Step Outside: Help stop the sting

By ALEX DEASON STEP OUTSIDE,

The days are getting longer, temperatures are getting warmer, and as chances of rain and thunderstorms increase, we realize that spring is officially here.

Spring time jump starts a lot of activities outside including seasonal allergies, lawns greening up, and insects deciding to come out of overwintering.

One of those insects is the Paper Wasp, or Polistes carolina. During the winter months the workers will die and the Queens will overwinter under bark of trees or in cracks and crevices around structures.

These insects, most commonly referred to as red wasp, have long slender bodies that sometimes are marked with yellow stripes. Even though they are known not to be aggressive by nature they will sting when threatened.

In the spring the Queens come out and begin a new nesting site which will be small but as eggs hatch they are now part of the colony and will help protect the nest.

The issue lies in where these nests are located. They are generally found in dark, enclosed areas such as eaves of houses, unused grills, vehicles, or lawn mowers, and storage buildings.

The nests are often not located until late summer when many rounds of eggs have hatched and the nest is threatened looking for that old bicycle in the shed which will result in a bad day for someone.

So this spring be mindful of these areas.

If you see a very small nest with one Queen laying on it, the removal of the nest will result in the Queen having to build elsewhere.

If a nest of size is located there are aerosol wasp and hornet sprays that can allow someone to be in a safe area to treat them.

This may need to be done several days in a row depending on the number of workers.

However, a final application of Bengal Roach spray on the nest will result in control of the remaining adults and brood.

This can be done in the late evening when activity is at its lowest.

If they are found in an area with no risks to anything they may be left alone because they are also a beneficial insect in helping pollinate gardens and prey on some plant pests.

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