Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:45 am
Location: Washington Terrace, Utah, Zone 6a

Our linden has wasps. Shall I just ignore them?

We have confidently described the winged critters floating around one of our trees as a species of wasps. They've been here since early May... and haven't bothered anyone yet despite the fact Husband and I and two little ones are in the yard a lot. Frankly, they largely seem happy with the tree and occasionally heading out to our tomatoes.

Yet, being a mom, I'm rather terrified of having wasps in the yard (again, no threatening behavior yet.)

What are the pros/cons of just letting them be?

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:12 am
Location: central Ohio

Re: Our linden has wasps. Shall I just ignore them?

Knowing which species of wasp you have would be most helpful. Some are more aggressive than others. There are several docile species of wasp and a few aggressive species. In many species the young are fed small caterpillars or spiders. And some wasps are good pollinators. The fall is the worst time for wasps to become aggressive. The young females are protein hungry, building up reserves so they survive hibernation. Wasp colonies last only one year. The old ones die off with the first hard freeze leaving only young, fertilized females which must survive the winter to form new colonies in the spring. Some wasps are solitary, living alone and producing only a few young. Some of those look pretty nasty but are among the least aggressive wasps. The colony nesting wasps are the most aggressive of the family. And even then, mostly only when the colony is disturbed.

If you see a nest, most definitely keep the kids away from it. Teach them not to disturb the nest. And teach them not to catch wasps in their hands. You will get stung that way.

I don't mess with my wasps unless it's a colony species that is in a seriously inconvenient location or they show signs of extreme nest protection. Last summer I had a colony of yellow jackets under the deck. They didn't bother anyone. But a few years before we had a ground nest of wasps in the back yard. That one had to be eliminated.

Return to “Wildlife - Gardening with Local Critters in Mind”