There are several types of wasps that can become significant pests in Ann Arbor and we can help with them all!
Yellow Jackets are among the most common wasps one may encounter in Ann Arbor. They are a small, aggressive, black and yellow wasp. Yellow Jackets often nest in wall voids, underground, in hollow tress and under porches. Once inside wall voids they often chew through drywall and enter into living spaces. Occasionally yellow jackets build arial (exposed) nests on the sides of structures and under decks. Over the course of summer their nests will grow in size, sometimes numbering over 10,000 making them a very dangerous and difficult problem for a homeowner to address on their own. According to entomologist Justin O. Schmidt’s sting pain index, the yellow jacket sting is “Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine WC Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.” A rating of 2 out of 4.
Bald-faced hornets (which are actually a type of wasp, we have no true hornets in Ann Arbor or Michigan) are large, aggressive, black and white wasps. These wasps are usually responsible for the large paper nests commonly seen in trees and on the sides of structures in the summer. A mature nest can contain several hundred wasps and grow to be larger than a basketball. You don’t want to bump into one of these! Schmidt describes stings from these wasps as “Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy. Similar to getting your hand mashed in a revolving door.” Another 2 out of 4 rating.
Paper wasps infest many of the places we enjoy spending time in the summer. These wasps make the small exposed comb nests that we find under deck railings, patio umbrellas and in the peaks/corners of roofs. There several types of paper wasps in Ann Arbor, some yellow in color (often mistaken for yellow jackets) and some brown. Paper wasps have one of the most painful stings of any wasp in Michigan. Schmidt describes the sting as “Caustic & burning. Distinctly bitter aftertaste. Like spilling a beaker of Hydrochloric acid on a paper cut.” A 3 out of 4 rating. We completely agree.
Cicada killers are surprisingly large, surprisingly mild mannered wasps. These solitary (although communal) wasps hunt for cicadas and other large insects which they bury in sandy underground lairs. They lay eggs on the buried cicadas and these eggs hatches into cicada killer larva which carefully eat the host insect to keep it alive as long as possible. Due to their non-agressive nature towards people, controlling cicada killer populations is usually unnecessary unless they are infesting an area where people are spending significant amounts of time such as public walkways/doorways, pool areas or playgrounds. Schmidt describes this sting as “Pain at first sight. Like poison oak, the more your rub, the worse it gets.” 1.5 out of 4.
If you need wasp control in Washtenaw County contact us now!
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