Wasps can typically be a nuisance between the months of August and September.
Daniel Mackie, VP of Quality Assurance at Greenleaf Pest Control, says that this time of year they receive more calls than usual. This is because during the fall season, there's not a lot of other food available for them. This is when hornets decide to crash your outdoor activities.
Wasps are attracted to carbohydrates, protein and sugar, so if you’re enjoying food or drinks outdoors, there's a good chance wasps will crash the party.
"Unlike honey bees, that can sting once and then die, yellow jackets and other hornets can sting multiple times," explains Mackie. "But the real concern is that once they sting once, they release this fear pheromone or an aggression pheromone."
This pheromone sends a signal to the other bees that you are dangerous, and so ensues a big swarm.
If you get stung, Mackie recommends rubbing dirt or water on the affected area. This will relieve some of the pheromones that cause a swarm. He also suggests getting into a car or your home as fast as you can.
A hornet’s sting can be painful and dangerous. Some people may have anaphylactic allergies to wasp stings. Mackie adds, "Even if you're not totally allergic, you do typically swell up a little bit."
One preventative measure Mackie recommends is using a portable fan.
"It not only keeps mosquitoes away, but if you can push the air current and change the way that the scent travels, you push a lot of the bees away."
If you happen to find a wasp's nest on your property, it’s best to call a professional. Mackie advises that if the nest is embedded in the bricks of your home, the worst thing you can do is caulk and seal the nest shut.
"If they have no other path, the wasps will go into your house, and you wake up with hundreds if not thousands of very upset wasps throughout the entire house."
To learn more about why wasps become particularly aggressive this time of year, watch the video that leads this article.