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Wasp, Hornet, and Stinging Insect Control

A few hornets around the entry hole of a paper hornets nest that will be treated and removed by a pest control company.

There are more than 100,000 species of wasps in the world, and dozens that occasionally become pests in Georgia. But a small number of species account for the great bulk of stinging insect calls, and those are the ones that appear on this page.

We probably should mention at this point that although wasps and bees are related, they're not not the same. Wasps and bees belong to the same taxonomic order (Hymenoptera, which also includes all ants), but different families. In and around Macon, most of the stinging insect calls we respond to are for hornets or other wasps, not bees.

More so than for most insects, wasps and hornets are not good jobs for do-it-yourselfers. Yes, you can purchase hornet spray from your local hardware store. The problem is, you only get one chance to aim it right. If your aim is off... well, a whole colony of angry hornets coming at you at full speed is not part of a happy day.

In addition, many wasp and hornet jobs require special equipment. Most of the time this includes a protective wasp suit (kind of like a bee suit, but heavier-duty). It may also include long ladders, or even lift trucks for some jobs.

Long story short, you're probably better off not attempting wasp control yourself, and you especially shouldn't attempt hornet control yourself. Call us instead. It's what we do.

Bald-faced Hornets

Baldfaced hornets nest in a tree

A bald-faced hornets' nest in a tree

Bald-faced hornets are stocky wasps that are mainly black in color, with white or yellow markings. They live in colonies that can reach several thousand individuals in number, and live in nests built of paper. The nests have a corrugated-like structure inside where they raise their young, and it's covered by another layer of paper that gives the outside an oblong appearance.

Hornets' nests are usually attached to or suspended from trees, buildings, power lines, utility poles, and other objects. They can vary in height from eye-level (and sometimes lower) to very high in the air.

The entry hole to to a hornets' nest is usually on the very bottom, and two or three "sentries" guard the hole at all times. The number of hornets in the nest varies depending on the time of day, but there are always enough inside to defend the colony. If the sentries decide that something near the nest is a threat, they signal to the rest of the colony; and all the wasps inside the nest, and those close by the nest, will attack whatever the threat is.

Once they attack, hornets are mercilessly aggressive. Perhaps worse yet, they're unpredictable. There's no telling when they may decide that someone is a threat. Perhaps some sentries are more paranoid than others. But for whatever reason, it's not at all unusual for a hornet colony that previously ignored people nearby to suddenly decide to attack those people.

European Hornets

Top view of a European hornet

European hornets are common in Macon and throughout Georgia

There's another specie of hornet that's pretty common in and around the Macon area and throughout Georgia. European hornets are a bit larger than bald-faced hornets and have a much brighter, more distinctive orange and black coloration. They also have a very loud, frightening buzz that sounds kind of like a small airplane just flew by your ear; and their droppings have a horrible, foul-smelling stench.

European hornets usually don't build exposed nests like bald-faced hornets do. They like building their nests in protected areas like hollow trees, attics, sheds, and other voids. In fact, when European hornets get into homes, it's usually the smell that alerts the homeowner to the problem, not a visible nest.

The buzzing and the foul smell of their droppings may be part of the European hornet's defense mechanism, because they're quite a bit less aggressive than bald-faced hornets. They'll still attack if you get too close to the nest, making them a poor choice for a DIY job; but usually if you keep your distance, they'll leave you alone. The smell is usually the reason why customers want these hornets removed; and indeed, if the problem isn't solved, the smell will just get worse as the colony grows.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jacket wasp

Yellow jacket wasps are common in Macon and throughout Georgia

There are quite a few wasps that are called "yellow jackets," either correctly or otherwise. It's really more an informal descriptive term that's applied to a lot of different wasps with predominantly yellow coloration, than a particular specie of wasp.

The wasps that we Georgians refer to as yellow jackets are usually various wasps of the genus Vespula. One of the most common is Vespula germanica, shown on the right, which is also known as the European wasp or the the German yellow jacket.

Like European hornets, yellow jackets don't like building exposed nests. They build paper nests in void areas, and if those areas are tight, will build the nests in the shape of the void. If they have more room, they usually build one side of the nest flat against a vertical surface of the void (for example, flat against an attic wall), and then build the nest out from there in a roughly round shape.

Some of the places where yellow jackets build nests include attics, wall and ceiling voids, sheds, old cars, hollow trees, and roof soffits. The entry holes may be very close to or very far from the nest, and usually they have more than one. This makes finding the nest difficult -- for most companies, anyway. When we're not sure where the nest is, we have newfangled gadgets like infrared cameras to help us. It's usually preferable to find and directly treat the nest in order to prevent wasps from escaping into the living area.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps on a nest

There are many species of paper wasps common in and around Macon

If you thought there were a lot of different wasps called "yellow jackets," that's nothing compared to the number of wasps we call "paper wasps." As with yellow jackets, paper wasps are not a particular insect so much as an informal group of wasps that build their nests out of paper. That narrows it down to a few thousand species, but only a handful are commonly found in Georgia.

Paper wasps tend to build their nests in semi-protected areas that are exposed to the outdoors, but shielded from rain. They're commonly found under soffits, around door and window frames, under patio umbrellas and porch roofs, on playground equipment, inside hollow metal fence posts, and in other similar places.

Depending on the specie, paper wasps may be social, solitary, or something in between (several solitary wasps building nests adjacent to each other in a loosely-social manner). Their sizes and colors also vary: Paper wasps vary in size from about one-half inch to almost two inches, and may be black, yellow, brown, orange, red, or multicolored. Like we said, it's really an informal grouping, not a particular wasp.

As a group, paper wasps tend to be less aggressive than other wasps. Their stings are painful, but they don't usually attack unless you act aggressively toward them (for example, by swatting at them).

Cicada Killer Wasps

Cicada killer wasp

Cicada killers are large, solitary wasps that live in the soil and prey on cicadas.

Cicada killers are sometimes called "lawn wasps" because that's where people usually see them. They can be terrifying to some people because the males fly very aggressively and make a loud buzz. But it's all just bravado. They have no stingers, so the worst they can do is annoy you. The females have stingers, but they rarely sting.

The other way cicada killers can be an annoyance is by their sheer numbers. Over a period of a few years, the number of cicada killers in a lawn can increase to the hundreds. They also make holes in the lawn that are very unsightly. These holes quickly cover over with grass, however, once the cicada killer problem is solved.

The cicada killer is named for its unique life cycle. Females have a venom that paralyzed cicadas, which they then drag down into their holes. They lay eggs in the cicada; and when the eggs hatch a day or two later, the larvae eat the cicada from the inside out. Yeah, it's pretty gross. Nature's always beautiful, but it's not always pretty.

Digger Bees

Another soil-dwelling stinging insect that's common throughout Georgia is the digger bee, which is an actual bee, not a wasp. They can do major damage to lawns, as well as terrify people who live on the property or use the lawns. They're really not very aggressive, however, and usually don't sting unless they're threatened.

Stinging Insect Gallery

Here are some pictures of wasp, hornet, and other stinging insect work we've done.

 

 

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Today our pest control crew is heading out to do hornets' nest removal in Macon. Better to deal with hornets while the colony is small than to wait until their insect air force becomes huge.
by Webmaster
May 24, 2022 09:33:31 am.

We have pest control technicians treating a yellow jacket nest in the attic of a Macon, Georgia home today. If untreated or improperly treated, yellow jackets can get into the living area of a home, which you definitely don't want as they are very aggressive.
by Webmaster
May 16, 2022 10:32:05 am.

Heading to a snake call in Griffin Ga.
by Jason Arruda
May 09, 2022 02:31:20 pm.

Bats and carpenter bees are flying , Hampton to Ellen, off to demorest, snakes in Hoschton.
by Chris Collender
May 05, 2022 08:49:43 am.

Bats and carpenter bees are in full effect, From Rome, ga to Hampton, ga, then off to Atlanta. Busy times
by Chris Collender
Apr 28, 2022 11:15:13 am.

I have a couple stops in Griffin completing the final steps of some bat removal jobs. Then to Williamson for the same.
by Jason Arruda
Apr 13, 2022 10:17:05 am.

Busy critter day today, went to locus grove for some bats, Riverdale to get some squirrels, several Atlanta stops, of course rats, then ended in Marietta, rats again
by Chris Collender
Apr 11, 2022 07:25:46 pm.

Beautiful weather, bats are flying, and squirrels are breading, good times. Athens to snellville, over to Stone Mountain, then out to Atlanta
by Chris Collender
Apr 08, 2022 09:31:43 am.

Rain, rain go away, Chris C wants to do Some quotes today, Morganton(flyers), Carrollton(rats), College Park(raccoons), Brookhaven(squirrels)
by Chris Collender
Apr 05, 2022 02:15:46 pm.

Macon, Warner Robins, Perry and Forsyth Ga today bidding jobs and warranty services. Got crews all over south Ga as well sealing homes against bats and squirrels.
by Jason Arruda
Apr 04, 2022 02:12:52 pm.

Customer in Macon Ga.called in having issues with snakes entering her basement. Going out there now.
by Jason Arruda
Apr 01, 2022 10:28:59 am.

Mouse droppings in the pantry? Bats in the gables? Rats overtaking your living area? Squirrels nesting in your attic? Noises in the walls? Scratching noises coming from you attic? Snakes in your crawl space? We handle them all.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 31, 2022 04:29:56 pm.

Got critters? Squirrels, bats,rats, raccoons, birds etc. Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee give a call for a free consultation.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 31, 2022 12:34:04 pm.

Birthing season is here. Our crews are busy protecting homes against Raccoons, squirrels etc. I’ll be in the Tifton Ga area today for Opossum exclusion quote.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 30, 2022 10:08:34 am.

Newnan this morning for raccoons, then off to sharpsburg for mice and down to Atlanta for rats.
by Chris Collender
Mar 29, 2022 02:15:53 pm.

Noises in the attic keeping you up at night? Squeaky bats, squirrels scratching, smelling urine/feces. Give us a call. In middle Ga and South Ga quoting bat/squirrels. Happy Monday!
by Jason Arruda
Mar 28, 2022 10:22:08 am.

Crazy week so far, bats and carpenter bees are in full swing, from Athens to Suwannee, over to Duluth then to Alpharetta and Atlanta. Now this morning, I am in conyers with rats and squirrels
by Chris Collender
Mar 23, 2022 10:48:04 am.

Busy day today. Leaving a Tifton Ga bat quote that we’re going to seal next week. Headed to Coolidge Ga for another bat quote. Droppings on the driveway got the customers attention and squeaky sounds coming from the attic. Give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 21, 2022 12:24:07 pm.

Yesterday was another busy day, Ellijay had some flyers, then to norcross for rats, Athens with grey squirrels and woodstock with bats and rats
by Chris Collender
Mar 16, 2022 08:03:54 am.

Rats in temple ga, squirrels are running crazy in Dallas, ga
by Chris Collender
Mar 14, 2022 09:16:15 am.

Bats and squirrels today in Macon, Warner Robins and Perry Ga. Going out to give free quotes today to help protect their homes and businesses.
by Jason Arruda
Mar 10, 2022 06:55:24 am.

Bats are flying, went from lula ga, to bogart, down to newnan and McDonough.
by Chris Collender
Mar 09, 2022 01:59:40 pm.

Busy day, did 2 quotes for rats, Locus grove and then Atlanta, then headed to Marietta, squirrels and more squirrels
by Chris Collender
Feb 28, 2022 07:30:00 pm.

Went to blue ridge, flyers in the metal roof, headed to Atlanta with rats in the basement
by Chris Collender
Feb 14, 2022 11:15:00 am.

Not a bad day, flyers in McDonough, rats in dacula and Decatur, headed to Marietta now for squirrels
by Chris Collender
Feb 07, 2022 12:25:06 pm.

Leaving Fitzgerald Georgia on a slight job on this rainy day. If you’re hearing scratching noises in your attic give us a call.
by Jason Arruda
Feb 04, 2022 03:12:34 pm.

Squirrels in Douglasville to Rome with flyers, lots of stops todyab
by Chris Collender
Feb 03, 2022 02:41:31 pm.

Not a bad day, Gainesville for mice, Covington and Riverdale for squirrels,and then Smyrna for a insulation quote
by Chris Collender
Jan 31, 2022 02:39:05 pm.

Busy day, was in Rome for squirrels, then powder springs and Atlanta for rats
by Chris Collender
Jan 26, 2022 06:14:43 pm.

The snow didn’t stop me nor the animals, was in Hiawasse, Duluth, Snellville, and then Marietta
by Chris Collender
Jan 18, 2022 04:41:40 pm.

Will be a cold and windy day today. Guys will be out working hard to seal homes, preventing all kinds of pest animals from getting in. Animals like rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons and opossums want out of the cold too. Pest animals beware.
by Richard Adcock
Jan 17, 2022 06:39:14 am.

Pretty good day in the office yesterday. We accepted new pest animal removal jobs in Grayson, Athens, Duluth, Fayetteville, Chamblee, Marietta, Monroe & Canton to name a few. For the best pest animal control service call Ridacritter today!
by Richard Adcock
Jan 14, 2022 07:43:04 am.

The Macon, Georgia office of Rid-A-Critter provides stinging insect control in the Macon, Georgia area and South Georgia in general, including Albany, Americus, Barnesville, Byron, Centerville, Columbus, Cordele, Culloden, Eastman, Fitzgerald, Forsyth, Fort Valley, Gray, Griffin, Hawkinsville, Jackson, Juliette, Kathleen, Milledgeville, Perry, Roberta, Sylvester, Thomaston, Tifton, Valdosta, Warner Robins, Yatesville, and Zebulon. We are fully licensed and insured.

#hornet #wasp #removal #macon #georgia

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