Wasps Are Serious in Toronto – How to Keep Them Away
There’s nothing that will ruin a day enjoying your backyard quite like a wasp attack. While wasps have their place in the ecosystem, that place doesn’t have to be in your yard.
Learning how to identify and deter wasps will keep your yard enjoyable all year long.
The Three Worst Wasps in Toronto
There are three main types of wasps that cause problems here in Toronto. They all have different habits and attacks, so telling them apart is important. If you’re looking to get rid of your wasp problem, the first step is figuring out what species you’re dealing with.
Yellowjackets are a common wasp that’s immediately identifiable by its bright yellow color. They typically grow to be about half an inch long, and they don’t tend to be aggressive.
However, if you crush a yellowjacket, every other yellowjacket in the area will smell the dead wasp and come to attack.
You’re most likely to spot yellow jackets when you’re eating outside because yellowjackets love the smell of sugar and meat. Yellowjacket nests can be hard to spot because they’re the size of a baseball or smaller.
Hornets are the larger, more painful cousin of yellowjackets. They are black with yellow accents, and they can reach as long as two inches. They eat sugar, so they will congregate around open drinks and sometimes hummingbird feeders.
It’s easier to spot hornet nests because they can reach the size of a basketball. Hornet nests are often found on tree branches and the underside of your eaves.
Paper wasps look alarming, but they don’t become aggressive unless their nest is threatened. Paper wasps build nests made out of “paper” anywhere from inside trees to inside your attic.
These wasps are about three-quarters of an inch long, with red-brown coloring and yellow or orange bands. Expect anywhere from twenty to two hundred living in a place at once.
How to Keep Wasps Away
Most wasps won’t attack unless they feel threatened. However, pets and children can trigger a wasp’s defense instinct and lead to multiple, painful stings. That’s why preventing wasps in the first place is important to most homeowners.
Seal Your Garbage Receptacles
Most wasps are attracted to food sources. Open garbage cans are a great way to attract wasps, especially yellowjackets. Since wasps largely feed on sugar and fat, your garbage is their feast. Keep trash locked away until garbage day to keep wasps from settling in.
Properly Maintain Your Lawn and Roof
Wasps also like to set up nests in rotting tree branches, clogged gutters, and messy shrubs. Keeping your lawn and roof clean will help make your home uninviting to these pests. That includes trimming dead branches, pruning shrubs, and keeping your gutters neat.
Eliminate Standing Water
Finally, like all wildlife, wasps appreciate easily-available water. Standing water like birdbaths, puddles, animal water dishes, and even clogged gutters can all make your property more appealing. Keeping your yard dry will keep all types of pests away.
If you already have a wasp issue, you should reach out to qualified pest-control specialists. Wasp specialists have the equipment to safely remove wasp nests from your property without getting stung or leaving wasps behind.
They also know where to look to find other wasps nests that haven’t become a problem yet. The result is a pest-free yard that you can enjoy without the risk of getting stung.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.