A wasp moth is a member of the moth family that imitates wasps in order to avoid predators. It takes on the black, yellow and red wasp coloring, and it has a clear wing. They look so much like wasps that it can be hard to tell the difference at first glance. A wasp moth does not sting or bite; it simply tries to look like it might so that birds and other predators won’t hunt it out of fear of being injured by the sting. Wasp moths even fly during the day, and they can emit a buzzing sound to make themselves even more convincing. Learn more below.
How Can You Tell a Wasp Moth From a Regular Wasp?
There are several physiological differences between a wasp moth and wasp. However, you may have to get quite close to see these differences. For instance, the wasp moth’s antennae will be light and feathery whereas a wasp or bees antennae are quite stiff. A wasp moth also does not have the narrow waist that is characteristic to wasps because they do not have a stinger. Their mouths are different as well, and wasps have chewing jaws that wasp moths lack.
Life of a Wasp Moth
The wasp moth begins life as a caterpillar, and these caterpillars have gregarious appetites. When a wasp moth lays eggs, it often lays them on the roots of trees. A wasp moth can lay up to 400 eggs at a time. Within 10 days, they hatch, and the larvae bore holes into trees and they spend the winter there.In the spring, the caterpillars have grown, and they feed in the tree until early summer when they emerge as wasp moths.
But Are They A Pest?
These holes can cause major damage to orchard trees like peach trees, cherry trees, plum trees and other stone fruit trees. When the recently hatched larvae bore into the tree, they can do both structural damage to the tree and often cause a fungus in the tree. This is seen in the fruit and can easily be recognized. These caterpillars are also found in maple trees, oak trees, pine trees and on grape vines.
How Do You Protect Your Trees?
Both sprays and fumigants may be used as preventative measures on your trees. These measures should be taken at the right time of the year because once the larvae are under the bark of the tree, they can become difficult to control. Your best option is to call a professional pest control service who know how to prevent infestations to your trees without damaging them. If you have noticed wasp moths around your property, contact Clegg’s online or on the phone at 888-672-5344.