Wasps and bees can be a serious nuisance problem, particularly late in the summer when certain yellow jacket wasps forage at garbage and outdoor food areas. In overall balance, however, these insects are beneficial in their activities, particularly as predators of pest insects and as pollinators. It is important to distinguish between the various wasps and bees because their potential as problems and their control differ.


Several wasps are social insects that produce a colony. Colonies begin a new each spring, initiated by a single fertilized female (queen) that has survived winter. The social wasps construct their nest of paper, which they produce by chewing on wood, scraps of paper and cardboard.

Social wasp colonies are very small early in the season, but expand rapidly through the summer as more wasps are raised that assist in colony development. By the end of summer, a colony may include dozens, or even several hundred, individuals. Some wasps reared at the end of the season are fertile females (potential queens) and a few males. In fall, colonies are abandoned, never to be reused, and the fertilized females scatter to find protection during winter. The remaining members of the colony perish with cold weather.

Most social wasps rear their young on a diet of live insects. Several types of social wasps are important in controlling insect pests such as caterpillars. An exception to this is the western yellow jacket, which primarily scavenges dead insects, earthworms and other carrion, including garbage. This scavenging habit is usually why yellow jackets become serious nuisance problems. Male wasps occasionally visit flowers to feed on nectar, however, social wasps are generally not important plant pollinators.

All social wasps are capable of producing a painful sting but none leave the stinger embedded, as do honey bee workers. Most stings occur when the colony is accidentally disturbed.

Wasp and hornet control in Redmond service is offered by the experts of Ampm Exterminators. Hornet Pests produce large, conspicuous grayish paper nests in trees, shrubs and under building eaves. The most common species is the baldfaced hornet which is stout-bodied and marked with dark and white striping. Hornets feed their young live insects and do not share the scavenging habit of yellow jackets. Nests often attract attention because of their large size, but hornets rarely sting unless the colony is seriously disturbed.

Paper wasps make paper, open cell nests which are not covered by a papery envelope. Often these nests are produced under building overhangs.

European paper wasp , will also nest in small cavities in the sides of buildings, within metal gutters and poles, outdoor grills, and similar items. Paper wasps are more slender-bodied than other social wasps. Most native paper wasps are reddish-brown and marked with yellow, but the European paper wasp is marked with shiny black and yellow, allowing it to be easily mistaken for a yellow jacket.

Paper wasps are beneficial predators of caterpillars and other insects and do not scavenge. However, the habit of the European paper wasp to nest in many locations around a yard has greatly increased the incidence of stings associated with this group of wasps.

Mud dauber wasp group is named for the nests that are made from mud collected by the females. Mud is rolled into a ball, carried to the nest and molded into place with the wasp’s mandibles. There are three different wasps that practice this behavior. The black and yellow mud dauber builds a series of cylindrical cells that are eventually plastered over with mud to form a smooth mud nest about the size of a fist. The organ-pipe mud dauber, a more robust, black species, builds cylindrical tubes resembling pipe-organ pipes. The third species is a beautiful metallic-blue wasp with blue wings. This one does not build its own mud nest but instead uses the abandoned nests of the black and yellow mud dauber.

Yellow jacket control service is provided by Ampm Exterminators. Yellow Jackets are banded yellow or orange and black and are commonly mistaken for honey bees, but they lack the hairy body and are more intensely colored. Yellow jackets typically nest underground using existing hollows. Occasionally nests can be found in dark, enclosed areas of a building, such as crawl spaces or wall voids.

Nests are enclosed in a paper envelope, but they are not exposed nor observed unless excavated. The nest entrance is small and inconspicuous. Colonies are readily defended and yellow jackets will sting when the nest area is disturbed.

Western yellow jacket  is, by far, the most important stinging insect. Late in the season, when colonies may include up to 200 individuals, they become serious nuisance pests around outdoor sources of food or garbage. The western yellow jacket is estimated to cause at least 90 percent of the “bee stings” .


Insect Control Tips: How to Get Rid of Yellow Jackets, Nests

Ampm exterminators know effective methods for getting rid of yellow jackets, how to get rid of yellow jacket nests, and preventing yellow jackets from building future nests in the same location.

We take many precautions in order to protect you and your family from getting stung.

What Causes Insect Bites and Stings?

Insect bites nd stings occur when an insect is agitated and seeks to defend itself through its natural defense mechanisms, or when an insect seeks to feed off the bitten person. Some insects inject formic acid, which can cause an immediate skin reaction often resulting in redness and swelling in the injured area. The sting from fire ants, bees, wasps and hornets are usually painful, and may stimulate a dangerous allergic reaction called anaphylaxis for at-risk patients, and some wasps can also have a powerful bite along with a sting. Bites from mosquitoes and fleas are more likely to cause itching than pain.

The skin reaction to insect bites and stings usually lasts for up to a few days. However, in some cases the local reaction can last for up to two years. These bites are sometimes misdiagnosed as other types of benign or cancerous lesions.

Signs and Symptoms of an Insect Sting or Bite

The reaction to a sting usually has three elements. The normal reaction involves the area around the bite with redness, itchiness, and pain. A large local reaction occur when the area of swelling is greater than 5 cm. Systemic reactions are when symptoms occur in areas besides that of the bites.