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Social Wasp, Solitary Wasp, and Pest Control for Austin

Wasp Control | May 14, 2019

Social Wasp, Solitary Wasp, and Pest Control for Austin

In almost every environment around the greater Austin area you will find a mixture of wasps. Most of us see a yellow and black flying insect and call it a wasp. Many times, we are dead wrong. Insects use mimicry as part of their defense. Part of complete pest control is understanding the insects and other types of pests that property owners face. This brings us to the differences between social and solitary wasps. In this blog we address wasps and whether a pest control service call is warranted.

Social Wasp

We all know social wasps, at least some of them. They include yellowjackets, paper wasp, hornets, and a few other species. They are characterized by a hierarchy and each wasp has a role. The queen, the worker, the males all have a job. Did you know that male wasps cannot sting you because they do not have a stinger? Sadly, most of the social wasps that you see are all females. These are the worker wasps or drones. The nature of a social wasp colony is very much all-for-one. They all work for a common purpose – so that the queen can reproduce. They also swarm and defend their colony to the very last wasp. They ask no questions and they take no prisoners. Social wasps respond to pheromones and rely on those microscopic scents to understand their role. An aggregate pheromone is a call to arms. A single wasp can summon the entire hive by releasing an aggregate pheromone. The same is true of honey bees and ants.

The Solitary Wasp

There are many families of wasp that are solitary in nature. They are nearly 100 percent different in character from the social wasps. They get their name from the fact that most are a single female providing food for her next generation. While the thought of her reproducing might be of concern, understand that these wasps serve a purpose. Most are spider hunters. Through generation after generation of evolution, they have developed a skill that is so precise that they can battle a spider and almost always win. The key here is that they are very much species oriented in that they cannot battle any spider, just the ones from the species of spiders that they were born to battle. For example, the black and blue sphecid wasp battles only black widow spiders. There are Cicada Killers who only hunt – yep you guessed it – cicada.

So, do we need to have pest control for all wasps? Maybe not. The solitary wasps do not attack like the social wasps do. In fact, the solitary wasp does not have much time to bother with us humans at all. Afterall, she is busy battling pests, such as spiders, to provision her cells with food for her offspring. It is safe to say that it is very difficult to get stung by a solitary wasp. One, they look intimidating. Two, their sting is far more painful than that of a yellowjacket, and three, you’d have to really go out of your way to get stung. They do not respond to pheromones in the say way that a social wasp dose. For her there is nobody to call and she is just too busy removing spiders from around your home or business to deal with you.

Understanding pests and beneficial insects is one of the best tools we have. Put that deep knowledge of pests to work for you and we will help you keep your home or business free of pests. Learn more by giving our professionals a call.

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