Summer is filled with many buzzing bugs and wasps are no exception. Though wasps are common in the summer, your chance of seeing them increases in the fall. Wasps are more active during autumn and known to be more aggressive too. Check out why wasps are more likely to stop by your yard this fall.
The rise in fall wasp activity is connected to a wasp’s life cycle. Queen wasps emerge when temperatures rise in the spring. They begin laying eggs and preparing for their colony. Throughout the summer, the queen’s job is to lay and fertilize eggs, leading to the growth of the colony. By the time fall arrives, colony numbers are at their highest. Some nests can house hundreds to thousands of wasps at a time. The growth in population means more wasps are actively searching for food. This is why you are seeing these bugs in your yard more frequently.
Limited Food Sources
Adult wasps spend their summer caring for the colony and its larvae. They feed insects to the larvae who in return produce a sweet substance for the adults to eat. As fall approaches, the queen stops laying eggs, which means adults lose access to their sweet treat. The protein they obtained from nectar is also reducing as plant populations reduce. This means wasps must find a new food source. Instead of searching for protein, they begin feeding on sugar and carbohydrates. Your sugary drinks and picnic treats become one of their only food sources, which means more are likely to hang out in your yard. The lack of food also makes them more aggressive since resources are low and they’re hungry.
Protecting the Queen
When the weather cools down in the fall, queen wasps have to begin preparing for winter. Usually the queen is the only member of a colony to survive winter weather conditions. The fate of new colonies rests in the survival of the queen. Social wasps understand this and their job is to ensure her safety. This is one reason why wasps are more aggressive in the fall. They know they have to protect the queen, so any potential threat can cause them to spring into action. This can lead to a wasp stinging multiple times. They also release pheromones to alert other wasps to danger, which can lead to multiple wasps attacking at once.
Searching for Warmth
Wasp sightings may increase in the fall because of the change in weather. Insects can’t handle the cold, so when temperatures begin dropping, they search for a warm place to stay. Though wasp colonies live in nests during warmer months, queen wasps don’t overwinter in the nest. Instead, they find other locations that provide warmth and shelter. Unfortunately, your home happens to be the perfect cozy spot. Queen wasps often choose attics, sheds, or wall voids because they are protected. If they choose to stay in your home, there’s a good chance you’ll see them when they emerge in the spring.
Tips for Avoiding Wasps
Wasps may be more active in the fall, but that doesn’t mean you have to share your space with them. Since these stinging insects are hungry, you’ll want to eliminate any potential food sources. If eating outside, avoid open cans and bottles and keep your food covered. Make sure trashcans are tightly sealed to avoid attracting pests. Outdoor fans can limit wasp sightings because the breeze makes it more difficult for them to fly. If a wasp is near you, don’t swat at it. They’ll see this as a threat and won’t hesitate to sting. The best way to avoid wasps entering your home is to ensure that there are no entry points. Check the exterior and interior of your home and seal any holes you find.
Knowing why wasps are more active can help you avoid attracting them. It’s important to remember that they are hungry, which makes them more aggressive. Pest-proof your home and don’t let your tasty treats lead them to your house. If wasps are giving you a fit, we’re here to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Wasp & Hornet Killer for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.