Perfect conditions creating abundance of wasps and hornets

(Western Mass News photo)

While we might not exactly enjoy this hot weather, entomologists said Monday it's the perfect conditions for hornets and yellow jackets.

It turns out that the weather this spring, in general, has been just right for the most common types of wasp and hornet species we have in western Massachusetts.

"This is a fully developed white faced hornet nest," said Bob Russell, an entomologist with American Pest Solutions.

We had a show-and-tell Monday with Russell.

"These guys are aggressive in defense of their nest and they will sting you very quickly," Russell explained.

Russell told Western Mass News that the weather this spring is perfect for the development of bees, wasps, and hornets.

"It was somewhat cool, a little damp, and moderate temperatures, which allowed queens in the early stages to develop nesting materials and get the larva going really well," Russell said.

A nest like that, in a short amount of time, can turn into a larger nest.

"In this region, you're going to see most common, the German yellow jacket and the white faced hornet. They can inflict a really painful sting, especially the white faced hornet," Russell noted.

The paper wasps, Russell said, are fairly docile.

"You'll find those underneath, on a sun side of a building, underneath the eves, the overhang, in the corner of a roof line you'll see. They're just an open faced cone. They're not enclosed like this," Russell explained.

While white faced hornets nests are fairly easy to spot, Russell said that the German yellow jackets are cavity nesters.

"They're using a chipmunk burrow or they're going into a cable TV line into your home and building a nest in a wall board or in a dormer edge of a roof-line," Russell said.

Look for what Russell called high traffic areas. "By July, you can actually see bees coming and going," he said.

Russell said to never, ever try to plug the hole of a nest.

"I caution you: do not close the opening if you do self-treat. Leave it open because if it's not effective or bees emerge post-treatment, they're going to end up in the house," Russell said.

While sprays can be effective, Russell warns these guys are fast-fliers and can quickly swarm any potential threat in seconds.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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