Worrying about wasps during the day is a headache. Especially if you often enjoy sugary foods which wasps are attracted to. You may be wondering if you can avoid the wasps all together by becoming a night owl? Luckily for you…
No, wasps generally don’t attack at night, and they are less active after dark. They stay in their nests either tending to their offspring or taking care of their nests.
Can a Wasp Sting You at Night?
Similar to humans, wasps are busy during the day and tend to their homes at night. While they are less active, it doesn’t mean they’re sleeping through the night. You can also expect wasps to be dormant during the winter months. The cold weather slows down their bodily systems; the worker wasps become sluggish, so they take advantage of the warmer weather during the day to work hard.
But apart from the lack of sunlight and temperature, wasps like to tend to their nests and young at night, too. Wasps treat each other like family. Even if a baby wasp is born out of a different mother wasp, they’ll still care for each other.
One of the ways to ensure that young wasps can grow healthy and contribute to the colony is to nourish them with food. Since baby wasps cannot fly out yet, the adult wasps spend so much time outside the nests during the day foraging for food they can bring home. At night, the mother wasps make sure the baby wasps are feeding well, which is why they don’t go out as often as they do during the day.
What do wasps eat exactly? The diet of wasps varies. Social wasps like feeding on nectar from flowers or feed on fruits that have fallen from trees. However, there are young wasps that are carnivorous already. They are called solitary or parasitoid wasps. What they do is they find insects like a spider, paralyze it, and then bring it back to the nest for the young to feasts on. Meanwhile, potter and sand wasps like finding caterpillars, flies, and spiders to give to their carnivorous offspring.
However, if you do see a wasp-like creature flying at night, then that’s probably a European hornet, a type of wasp. While it looks similar to a wasp, they are distinct from each other. Hornets are bigger than wasps, and they have a reddish-brown color on their bodies. In terms of activity, hornets are always active during day and night. They love the light both natural and artificial. They rest early in the morning before sunrise and are up and running again once the sun rises.
Unfortunately, hornets are more aggressive than wasps and can attack you even if they’re not provoked. They can even sting repeatedly. So at night, if you see an insect that looks like a wasp, you are better off staying away from it.
Why Do Wasps Attack and What to Do If They Do?
While there is very little chance that you’ll get stung by a wasp at night, it is still very important to know what you can do when a wasp attacks you, especially during daytime. Wasps can get pretty aggressive, too.
But first, you have to know why wasps attack people in the first place? The fact is, wasps are territorial insects. They will protect their nests and offspring at all cost. If they feel like you’re too close to their home or have actually disturbed their nests, they will not hesitate one bit to attack you.
Worse, wasps swarm when they feel they’re threatened. They have soldier wasps that actually stay at the opening of their nests to check for any incoming and possible threats. If the soldiers feel a threat is nearby, they will alert the colony through sending out pheromones. This will alert and force the colony to take action, swarm out of the nest, and defend their home. It is important to note that swarming wasps will sting repeatedly until the enemy is dead or has retreated.
So how do you know if a wasp is about to attack you? For one, you threatened its nest, like tried to remove it. Another is when you attack a wasp deliberately. Any form of provocation can make a wasp or a group of wasps attack you. Now if you accidentally hit a nest or a wasp and feel like you’ve angered it, these are the things you should do:
- If a wasp or a group of wasps is approaching, start moving slowly away from before running as fast as you can.
- Wasps like to attack the head and face so protect these areas first.
- Run in a straight line and keep your arms on your side. Swinging your arms will make it more aggressive.
- Relax, don’t panic. When you’re moving or running, the wasp may feel more provoked.
- Run to an enclosed space where the wasp can’t enter.
If you are stung, seek medical attention right away. Wasps release venom when they sting and this can be very dangerous for people who have wasp sting allergies. Don’t ignore it.
How Can You Avoid Wasp Attacks?
Apart from not intentionally angering a wasp, there are other safety precautions you can take to avoid a wasp attack. Take note of these:
- Wasps can be attracted to strong scents and fragrances. Don’t wear cologne or any scented material if you’re in an area where wasps might be living.
- Bright colors and patterns can also trigger wasps. Only wear plain and light-colored clothes in wasp-infested areas.
- Don’t swing your hand at it if it’s hovering around you or landed on your skin. Sometimes, the wasp wants to get water from your sweat or just smell you. Let them be because they’ll leave eventually. If they don’t, use something that can help shoo it away but be very gentle.
- Before swimming in pools, check if there are wasps on the water surface. Remove them before jumping in.
- Always be observant of the places you’re going to. If you see flying insects in the area, be careful with the things you touch or step on.
- Wasps like sweet things so make sure to properly dispose of food and beverages, especially cans and bottles of sweet juices and sodas.
- Keep your home, garden, backyard clean and tidy.
- If you’re going to a garden or farm, always wear shoes, hat, and long sleeve tops if possible. These clothing items will immediately protect you from any attack.
The bottom line is if you don’t want to be attacked, don’t mess with their home, young, and their business.
Dealing with a Wasp Nest in Your Property
A good way to ensure not getting stung by a wasp is to remove any wasp nest in your property. This is not an easy thing to do, and it can be deadly for the untrained. As mentioned, wasps can swarm and attack you if they feel their nest is threatened. Moving their nests is a form of a threat, which is why doing it is very dangerous.
But do you actually have one at home? You can check yourself. Wasps like to build their nests in sheltered places, one that is usually high up. Being high off the ground protects them from environmental elements like rain and can keep them away from potential predators as well.
A good sign to check if wasps are building a nest inside or around your home is if you see tiny scratches or holes in wooden furniture, fences, stairs, or anything made of wood. This means they are collecting and gathering materials to build their nest already.
What do they look like? Like bees, wasps are phenomenal when it comes to building their nests. They make great use of space and different materials. Now different types of wasps have specific nest preferences. Paper wasps like building a spherical ball-shaped nest with the exterior looking like its gray paper pasted together. Another nest design is the one with hexagonal-shaped cells, which look very similar to beehives.
In the house, you can find them in the attics, in the walls, and underneath the windows and eaves. Outside the house, they tend to build their nests in woodpiles, hollow logs, tree branches, or any untouched debris or equipment.
How do wasps get inside the house anyway? They’re pretty sneaky insects so they’ll take any opportunity they can like open doors, windows, and even holes on window screens. Even holes in the walls is a perfect opportunity for them to go inside and built nests within the wall cavities. If your roof has tiny holes, they’ll most likely go in and build a nest in the attic.
It is horrific to even think about having aggressive wasps living with you in your home, but it does happen more often than you think. Yet, there are ways to wasp-proof your home. Here’s what you can do:
- Seal all the windows. Put screens if you can and make sure there are no gaping holes where wasps can get through.
- Close your windows and doors at all times if you know there are wasps flying in the area. This is especially true during the summer when wasps are highly active.
- Throw away any debris, unused wood and equipment, hollow logs, or anything a wasp can build a nest on.
- Trim the grass.
In the unfortunate event that you already have wasps living inside your home, you have no choice but to remove them. Don’t be tempted to climb up a ladder and move the wasp’s nest yourself. That’s a dangerous move and one that you might pay for. Never give wasps a reason to attack or sting you. Instead, call a local professional pest control service to get rid of the nest for you safely and surely.