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Wasp, Yellow Jacket, Cicada Killer, & Digger Bee Control

Yellow jackets nest in the corner of an atlanta attic

Yellow jackets' nest that we found in an Atlanta attic.

Wasp and yellow jacket control are among our most in-demand summer services. As the Georgia summer gets hotter, stinging insect activity heats up -- and so do our phone lines.

When most people think about stinging insects, the first species that comes to mind are honeybees. But actually, most of the stinging insects in Atlanta and North-Central Georgia are wasps or hornets, not bees.

Wasps and bees are related. They both belong to the taxonomical order hymenoptera. But they are not the the same insects. Among the many differences are that unlike bees, wasps do not make honey; and most wasps are insignificant as pollinators.

In addition, honeybees are highly social, but wasps vary greatly in their social structure, ranging from none at all (as in the case of solitary wasps) to highly advanced (as in the case of hornets and some other social wasp species).

Wasps do have their place in the natural ecosystem, however. Some, in fact, are considered beneficial, like the cicada killer wasp, the aphid wasp, and several other parasitic wasps that help control destructive insect populations. But no wasp specie is as vital and beneficial as are the bees.

Wasps of Georgia

There are many species of wasps who vary in their size, coloration, biology, and habits. They also vary in their aggressiveness. Some wasps, such as hornets and some yellow jackets, are highly aggressive. But some other wasps, like many of the "paper wasps," are relatively passive and usually won't sting unless they are provoked.

The wasps most commonly encountered in Georgia are hornets, yellow jackets, and various species of paper wasps. We provide control of all of these wasps.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jacket wasp on a yellow flower

Yellow jacket wasps are common throughout Georgia.

There are a number of wasp species commonly called yellow jackets in Georgia. These wasps vary in their appearance, aggressiveness, and habits. As a group, however, yellow jackets are considered very aggressive, although not quite so aggressive as hornets. They can deliver a painful sting and will attack in large groups if their nests are threatened.

Yellow jackets are commonly seen buzzing around trash pails, dumpsters, and discarded beverage containers where they are foraging for food; as well as around their nests, which may be located a considerable distance away.

Most yellow jacket wasps build nests in voids in hollow trees, attics, wall and ceiling voids, soffits, rock walls, abandoned cars, crawl spaces, and other protected areas. They also may build nests in the ground, usually in abandoned animal burrows.

In urban areas of Georgia like Atlanta, Athens, Macon, Columbus, and Roswell, yellow jacket control is often needed around picnic areas, outdoor cafes, golf courses, and other recreational areas.

In more rural parts of Georgia, we get a lot of calls for yellow jacket control at farms, campgrounds, children's summer camps, and residences. We have a variety of control methods that can be used to reduce yellow jacket populations in all of these areas.

Paper Wasps

Paper wasps on a nest

There are many species of wasps found in Georgia that are commonly called "paper wasps." They vary in their habits and aggressiveness.

As with yellow jackets, there are many species of wasps known as "paper wasps." They get their name from their practice of building nests made of paper that they manufacture from chewed wood and bodily secretions.

Some paper wasp species prefer to build their nests in hollow voids in attics, roof soffits, wall voids, hollow fence posts, and similar areas. Other paper wasp species prefer building exposed nests, usually under overhangs, on window and door frames, or on the undersides of porch or gazebo roofs.

Most paper wasps are solitary, but multiple solitary paper wasps often build nests in the same areas. But most paper wasps are not considered "social" insects because there is no apparent division of labor nor cooperation between nests.

Most species of paper wasps are not very aggressive. They will attack and sting if threatened or provoked, but they are not as territorial as yellow jackets or hornets and are less likely to go out their way to sting someone who isn't bothering them. Paper wasp control varies in difficulty depending on the size and location of the nest and the aggressiveness of the particular specie of wasp.

Cicada Killers

Cicada killer wasp on a window screen in Buford, Georgia

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

Cicada killer wasps (sometimes called "lawn wasps") resemble large yellow jackets, but their behavior is unique. Cicada killers catch and paralyze cicadas, drag them into their nests in the ground, and lay eggs on them. The cicadas then serve as food for the cicada killer's young as they develop. The eggs hatch within a day or two after they are laid, and the larvae feed on the cicadas.

Male cicada killers cannot sting and are harmless, but their aggressive flight scares people. It's all a show. They don't have stingers.

Female cicada killers do have stingers and may sting humans if they feel threatened, but they are generally non-aggressive toward people. Cicada killer control becomes necessary when the insects' powerful, aggressive flying style scares people, when they do damage by creating unsightly holes in lawns or golf courses, or when they are present in great numbers and simply become too annoying to ignore.

Digger Bees

Digger bees are a group of bees that live in the ground. Although technically solitary bees, they tend to dig their holes in close proximity to each other and may forage together. But each hole is an individual nest tended by one female. Digger bees are common throughout Georgia, often occurring in the same places every year.

Although they can sting, digger bees are less aggressive than most other bees and wasps. They generally won't sting unless they are threatened. Their stings can be painful, however, and are very dangerous to individuals with bee allergies.

Rid-A-Critter provides professional hornet control, yellow jacket control, wasp control, carpenter bee control and honeybee control in Atlanta, Athens, Macon, Columbus, Roswell, and throughout North Central Georgia. We have the know-how and equipment to safely remove stinging insects from your property, no matter where they are nesting. Please call us for prompt, professional control of any stinging insect problem.

Stinging Insect Gallery

Here are a few pictures of wasp and hornet control jobs we've done in Atlanta and throughout our Georgia service area.

For help with stinging insect control or any pest control problem, please call us today.

 

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