It looks like we’ve finally hit winter here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, with temperatures dipping into the 40’s and low 50’s. It’s a nice break from the unseasonably warm weather and all those tropical storms! However, now we must be on the lookout for certain weather-sensitive insect home invaders. Just like us, their blood seems to thin, reacting to warmer temps than they would up north.
While some bugs prefer to burrow down and hibernate in these months, plenty of species don’t, like certain ants, roaches and our subjects today, yellow jackets and paper wasps.
During the hotter summer months, members of the Vespidae family are busy building their nests and feeding their broods. However, as the weather gets cooler, reproduction slows and food becomes more scarce. Because of the lack of food, wasp and yellow jacket nests die off. The nests are not reused after being abandoned, which is why you may see what appears to be duplicate nests in the eaves of your house.
Clocks Are Ticking
But the biological imperative of the flying stingers forces them to shift focus to birthing and preserving a new queen. This usually happens in the fall. And as the new queens’ internal clock prompts them, they will look for places to overwinter – even if a freeze doesn’t happen in their area.
Female wasps will look for safe haven under logs, between deck floor joists, inside chimneys and around the top of windows or door frames. Paper wasps in particular are notorious for finding small crevices near the roofline of homes and squeezing in. Then they hibernate in wall voids or attics.
You might have noticed some activity last month, but by now, the wasps are in a state of diapause. Diapause is a kind of a biological suspended animation. Some insects and certain mammals, like wallabies and mice, can enter it at will.
The wasps should leave once we hit the springtime but can become an issue if they linger in your house. The easiest way to prevent an insect incursion is to make sure all potential access points in your home are sealed.
The good news is that recommending sealing cracks is the first important step in our most popular solution here at Good News Pest Solutions. Our Go Green Perimeter Plus treats those entry points so they aren’t useable any more. Then we use the safest green treatments to eliminate bugs inside your home and make sure they don’t come back – all for a reasonable fee. For more information or to schedule your first appointment, please give us a call!