Wasps are insects that belong to the Hymenoptera order and are centripetal. Wasps unlike bees have minimal hair and are very brightly colored. Species belonging to the Vespidae family are of health interest.
Wasps of the family Vespidae are about 10–20mm long when in bloom. Their biological cycle is completed in about two months. They are insects with complete metamorphosis (egg – larva – nymph – adult). Larvae develop over a period of a few weeks. Larvae weave “cocoons” and pupae develop into adult insects within two weeks. They are social insects that form colonies inside nests, which are often tens of centimeters in diameter.
They are usually found in gaps in roofs or in cavities in walls and trees. Colonies usually only survive for one year, but may number several thousand individuals by the end of summer. They have a wide range of food preferences, both of plant and animal origin, but are particularly attracted to foods with a high sugar content.
Although they feed on other pests (flies, caterpillars, etc.) they also act as parasites. When gathering wood materials for nest building, they may chew through and damage timbers in fences and buildings. They remove the bark from the trees, causing the branches and young shoots to wither, while in late summer they can cause significant damage to fruit crops. They are also an enemy for bees.
When they build nests in high traffic areas or near homes they can be a problem, and a percentage of people are likely to have a dangerous allergic reaction to the bites.
Prevention: Improving the sealing of the area (closed windows or windows with screens, repair of damages, air curtains, etc.) as well as a good cleaning program to limit finding food.
Treatment: Outdoors it is recommended to spray and destroy the wasp nest as well as use food attractant traps. The use of electric insect traps is recommended indoors.
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