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Why Are Wasps Aggressive?

Imagine you and your family doing yard work on a nice summer day. The usual weed pulling, grass trimming, and mowing never seemed fun, but today is different. Today, everyone is together, pitching in, and making a mundane task exciting. Then someone accidentally mows over a wasp’s nest, and the sun’s light dims as the nest erupts from the ground.

They fill the yard and begin to swarm around you and your family. Everyone runs toward the house, but there are far too many. Each sting ruins your once lovely day even more by one of nature’s most aggressive flying pests. The swarm surrounds the home, leaving everyone stuck inside and scared until they go away unless they find inside access!

Wasps are not that bad. However, they are pretty intimidating, and indeed, they are notorious for their aggressiveness. Here are some reasons why wasps are aggressive!

yellow jacket wasp face looks angry

Territory Control

Wasps are very territorial because they do not want anything or anyone interfering with their colony. Every wasp in the nest ultimately protects the Queen because she is responsible for laying eggs. The wasps do not want to risk the Queen getting killed because it would end their colony’s existence. The best way to ensure the Queen is protected is by not letting anyone near the nest in the first place.

Most wasps do not attack unprovoked, and they get a bad reputation for this when they are just territorial. Respecting the wasp’s nest and privacy is the best way to avoid an angry swarm coming for you.

brown paper wasp on flower

Misunderstanding Warning Signs

Like most pests, especially those who operate in colonies, wasps are pretty protective over what is theirs. Some species are more tolerant of others, while others will not even let someone get near the nest. Often, wasps will try to deter potential threats by displaying a few warning signs before going for the sting. These deter tactics are their way of showing their presence and sending a message to stay away from the nest.

Unfortunately, these warning signs can be subtle if you do not pay attention because they are easily mistaken.

The notorious flyby is the most common warning sign of an incoming wasp attack. The flyby is when a wasp flies fast next to the potential threat’s head as a show of force. Many people mistake these flybys as a wasp just flying too close when indeed, they are giving a warning.

Time of Year

In some cases, wasps get a terrible reputation for being hyperaggressive because people encounter them at a bad time. During the early spring and summer months, worker wasps are concerned with collecting protein-dense foods for the newly hatched offspring. However, after feeding the offspring, the workers start looking after themselves and do not need loads of protein. Most adult worker wasps’ diets consist of sweets; by this time of year, it is late summer and early fall.

Unfortunately, as the season begins to turn, food availability shrinks, and wasps have to get resourceful. Often, they will find leftovers in the trash, but anyone enjoying ice cream outside can invite a hungry wasp. People will try to wave a wasp away, making the wasp feel threatened and forced to sting and escape. Most wasp species are not aggressive on their own; they just perceive threats and react to them.

wasp eating watermelon be careful taking fruit away
an aggressive wasp stings woman's right hand
doctor treats when wasps stings start to swelling gets worse

Human Error

More often than not, wasps attack because humans accidentally provoke them. Most wasps species do not have a wide threshold for tolerating human interaction. Additionally, if humans are near the nest, they will likely be even more on edge. Wasps generally do not go out of their way to sting someone without a purpose, though these incidents do happen.

It is essential to understand that how we see wasps is not the same as they see us. Even a newborn human baby is much larger than a fully grown wasp, so to them, we are giants! Additionally, wasps live in nature and have different protection, food security, and tools for survival. Therefore, wasps need to react far more aggressively to potential threats that are larger and pose significant threats to their colonies.

open window and let wasp fly out be calm

Understanding Wasps

Many fear wasps, which is only natural because of their infamous stinging abilities. Unlike bees, which only sting once, wasps can repeatedly deliver stings without repercussions. People often see a single wasp and think they are in for it, but that is untrue.

Most wasps will only bother engaging with you once you actively bother them or the colony. However, there are some wasps and hornets that are far more aggressive but still rarely attack unprovoked. Mud Daubers will not engage even if you terrorize their mud nests; they are the ultimate pacifists.

The best approach to handling wasps is to leave them alone, and they will not bother you. However, a nest might be nearby if you see a lot of wasp traffic in one area all day.

paper wasp face

Aggressive Wasps Near Your Home

Understandably you do not want wasps in your yard or home, nor do you need to tolerate them. Unfortunately, kids and pets typically do not realize the potential threat they face when encountering a wasp nest. Getting attacked by a colony of wasps can lead to utter disaster and, worst-case scenario, a trip to the emergency room.

If you spot a wasp nest on or near your home, call Prime Pest Solutions immediately. We will dispatch a technician to your home and safely remove the nest so you can proceed to enjoy your home wasp worry-free.

More About Bees, Wasps, and Hornets

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