We see wasps populate our yards each season, building large nests on trees, under porches, on our homes, and even underground! Wasp populations seem to increase yearly, but do they really multiply?
How long do wasps live, and should you worry about an evergrowing infestation?
Keep reading to learn more about a wasp’s lifespan and when you can expect wasp populations to die down.
We all have to start somewhere!
An established wasp queen produces reproductive members every mating season, eventually leaving the hive to mate. Females and males meet in the air to reproduce, with the male eventually dying soon after.
These pests will begin to create a new wasp colony following fertilization. Because most insects, wasps included, can’t survive frigid winter temperatures, the queen wasps will hibernate until the spring.
Once the temperatures grow warmer, the queen wasp will exit her overwinter hiding spot and begin crafting her new hive. After giving birth to her first set of children, these pests will mature and take over all the hard work, allowing the queen to focus solely on reproduction.
All wasps start as an egg, closely nestled in the hive’s small paper cells. Eggs only take a few days to hatch, allowing the swiftly developing larvae to sneak out and begin feeding on whatever the worker wasps bring to eat.
Wasp larvae may develop in two weeks or longer. Once they’ve reached their maturation point, they will transform into their pupae phase. As they grow, they will consume copious amounts of food to help supplement their growth.
Pupae look similar to their adult forms, usually encased in a silk covering to protect themselves as they develop. Around two weeks later, the mature wasps will eventually emerge either as workers or reproduction members.
But how long can these pests survive once they reach their adult forms?
So, how long do wasps live once they grow up?
Unlike other pests, wasps don’t live much longer than a season. Certain spider species can live a year or longer, while some ant queens can live multiple years while creating large colonies!
However, wasps aren’t as lucky. Most workers can only live up to a few weeks at a time. Because the queen constantly reproduces new members every day, she makes up for the death of her young with new hands–err, legs, on deck.
Once the wintertime chill begins, wasps lose most of their food sources. While they can creep through our trash and feast on the food at your backyard outings, the flowers and greenery that keep them sustained are primarily gone.
Because of their lack of food, these pests get highly aggressive, turning on you to find their next meal. If they can survive the fall with enough food, they may only last for a while into the freezing winter.
Wasps aren’t built for colder climates; their hives will freeze whenever the temperatures grow too cold during the day. Even underground wasp hives will fall victim to the elements as the ground frosts.
In warmer climates, where flowers can grow throughout the year, and insect populations stay high, wasps may last slightly longer. So, how long do wasps live in humid and hot places?
Surprisingly, not much longer either!
Wasp queens can live up to a year at a time in perfect conditions. Think of how many eggs she could lay in that time! Thankfully, most wasp infestations won’t last this long, and workers only survive a few weeks at a time.
While their lifespans are short, wasps can cause spring and fall problems. Besides their unsightly nests, yellow jackets, hornets, and paper wasps are dangerous seasonal guests that you’ll need to remove swiftly.
Whenever you have a wasp infestation in your home or yard, you’ll want to act fast to eliminate any chances of growing pest problems.
While we don’t recommend you attempt removing the hive on your own, we do have some tips that may help prevent future infestations from breaking out and keep current populations at bay.
Start by removing any easily accessible trash on your property and unattended food. Wasps may consume any leftover fruits you have from a backyard barbeque or picnic, so avoid leaving anything out these pests may consume!
Maturing larvae need sufficient nutrients to survive, so worker wasps regularly find insects to support their growth. If you have meat outdoors or inside your garbage cans, they’ll sneak a piece to take back to the hive.
Remember to clean up after outdoor parties and keep your garbage in a secure can with a tightly closing lid. No one wants to deal with a wasp nest whenever they go outside to throw away their trash!
Reducing the number of standing water sources in your yard will also decrease the number of wasps hanging around. Birdbaths and rainwater buckets are not only hotspots for mosquitoes; they’ll also attract wasps who need water to survive.
For extensive wasp removal processes, don’t attempt to remove these pests alone. Wasps are highly aggressive creatures and only become more hostile when nearing the end of their lifespan. If you have wasps in your yard, it’s time to call in the professionals!
Here at Zunex Pest Control, we can swiftly remove the wasps in or around your home, keeping you and your family safe from these dangerous stinging pests.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment! Our trained technicians will be proud to assist with any common Washington pests you may encounter in your home.