How Dangerous Are Wasps In Western Massachusetts?

A yellow jacket outside on a plant

When the weather warms and plants start to bloom, it almost feels like the world itself is reawakening after a long slumber. This can be a great time to get some outdoor activities in, but it's also a great time for pests to find new homes. Stinging insects like wasps emerge from their winter dormancy as well, and you can be sure that they're on the hunt for lush scenery to hide in and build their colonies.

Common Wasps In Western Massachusetts

The two most common wasps in Western Massachusetts are yellow jackets and paper wasps. They're both fairly aggressive species with similar mannerisms, but they have their own distinctive characteristics as well:

  • Yellow Jackets – these wasps are hairless, roughly a half-inch long, and they sport yellow and black stripes. The more commonly build nests underground, within dead logs and tree trunks, and also in the walls of homes if there are any holes in the exterior siding.
  • Paper Wasps – these wasps are also hairless, though there are many different subspecies that range within this classification. They're hairless, roughly ¾ to an inch long, and can be black and white striped, mid to dark brown, brown and yellow striped, or even reddish in color. They're most widely known for their aerial nests, made from chewed pulp they harvest from trees and leaves. These nests are usually found in trees, bushes, and underneath porch roofs.

The Benefits And Dangers Of Wasps In Western Massachusetts

Like bees, wasps have been known to be somewhat helpful pollinators. It's not their best area of expertise, as they don't have the hair necessary to help them carry pollen over long distances, but they do dabble in the practice every once in a while. They enjoy indulging in a sweet drink of nectar when it's available, but they're most useful in curbing the population of plant-eating pests that plague gardens and crops.

While this is an incredible asset to gardeners and farmers, in most cases their aggressive nature has a tendency to exceed their usefulness. They're very territorial and defensive of their nests and, unlike bees, these stinging insects can sting multiple times when they feel they or their nest is in danger. This is especially dangerous for individuals with allergies, but even if you aren't allergic, getting attacked by an entire swarm of wasps will result in a trip to the emergency room.

How To Keep Wasps Away From Your Western Massachusetts Property

Trying to control outdoor pests can be a struggle, but it's not entirely impossible. There are ways to make your Western Massachusetts property less enticing to wasps. All it takes is a helpful guide and a little sweat:

  • If you want a garden, plant it away from the perimeter of your home, and avoid over-watering
  • Limit the number of flowering plants in your garden, and consider adding some wasp-deterrent plants as well; wormwood, pennyroyal, marigolds, citronella, eucalyptus, geraniums
  • Regularly trim bushes and trees around your property
  • Maintain a regular mowing schedule
  • Fill in any holes and old rodent nests in your lawn
  • Remove wood, brush, and mulch debris from your property
  • Keep tight-fitting lids on your outdoor trash cans
  • Clean outdoor food prep and eating areas immediately after eating
  • Repair any gaps, cracks, and holes in the exterior siding, roof, trim, and foundation of your home

How To Exterminate A Wasp Infestation On Your Western Massachusetts Property

Wasps are incredibly dangerous pests, and it's always advised to seek professional help when trying to eradicate an infestation. Luckily for you, American Pest Solutions is always here to help. Our pest professionals are highly-trained and have to pass rigorous background checks before we hire them, and we always use the best eco-friendly pesticides and products in all of our treatments. Don't battle dangerous insects on your own. Get in contact with us today, and enjoy some fun in the sun without the added dangers of painful stings.