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Wasps, commonly misidentified as hornets, can vary in colour but are bald with little to no hair or fuzz. They can excavate a nest in the ground or build a nest out of various materials, but they never create wax like honeybees do. They tend to be very protective of their nests which can make them aggressive. Wasps are mostly predatory and carnivorous but adults will consume small amounts of nectar. They do not pollinate and do not lose their stinger so can sting multiple times without harm to themselves. This results in more venom passed to the victim, which is why wasp stings hurt so much more than bee stings and most allergies are related to a species of wasp instead of bees.
Wasps can do slight damage by chewing, you can see in the photo to the left a small area where they have chewed the wood at the entrance to their colony. This is important because if you notice a hole they are using for access and just seal it, trapping some inside, they could chew their way in (or out) creating more damage. Since wasps are not beneficial pollinators, you don’t have to feel guilty about eradicating their colonies from your property. Just make sure you can do so without getting stung. If you don't want to chance it, go with the pros. We have protective equipment and clothing (though we rarely wear bee suits for wasp treatments - we've learned how to do it while staying out of their way) and access to quicker, safer and more reliable products. When we treat wasps, that nest or colony is guaranteed and the price depends on location, ease of access and size of the nest.
Keeping wasps away is tricky. The deterrents that look like paper nests are supposed to work if they are installed early in the spring before wasps start building their nests. If wasps have already started building a nest, they will not stop. Of course, the deterrents won’t stop ground nesters or other types of wasps. Traps can be purchased or made to capture adult wasps and will slowly minimize the population. When making a lure for wasps, mix 1 part water to 3 parts sugar and add a small amount of vinegar so as not to attract bees to the trap.