When Does Wasp Season End Around Chicago?

A bee landing on a white flower getting pollen
Contrary to popular belief, wasp season doesn’t end when summer does. In fact, bees, wasps, and hornets often become more active and more aggressive in the autumn, as they have to contend with colder weather and prepare to ride out the freezing Chicago winters. That means you’ll need to take measures to keep these stinging insects off your property well into the autumn. The good news is there’s plenty you can do.

Why Are Stinging Insects More Active In Fall?

Bees, hornets, and certain wasp varieties are stinging insects that live in a colony with a queen. When winter rolls around, these insects have to prepare their queen to get through the cold weather. Bees have stored honey all summer, and they’re preparing to ride out the winter on their food stores, using their bodies and vibrating wings as a shield to keep the queen warm. Wasps are a little different. Typically, the only wasps and hornets that survive the winter are females who are either queens or meant to become them.

All this makes bees and wasps cranky in autumn. Bees, especially, get more protective of their hives, as they know they’re out of time to replace their food stores, so they’re extra vigilant to protect their honey. On top of that, food sources start to dwindle as flowers die back and the last of the fall fruits is gobbled up. No wonder bees and wasps turn into a bunch of old grouches this time of year.

Carpenter bees can also experience an uptick in activity during the fall. Male and female carpenter bees who find mates will build nests together all summer. However, male carpenter bees who fail to find mates enter panic mode when winter begins to roll around because they do not have homes in which to nest. Male carpenter bees start looking for easy nesting sites to hide out during the winter. You may notice them crawling around searching for holes or cracks in your home’s exterior because they don't carve nests of their own. 

What Can I Do To Keep Stinging Insects Away From My Home?

Wasps and bees can be a dangerous bunch to have flying around your property, especially in the fall. Of course, anyone with an allergy to insect venom can be in mortal peril from even just one insect sting. However, many people don’t know that these aggressive pests can pose a threat to just about anyone. Enough bee or wasp stings can make even healthy adults sick. In rare cases, wasp or bee attacks can be fatal. For this reason, above all others, you’ll want to take measures like these to keep them away:

  • Remove food sources like ripe fruits, certain flowers, and hummingbird feeders from around your home.
  • Use wasp repelling plants close to your house, including basil, geranium, marigold, and mint.
  • Make sure all door and window screens are tight-fitting and free of holes.
  • Fill in holes or cracks in your home’s exterior to discourage carpenter bee activity.
  • Cover outdoor trashcans to hide food sources from less picky wasps like yellow jackets.
  • Keep brush and tree limbs trimmed back as far as possible to reduce spots for aerial wasps and bees to hang nests.
  • Call the experts. 

If you already have an active infestation, trying to get rid of it on your own can be dangerous – but it’s especially hazardous in the fall when wasps and bees are hungry and paranoid. Fortunately, there’s a better way. At Aerex Pest Control, our professional technicians are trained and equipped to remove bee and wasp infestations safely. And our ongoing programs for residential and commercial properties can give you peace of mind that they’ll never come back. So call us or visit our contact page to schedule your service!

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