Controlling Hornets, Wasps, and Yellow Jackets in Vancouver, Washington

Ah, summer! Time for picnics with family and friends – and a host of rude, uninvited yellow and black flying party-crashers. Nothing ruins barbecued chicken faster than having to share it with a threatening yellow jacket, wasp, or hornet. Your fight or flight instincts kick in. But be warned. If you do decide to swat at the aerial terror, you run the risk of making it more likely to attack. Worse yet, social wasps don’t work alone; reinforcements are usually nearby.

In life we take the good with the bad. In summer that means beautiful weather also brings out stinging insects: bees, hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets. The good news is that all of these creatures are helpful for the environment. They prey on a lot of insects that humans consider pests. So they’re actually on our side. The less than good news is that they are all well armed and capable of defending themselves aggressively if they perceive the need. Their stings hurt for hours or even days! Worse yet, if you’re allergic to those stings, life-threatening danger accompanies the pain. In fact, more than a half million people visit the ER for insect stings each year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Although wasps and hornets may seem antagonistic, it’s important to understand that they attack to defend themselves or their homes. Wasps tend to be very territorial. Mainly they’re buzzing around looking for the same things we are: food and housing. It’s only when that food is also your food, and when they build their houses too near your house that the trouble starts.

That’s where hornet, wasp, and yellow jacket control comes in.

Identifying Your Stinging Bug is the First Step to Pest Control

Hornets, paper wasps and yellow jackets are all wasps. While they are members of Hymenoptera – the same order as bees – bees and wasps are different in several ways. Bees are pollinators; wasps are predators that eat other insects. (Many are also attracted to sugar as well, including plant nectar and your soda.) Bees pack more poison in a sting, but can only sting once; honeybees die after they sting. Wasps can sting multiple times, and they are more aggressive than bees. Honeybees, famously, live in hives where they make honey. Wasps, who have no wax making producing glands, make paper-like nests, mud nests, or burrow in the ground or holes in wood.

Hornets and Yellow Jackets: Know the Difference

Hornets and yellow jackets are closely related and can be easily mistaken. Both have the thin waists known as wasp waists, both are aggressive predators, and both are social wasps that live in colonies that grow larger as summer progresses. Hornets are larger than yellow jackets, however, and their bodies are more reddish-brown cast. They live in paper-like nests that they build from saliva and wood fiber and attach in sheltered areas, such as trees, eaves, and attics. They will very aggressively defend their nests, creating a problem if they build too close to human activity. In Vancouver you may find both European and Baldfaced hornets, though the latter is actually a wasp more akin to yellow jackets.

You can identify yellow jackets by their bright yellow and black bodies; they are smaller than hornets. Although both wasps like protein and sugar, yellow jackets are active scavengers, so if it’s after your hotdog or soda it’s probably a yellow jacket. Unlike Hornets, yellow jackets live in burrows in the ground or holes in walls. They are easily provoked and will often attack in force if their nest is disturbed. Paper wasps closely resemble yellow jackets.

Late Summer and Early Fall Wasp Infestations

Only wasp queens hibernate through the winter and begin the lonely work of rebuilding the colony each spring. As more wasps proceed from larval to adult stage, the colonies grow quickly from a few to thousands of wasps. That’s why there are more problems and stings in late August through early fall. If you see lots of adult hornets, yellow jackets or other wasps around your house it may be time to call in a pest control professional.

How We Control or Eliminate Hornets, Wasps and Yellow Jackets

At Antworks, we use an integrated pest management approach to eliminating wasps. Since they are social insects, we deal with them similarly to how we deal with ants. First we’ll do a thorough inspection to determine which type of wasp infestation you have, as well as to discover where the nest or burrow is, if you don’t already know. We’ll do an assessment of your yard to remove any sources of food that may be attracting the wasps – fallen fruit or an improperly sealed trash can. We’ll also look for any ingresses into your house that the wasps may be using, and treat them. If necessary, we can remove nests, or eliminate any wasp nests within your walls, crawl spaces, basement or attic using a highly effective, one-time treatment that is easy on the environment.

Need to Get Rid of Hornets, Yellow Jackets, or Wasps? Call Us!

Wasps colonies are growing in August; they’ll be with us till the weather turns cool in fall. Call us today to have a wasp-free late summer and autumn: 855-268-9675 (855-ANTWORK).

5 Ways Pest Problems Can Cost You Money

When it comes to pest infestations in the home or at work contracting a trained professional early on means you won’t be forced to spend countless dollars further down the line.

Cover image: Roach House Burn; The San Francisco Globe, 2017

Question: what’s more likely to make a dent in your day? Knowing you have a pest infestation or knowing that pest has caused hundreds of grands’ worth of damage to your property or business? Read on and you’ll get a taste of what can happen if you don’t act fast at the first signs of trouble and how finding a worthwhile exterminator in Vancouver, Washington will save you a big headache.

1 Businesses and economy

The Centre for Economics and Business Research reported back in 2015 that pest issues in all US industry sectors were responsible for an increase in $52 million of operating costs and $10.2 billion in lost revenue. The latter was made up of damage to reputation and compensation while the increase came from, “Maintenance and repair costs, costs of replacing damaged finished goods, and the impact on staff morale due to pest infestation.”

2 Agriculture

Image cite:

Farming has always been adversely affected by pests such as rodents and insects. Generally speaking the major impact is to crop output. Economists agree that insects consume or destroy around 10% of arable farm produce every year in the USA. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service vertebrate pests alone are responsible for an estimated $944 million in crop damage annually.

3 The home

A report by the University of Georgia in 2004 makes for interesting reading in relation to how inadequate pest control and home defense can weigh heavy on homeowner’s and tenants. All across the States, homeowners spend a fortune repairing damage caused by pests and much of it is avoidable.

According to each year termites and similar pests cause an estimated $5 billion in damage to man-made structures across the nation and warn that, “A significant portion of homes in Vancouver WA will suffer a severe termite infestation.”

4 Personal sickness

Image cite: Free Hoster

Another big pay-out annually for people who come into contact with insects and rodents comes in the shape of medical fees. The financial impact to the individual is unknown but probably significant. And as well as paying out for such things as treatment for wasp and bee stings, bed bug and flea bites or allergies associated with rodents, the loss of income from days away from work only adds to the problem.

5 Morale and psychology

Physical effects are not everything. A young woman from South Vancouver who suffered a bed bug infestation admitted to it, “seriously affecting her work and her emotions.” And some people develop debilitating phobias which can lead to therapy even after the extermination of the pests. Similarly, on the effects of pest infestation at work CEBR found that, “The most common channel in which impacts were felt by businesses concerns staff morale”.

With summer upon us and a rise in insect numbers expected in Washington State it is essential your home defense and workplace contingencies are up to speed and current for the types of pest around. Delay calling upon your reputable Vancouver exterminator and the consequences are all too apparent.

Homeowners Pests Guide to Prepare for the Summer

A lot has been written about home and garden pests on Antworks Pest Control blog, and with new Spring and Summer season ahead, it is time to refresh our knowledge and keep our home and garden pest free (as much as possible).

Here are some of our tips and tricks on how to keep ants and other pests away. Hope you will find them useful! 🙂

INFOGRAPHIC – The Ultimate Guide to Pest Control

Pest Invasion in your garden can be very stressing and disgusting especially when they start eating the leaves of your trees and destroy the image of your garden. Learn how to fight pests with Reliable Pest Control Methods You Can Use.

If you are one of those who prefers Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Methods, try reading this blog post – How to DIY Pest Extermination at Home.

Ant Exterminator Services – The Things to Consider.

Here are also some interesting facts about bugs and their new role in our culture:

Insect-eating has become popular worldwide and if you are interested in learning more, you can find out here – Bug Eaters of the World Unite.

If you’re one of the 6% of Americans who suffers from acute insectophobia, then do not read this postThe Ubiquitous Bug.

Humanity considers ants to be pests, and some nasty ones at that. And sure, ants are not good in the home of any person, but they can be extremely useful in nature. The question is –  Are ants dangerous or should we protect them?

Signs of Pests in Your House

Pests at home and work: See the signs, take precautions!

By understanding why pests come into your living space you can take necessary steps to prevent infestation.


Cellar Temptations: Dark, damp, cardboard and other material, vents to the outside world.

Silverfish Signs and Symptoms: Holes in wallpaper or cardboard boxes, chewed clothing, and visible.

Spiders Signs and Symptoms: Webs, egg sacs, and sometimes visible.

Other pests:




1st floor kitchen Temptations: Warm and cluttered; garbage, food, water, people, pets.

Cockroaches Signs and Symptoms: Droppings, carcasses, egg cases, musty type of smell, sometimes visible.

Other pests:






1st floor lounge Temptations: Warm, with people, pets.

Ants Signs and Symptoms: Small mounds of earth and holes at the foot of external walls, ant trails, and visible. Sounds of scuttling in wall cavities and activity around rotten wood.

Other pests:




2nd floor bedroom Temptations: Warm, with people, pets …and a bed!

Bedbugs Signs and Symptoms: Rows of itchy lumps on your shoulders and arms, tiny blood stains on sheets and mattresses, sometimes visible.

Other pests:



2nd floor bathroom Temptations: Warm, damp, vents to the outside world, people, pets.

Fleas Signs and Symptoms: Itchy bites or rashes on your feet and legs, pets scratching more than usual resulting in red skin under the fur, sometimes visible.

Other pests:



Wall cavity Temptations: Dark, warm, woody, pulpy, vents to the outside world.

Termites Signs and Symptoms: Swarms in springtime, hollow-sounding wood walls, unexplained structural damage, mud tubes on external walls and piles of discarded wings.

Other pests:



Attic Temptations: Dark, warm, woody, pulpy, vents to the outside world.

Rodents Signs and Symptoms: Scratching in walls or ceiling under the attic, ammonia type of smell, visible droppings, gnawed furniture and insulation.

Other pests:


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