While wasps help to control the insect population and are pollinators, they are not a desirable species in great numbers. A nest built on or close to any Bristol home or office may actually be dangerous because of this pest's propensity for delivering multiple stings.

Common species like the bald-faced hornet, paper wasp, yellow jacket and cicada killer wasp all can be controlled by a licensed pest control provider.


The bald-faced hornet may measure from one-half to three-quarters of an inch. With the white markings on their faces, they are distinctive. In contrast, their bodies are black.

Paper wasps are similarly sized at about three-quarters of an inch long. Their narrow bodies are brown with black and yellow wings.

Yellow jackets are slightly smaller, and their black-and-yellow stripes make them relatively easy to identify.

Cicada killer wasps are the largest wasp species in the area, with some individuals reaching one-and-a-half inches in length. However, their black-and-yellow coloring is similar to other species.


Flies, earwigs, mosquitoes and other well-known pests frequently are consumed. Bees also may be eaten.

Other staple items in the wasp diet include honey and nectar. The cicada killer wasp rarely eats insects, focusing on nectar. Their name comes from their habit of hunting and killing cicadas, which are transported back to the wasp's nest as a meal for offspring.

Human foods like meat, sodas, sauces, dressings and desserts all are sought by wasps. Pet food similarly is attractive.


Paper wasps, bald-faced hornets and yellow jackets are social wasps that live in colonies. Cicada killer wasps are solitary. These preferences determine the habitat in which the wasp lives.

The paper wasp's nest looks like an upside-down umbrella. Typically found hanging from the eaves, a lamp post, a tree or a door frame, the nest has no outer covering.

Similarly, bald-faced hornets prefer to place their nest in an elevated location. These nests are approximately the size of a basketball and look as if they are made of paper.

Underground nests are preferred by yellow jackets. A stairwell or the space beneath a staircase are likely nesting locations.

Cicada killer wasps build small nests in bare ground. This is because this species burrows into the ground to build a nest.


When a wasp nest is built on the exterior of a building or too close to a human habitation, it makes it difficult for people to enjoy the outdoors. Picnics and barbecues become dangerous. Depending upon where the nest is placed, it may prove hazardous to walk out the front door or to get into a car that is parked outside.

Many people fear wasps, and they do not like the idea of sharing close quarters with them. Considering the possibility of stings occurring, and the potential health hazards that are posed by these attacks, it is sensible to seek wasp control without delay.


Wasps are mainly active during the daylight hours when they forage for food and work to build their nests. Extremely territorial, stinging incidents frequently happen when people unknowingly wander too close to a wasp nest. When an individual wasp is alarmed, it emits a pheromone that immediately informs other colony members about the danger. This can incite several wasps to attack a victim at once, which can be quite dangerous even for someone who is not otherwise allergic to bee or wasp stings.


Wasps are not known to transmit any illnesses to people. Nonetheless, they can be responsible for serious health issues. Most stings are painful but essentially harmless. A bit of redness, stinging and swelling typically are the only symptoms, and these subside after a few hours.

People who are more sensitive to a wasp sting may suffer from a large location reaction. Characterized by extreme swelling and vomiting, such reactions generally are not life threatening, though they may continue for two or three days.

Individuals who are extremely allergic to wasp stings may go into a condition called anaphylaxis. With symptoms like dizziness, low blood pressure, stomach cramps, diarrhea and complications with breathing and swallowing, it is vital that the victim get immediate medical attention.


Indications of a wasp control problem include:

Being constantly harassed by flying insects when eating outdoors
Multiple stinging incidents occurring in a short period of time
Seeing several wasps congregating under the eaves or elsewhere close to a structure
Frequently experiencing aggressive behavior from insects when venturing outdoors
Spotting the early stages of wasp nest construction hanging from eaves or a tree branch


To help avoid wasp control issues the following precautions should be taken:

Locate and seal all cracks and openings in building exteriors
Repair plumbing and irrigation system leaks as soon as they are discovered
Use tight lids on all garbage cans
Regularly clean garbage cans to remove traces of food
Conduct inspections of building exteriors for signs of new nest construction
Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible
If doors or windows are kept open, cover them with screens


A close encounter with a wasp nest can be a dangerous thing, even for someone who is not normally allergic to insect stings. This is because wasps tend to be extremely territorial, and other members of the colony are quickly and easily alerted to any sign of danger, which makes it likely that a person will be stung by multiple wasps.

If you find that your home or business is housing a wasp’s nest, you will want to call an expert pest control provider immediately. Wasps can be aggressive and dangerous, and trying to eradicate them on your own can prove harmful and ineffective.
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