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Wasps  RSS feed

 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I don't know that anyone else will find this interesting, but I may have a new pet. There's a large black wasp (with yellow bands) that keeps flying into my bedroom. I know it's the same one because it's learning. The first time I pulled back my curtain for the sunlight to guide it out, it ran smack into the window. Now it flies behind the curtain, turns ninety degrees, flies along the window pane, and the turns again to go out the opening.

That's it. Flies into my room, circles and leaves when I pull the curtain open. This happens several times a day. I don't know what it thinks it will find here. I've already checked to be sure it's not building a nest.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9740
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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It may be thinking about building a nest.

We're pretty tolerant of wasps unless they build a nest right by a door or in a workspace in the shop. Corners of the shop are fine. Mud wasps built a nest in the shop air conditioner and we still haven't cleaned it out. Tolerant - or lazy - who can say?

 
Su Ba
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I leave wasps pretty much alone. They have a place in my ecology here. The only time I remove a nest is if it's in a location where they might get defensive and sting me. But I'll remove those nests early on so that the colony goes and finds a different location some place else. I know of neighbors who kill every wasp they see, but I don't see the sense of that. Unless I'm messing around their nest, they pretty much leave me alone.

I have yellowjackets that always show up when we slaughter a pig or something. And of course, so do the carrion flies. What's pretty cool is watching the yellowjackets hunt the flies and capture them. Once they get one, they'll invariably turn it facing the same way they are before taking off with it. Since the wasps and flies can't reach the meat that's inside the screen house where I'm working with the carcass, the wasps turn around and harvest the flies for their food. Cool!

I've have had problems with yellowjackets hunting my honeybees, especially during a drought year. I solve that problem by putting out some scraps for the wasps. Then they appear to leave the bees alone and go for the easier meal. Only one time did I resort to using a trap to reduce the wasp population near the bee hives. It was a drought year and the wasps were pretty active. So I used a yellowjacket trap, using no poison. At the end of the day I'd pop it into the freezer to kill the wasps, then feed them to the chickens for breakfast. It didn't take too long to bring the yellowjacket population back into balance.
 
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