Wasps - Humboldt County Pests

Wasp Identification:
Like ants, wasps have a small waist, making their other abdominal regions appear to balloon out. They use their wings as their main method of travel. The yellow jacket, common in California, has black and yellow stripes on its body. They are often at picnics or barbeque scavenging for food. There are two types of wasps, parasitic and predatory. Parasitic wasps lay their eggs within the body of a host, such as a spider, and once hatched the larvae feed on their host while they are still alive. Predatory wasps feed on other insects and animals. 
Wasps are capable of stinging humans, and will do so if threatened. They will staunchly defend their nests from any perceived attack, stinging or biting the attacker. Unlike honeybees, wasps can use their stingers multiple times.
Wasp Infestations:
These creatures commonly make themselves known around any food that they can find. Their nests can have colony members in the thousands. The females perform all duties within the nest itself. In the spring the queen starts a new nest, and the worker wasps forage for food, mainly protein, and also sugars. Numerous worker wasp sightings can be a sign of an infestation.