In the spring, as flowers are beginning to bloom, we start to see them: paper wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, and honey bees. As the year progresses, we begin to see more and more of them because they grow their populations all season. Summer is a busy time for all stinging pests. There is a lot to do and a lot to eat. In the fall, populations are maxed out and it can begin to feel like stinging pests are everywhere. They're crawling on our screens. They're crawling on our trash cans. They're buzzing around in our landscaping.
Wasps are especially active in fall as they begin to prepare for winter. Unlike honey bees, which are able to group together to find warmth during the winter months, paper wasps, yellow jackets, and other wasps freeze to death in their nests. Typically, it is only the newly produced queens that survive the winter. This is because those female reproductives are fattened up before it gets too cold and food sources start disappearing outside. At just the right time, those queens tuck themselves away in protected areas, shielded from the cold winter wind. And sometimes, they tuck themselves in the gaps and cracks of our exterior walls.
Under the right conditions, a wasp nest can survive the winter. Some species of wasps are able to create a nest inside the void of a man-made structure, a piece of furniture in an attic space, or some other location that allows them to find enough heat to make it through the winter. When this happens, a nest can go from being annual to perennial. That is to say, it will continue into the next year, and that nest will continue to grow its population and become larger than normal. In states where tropical weather gives wasps the environment they need to be active all year long, these perennial nests are much more common. Sometimes, they're referred to as super nests or super colonies because they become so large.
Honey bees always create a hive that will last more than one year and they are prone to creating these nests in voids of man-made structures where heat is often available. This can lead to frustrating issues with honey bees during winter months.
The hornets we have in our service area (European hornets and bald-faced hornets) have a similar life cycle to wasps. The queens live through the winter and the rest of the hornets die off. Nests abandoned in fall are not used in subsequent years.
Most of the time, you're not going to have too much trouble with stinging insects during the winter months. But overwintering queens will be coming out in the spring to start new nests on your home or in your yard. It happens every year. Before it does, it is a good idea to get your residential pest control plan started, if you don't already have one.
Ongoing Pest Control
If you have service with Spencer Pest Services, you're all set. Your service comes with routine inspections performed by a licensed professional. These inspections uncover nests before they can develop into a problem for your family. You also get appropriate treatments in each season. These treatments help to prevent pests from establishing nests, hives, or colonies on your property.
Stinging insects are only one type of threat that a residential pest control program can protect you from. Our Essential Package, for instance, covers over 20 pests that plague South Carolina homes. When you step up to The Outdoor Living Package, you get protection for many other insects that can spread diseases, insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. When you invest in The Complete Package, you get the most powerful protection available for your belongings, your equity, and your health. It covers everything, including destructive subterranean termites, which are a serious threat to properties in South Carolina.
If you're dealing with a stinging insect problem in your Greenville home, the experienced and certified team here at Spencer Pest Services can help you solve the mystery and eliminate those harmful pests. We use green pest control, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and EPA-approved products to locate and remove nests, even in difficult locations. Whether you need a one-time fix or ongoing protection, you can count on the professionals at Spencer Pest Services to give you the assistance you need.