Four Simple Ways To Keep Hornets & Wasps Away From Your Chicago Property
July 14, 2021
No matter how much vigor and enthusiasm you may have for the warmer months of the year, it can all be snuffed out in an instant if stinging insects decide to infest your Chicago property. Wasps and hornets are incredibly dangerous summertime pests, especially if you have an allergy. Even though they're important to the environment, they can still create a lot of chaos in domestic areas, so it's crucial for you to know how to keep them out of your yard this summer.
Wasps And Hornets In Chicago
Interestingly enough, the stinging insects that we consider to be hornets in the United States aren't actually hornets at all; instead, they're subspecies of wasps. There's only one true hornet species in North America, and that's the European hornet. Thankfully, they haven't quite made it to Chicago neighborhoods yet, but these wasps have:
- Paper wasps – Coloring varies between orange, reddish brown, to dark red, and can also be red and yellow striped. They grow between ½ to 1 ½ inches long, and build aerial nests made of paper-like material.
- Mud daubers – More often monochrome black or metallic blue, they can also have black and yellow stripes. They have a long, slender waists, grow to roughly ½ to one inch in length, and build solitary mud tubes in sheltered areas.
- Bald-faced hornets – Black with pale yellow to white markings, these insects have much stockier builds than their other wasp relatives. They grow between ¾ to one inch long, and build aerial paper-like nests similar to paper wasps.
- Yellow jackets – Most commonly recognized wasp with their black and yellow striped patterns, these wasps only grow to about ½ of an inch long. They nest in the ground, hollowed out trees, fallen logs, and within wall cavities.
Prevention Step One: Proper Landscaping
Lawn care and landscaping are key when trying to keep stinging insects away from your Chicago property. Wasps have a wide variety of preferable housing accommodations, from underground to high in the canopies of trees, so making your yard less attractive to new inhabitants is the best first step in wasp prevention:
- Trim back overhanging tree branches and overgrown bushes
- Fill in any ground holes and old rodent nests
- If possible, plant any fruit trees far away from the perimeter of your home
- Plant flowering gardens away from your home
- Avoid planting too many flowering plants, and consider incorporating wasp-deterring plants; citronella, pennyroyal, wormwood, eucalyptus, marigold, and basil and cucumber for vegetable gardens
- Remove old wood and brush piles from your property
- Try not to over-water your garden and lawn
Prevention Step Two: Proper Food And Trash Storage
Wasps enjoy a bounty of different foods, from plant nectar and sweets to garden pests and proteins. They could be attracted to your Chicago property because of a harmful garden pest infestation, but they could also be attracted because of soda cans, sugary snack wrappers, barbecue grills, and open outdoor garbage cans. To combat this, always make sure outdoor eating areas are cleaned properly after consumption, and implement tight-fitting lids on all trash cans that are left outside.
Prevention Step Three: House Maintenance
Most species of wasps prefer more natural habitations, but some will even nest inside of wall cavities if there are any easy access points. This includes holes in siding, roof, and trim, cracks in the foundation, and gaps between pipes and wires. Regular home maintenance and repairs are crucial to keeping wasps outside; a house infestation is much, much worse than a yard infestation.
Prevention Step Four: Your Local Pest Control Company
Sometimes, even the best preventative measures aren't enough to keep pest infestations away, and that's okay! The most important thing to remember is that there are professionals who can help, like our pest professionals at Aerex Pest Control. We have specially formulated pesticides and treatments that are specifically intended for these types of infestations, and we offer extra preventative measures to ensure your Chicago home stays pest-free. So get in contact with us today, and get back to enjoying some fun in the sun.