body color and size will vary. The hornets and the yellow jackets are stout and have bold white, yellow and black markings on the face and body. The Paper wasps are relatively long, between 16 and 25 mm, long-legged and thin bodies. Again, the Paper wasps have black and yellow-reddish markings on their bodies. The Mud daubers are not as colorful as the other wasp species; they have a long body, measuring between 13mm and 25mm, featuring a stalked abdomen. They have three body parts and lack hairs on their body surface, like bees have. The abdomen parts of the wasps are joined to the thorax through a constricted petiole. This gives them the distinct appearance of having a thin or slender waist. They also have three pairs of legs and three pairs of membranous wings on the thorax. The head of the wasps bears a pair of antennae, mouthparts for feeding and compound eyes. In females, the last thoracic signet is modified into ovipositors for laying eggs.

Diet

In most cases, wasps feed on such things as honey dew on plants, fruit juices and nectar. The wasp scavengers on the other hand, are either carnivores or scavengers, feeding on insects. This is why they commonly invade building; in search for food. While they can be beneficial in homes, in that they help control insects in the house, wasp infestation can be a nuisance to the occupants of the infested house.

Habitat

Wasps mainly live in the nests they make. Based on the species, wasp nests vary in size. By chewing and gluing plant parts together, the wasps produce a paper-like substance, with which they build their nests. The nests comprise of about 150 to 300 compartments, known as cells. The majority of wasp species build their nests in trees, including hollow trees. Other species, like the yellow jackets and hornets build their nests in the ground. Other wasp type prefer building their nests on wall voids in man-made structures, such as garages, sheds and even in residential houses. This brings them too close to human beings, hence the need to control them.

Life Cycle

They undergo a complete metamorphosis, which takes a total of six weeks. The eggs are laid into the nest compartments, where they hatch into larvae. The larvae feed on insects, provided by the worker females until they change into pupa. The pupa is enclosed in a cocoon until it develops into an adult wasp.

How Harmful Are the Wasps?

Once they invade the house, wasps can sting occupants of the house, when irritated. The sting is painful and can lead to swelling. As such, it is very difficult to co-exist with these insects in the house. They may also cause damage to the various parts of the house, especially where they have their nests. For this reason, you should have them exterminated by specialists the moment you notice them.

To exterminate wasps in your compound, you should contact AMG Extermination. We have the right products and methods to control the various wasp species.

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