Possums Are Unbearably Noisy And Scandalous

Living with Possums

Living with possums isn’t always easy, but there are a few things we can all do to live in harmony with possums in our shared urban spaces. Let’s face it… we are never going to get rid of them all together, and why should we? They were here long before we were, and it is our destruction of their habitat that has forced them into our houses, our gardens, and lives. So, what steps can we take to make sure we can all get along together?

Possums in the roof?

There is one reason that possums will shift in to our roof spaces… lack of hollows in their habitat. You see, Common Brushtail possums utilise tree hollows for resting and nesting during the day, and are pretty happy to do so. But, the removal of remnant trees in urban areas has severely diminished the number of hollows available, and thus, we end up sharing our houses with them

So, what can we do to help them… and us? If you currently have possums in the roof, here are a couple of tips that should encourage them back into the wild:

  1. Make or buy a suitable nest box for the Common Brushtail possum, and install it in your garden to act as an alternate den site for our furry friends. For more info on nest boxes, check out websites such as this for more info.
  2. Locate the nest the possum has built in your roof, remove it (when the possum is out and foraging) and place this inside the nest box. This will encourage the possum to move to its new location.
  3. Place a piece of fruit inside the nest box. Apple or bananas seem to work best. This will entice the possum to investigate the nest box, and hopefully decide to stay. It should be stressed that feeding of possums is not recommended (except as a one off during relocation).
  4. Block of access to your roof. This can be done by loping any overhanging branches, and placing collars around the trunks of trees that possums utilise to access the roof. Collars can be made from a number of products, but 60cm wide sheet iron seems to work pretty well.
  5. Place camphor blocks OR mothballs in the roof space, particularly around the area where the nest site was. DON”T place both! Possums really dislike these smells, and will be reluctant to return.
  6. If possible, pop a light up in the roof space, and leave it there for a few days (on of course!). The combination of alternate nesting site, bad smells and light should be sufficient to discourage them.
  7. Once you are satisfied that the possum has left the building, block any known entrance points. Wiping around the entrance points with household bleach will remove possum scent, and make re-entry pretty unappealing!

Possums eating your plants?

Even the most patient and wildlife friendly gardeners tear their hair out over this one, but, after significant research, I can tell you that there are solutions to stop your precious plants being gobbled by hungry possums! Possum repellents work by two methods: taste and smell! Research conducted has shown that smell deterrents are somewhat more effective than taste, but also suggests that a starving possum will eat just about anything! So, here is a list of some tried and true methods of deterring possums.

  1. Net affected plants with shade cloth or white bird netting at night time. Quick, cheap, and darn effective! This is absolutely the best way to protect young plants and seedlings from possum attack. Why not supplement this with a hanging cat scare face or two? Available from nurseries, these scare faces look like cats and have reflective eyes, pretty scary if you are a possum!
  2. Sprinkling blood and bone fertiliser around the base of ornamental plants and fruit trees can act as a significant possum deterrent. They hate the smell, and will be less inclined to munch on treated plants!
  3. A home made garlic spray of 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic in one litre of hot water, left to stand over night, strained and sprayed onto foliage, fruits and tasty growing tips is an old favourite of mine, and it seems to work. Subsequently, try chillies or Indonesian fish sauce. Just remember to wash your produce before eating!
  4. A spray made from Quassia chips (chips of bark from a South American tree). Add 100 g chips to 2 litres water and heat for one hour before straining. Add one tablespoon detergent. Dilute at rate of 1 part of solution to four parts water and apply as a spray. Quassia chips are available at many nurseries, and are pretty affective, forming the base ingredient of many commercially available possum repellents (e.g.: Poss-Off).
  5. My grandmothers’ personal favourite, and one she swears by, is the tea-based deterrent. Boil two litres of water; add 4 heaped teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong tea and leave to cool. Strain of liquid and apply from a plastic spray bottle directly onto affected plants. Reapply every two weeks and always after rain. Make a fresh brew every time.
  6. Wack a bit of undiluted Tabasco sauce on affected plants……a sure solution unless your possum likes it hot!
  7. A watered down solution of a little detergent and some English mustard sprayed directly onto the foliage and fruits of tasty plants.
  8. Commercially available possum deterrents such as Poss-Off or Scat, work by emitting an unpleasant odour, so, when used according to the instructions on the products, claim to deter the little blighters!

 

Possums

Of all the animals people bring us to assist at our intake center, the one that most seem to be afraid of or dislike most is the opossum.  Often that fear or dislike is based on misinformation.  In this article, we’d like to convert a few more of our readers to become fans of opossums

They happen to be special because they are the only marsupial animal native to North America.  Marsupial animals (or non-placental animals) raise their babies in a pouch, just like kangaroos do.  Hmmm, maybe if opossums could hop they’d be more popular!  When the baby opossums are born, they are furless, blind, and about the size of a honeybee.  They have to crawl up the mother opossum’s fur and into her pouch, where they grab on to one of her thirteen nipples.  Once they are attached, the nipple swells and the baby becomes attached.  They don’t suckle to drink, but rather the mother’s milk slowly leaches out (that is why very young opossums if found abandoned or orphaned have to be tube fed; they have no natural sucking reflex as other baby mammals do).  As with other pouch-raised babies, the baby opossums remain in the pouch as they continue to grow and mature.  They first venture outside of the pouch when they are between two to two and a half months old (their eyes open and they have fur at about two months of age, at which point they are about the size of a mouse).

Opossums are very good mothers and they are very protective of their young.  Once the babies emerge from her pouch, they often ride along on her back while she forages for food, and they begin to eat solid food at this point (about three months old).  Once the babies are weaned, about six inches long (without their tail), and their ears are almost solid black, they are old enough to fend for themselves.  At this point, it is “tough love” opossum style; mama opossum will simply brush against something to knock the babies off her back and away she goes.  She’s dedicated for as long as she needs to be, but when she’s done, she’s done.

Opossums are scavengers.  They move from place to place in search of good food sources and a comfy place to sleep. They are attracted to carrion and can often be spotted near roadkill, which is helpful to us to keep diseases at bay.  As omnivores, opossums also eat grass, nuts, fruit, and they will also mice, insects (including roaches), worms, slugs, and snakes (including venomous ones).  They are beneficial for helping to control the overpopulation of snakes, rodents, and insects.

Speaking of venomous snakes, opossums are immune to snake venom!  In lab experiments, it has been discovered that a particular molecule, called a peptide, in the opossum’s blood can neutralize snake venom.  The peptide works against several venomous snake species, including America’s western diamond back rattlesnake.  Experiments are being done to see if scientists could mass produce the substance and use it as an inexpensive and universal anti-venom for human snake-bite victims.

Opossums are fastidiously clean, similar to cats in their grooming routine.  If they find a tick in their fur, they lick it off and swallow it.  It is estimated that in one season, an opossum can kill and consume about 5,000 ticks.  More than 90 percent of ticks on an opossum end up being groomed away and eaten.  This could have implications in preventing certain tick-borne diseases (including Lyme disease) in domestic pets and humans.  In areas with a healthy opossum population, they can help to control the overpopulation of ticks, thereby keeping the ticks off of us and our pets!  The opossums do not seem to be affected by these tick-borne illnesses.

 

Hidden housemates: when possums go bump in the night

You’re drifting off to sleep when, suddenly, there’s a bump and a thump and an unearthly shriek. But never fear, if your home is making these noises you probably don’t have ghosts, but a family of common brushtail possums.

Researchers have documented 18 different brushtail possum sounds. These include “grunting, growling, hissing, screeching, clicking and teeth-chattering calls, many of which would not be out of place on a horror movie soundtrack”.

The biggest hidden housemate?

Despite being the same size as a domestic cat, these lively, nocturnal marsupials frequently make their dens in the ceiling and wall cavities of homes. In fact, one study of possums in urban Tasmania found that 87% of their visits to dens were associated with buildings (mostly older houses), while 45% of den visits were to roof cavities.

These hidden animals make themselves known to their human housemates as they run across the ceiling. A study found that as many as 67% of people whose properties were visited by possums heard possum activity on or in roof cavities, while 58% reported possums living in these spaces

Possums in the city

At the time of European arrival, common brushtail possums were abundant across mainland. However, intensive hunting for a burgeoning fur trade in the 19th and early 20th centuries led to a drastic decline in possum numbers. Since the end of hunting, habitat degradation and fragmentation, fires and fox predation have put further pressure on possum populations. In contrast, they appear to be flourishing in our cities.

 

Opossum vs. Possum

Both animals are marsupials, but possums are more closely related to kangaroos. But here’s where it gets confusing: in North America, people often shorten opossum to possum when talking about the creatures prowling around the backyard at night. One news source described an animal that you might see “wobbling across your yard at night” or “scurrying down the pavement with a batch of babies clutching onto its back.” What is the name of this beast? Without hesitation, you might exclaim “An opossum!” However, another person might call it a possum. Is there a difference between an opossum and a possum? Yes, there is. They are entirely different animals.

Possum vs. Opossum

In North America, the animal officially called an opossum is a white and gray marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia. colonists living in Jamestown derived the word from its equivalent in Powhatan, a language spoken by the Virginia Algonquian tribe. Literally, the word means “white dog or beast” in Powhatan. John Smith spelled it “opassum,” but William Strachey spelled it “aposoum.”

So, in general, you can use opossum when referring to the American marsupial. Notice how some authors capitalized on the traits of this interesting creature in the following quotes. The first one is from Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

How Do You Spell and Pronounce Possum

Garner’s Modern American Usage points out that possum, pronounced poss-uhm, is actually the more common of the two spellings for North Americans.

 

Possums

What do they look like?

  • The possum is a mammal about the same size as a cat and males are larger and heavier than females.
  • Possums have a long bushy tail, which is around a third of the total length.
  • Possums have big ears, large, dark eyes, and long claws.
  • Possum fur is soft and thick but the colour varies widely from brownish grey to almost black. The belly fur can range from white to ginger.

Have you ever wondered….?

Why some possums have very dark fur while others have very light fur? Most of the possums introduced were known as Tasmanian blacks because of their darker fur.

It’s a fact

When possums were first released into some areas, such as the Wairarapa, school children were given the day off school to mark the historic event!

Did you know?

Possums belong to a special group of mammals called marsupials. This means that the baby possum is born when it is still very tiny and continues growing in a special pouch on its mother’s stomach instead of inside its mother’s tummy.

What do they eat?

  • Possums are active at night and generally emerge from their dens about 30 minutes after sunset. They return just before dawn in the summer, but often earlier in the winter.
  • Possums are omnivores, which means that they eat both meat and veges, although plants tend to be their main food source.
  • Possums have favourite foods and will selectively feed on these until they have been destroyed. This is often why you will see single dead trees in otherwise healthy looking forests.
  • On farmland possums are partial to clover. They will also eat crops grown for stock food such as barley and rye, particularly if the paddock is between two areas of forest.
  • Possums regularly eat invertebrates such as weta and snails, and are known to eat the chicks and eggs of native birds (e.g. kokako, kereru, fantail, and muttonbird).
  • They may also feed on the carcasses of deer, rodents and other possums.

The Need Of Pest Control And The Importance Of Professional Pest Control Services

The Basics of Green Pest Control

What Green Insect Control Is

Integrated pest management begins with discovering how and why a pest got in a home or structure. Experts in this field are experienced about the life process of bugs and their chosen nesting places. Therefore, they are able to utilize innovative insect avoidance techniques that are the least hazardous to plant life, residential or commercial property, family pets and people.

IPM uses sound judgment practices in coordination with ecologically delicate chemicals. For example, instead of utilizing hazardous chemicals to prevent the return of an insect, pest control specialists might install preventative materials such as brand-new doors and window screens, fresh caulking, brand-new door sweeps, and so on. The experts might also establish traps to learn more about additional locations a pest might live or install solar powered repellants as an alternative to utilizing harmful chemicals.

The Advantages of Eco-friendly Insect Control

Parasite control products that are environment-friendly are made of organic and all-natural active ingredients. In addition, these items are engineered to be naturally degradable as well as equally as effective as their non-green counterparts.

Eco-friendly insect management practices assist advertise the health and wellness as well as structure of plants, as they supply a naturally based option to chemical sprays. The control methods utilized in IPM are benign and also consequently lower the ecological danger usually connected with traditional pest management, such as ground water contamination. IPM also helps in reducing the risk of an invasion and also is an economical remedy.

How It Works

As opposed to shower a multi-reason pesticide everywhere on a swarmed property, IPM specialists utilize a procedure that sets an activity edge, screens the irritations so as to recognize them, keeps their arrival and utilization control strategies.

At the point when an activity limit is set, the expert figures out how substantial a pervasion is, the amount of a threat the irritations posture, and decides the kind of quick activity required.

At the point when an IPM proficient screens bugs, he is ensuring he is recognizing the irritation accurately. Legitimate recognizable proof of a nuisance guarantees the correct sorts of pesticides are utilized, however pesticides are stayed away from on the off chance that they are not required.

Anticipation of vermin attacks is one of the key segments to green irritation control. IPM incorporates recognizing and redressing issues that make a home or building inviting to bothers. Anticipation is savvy and does not chance the soundness of people or the earth.

In the event that bug avoidance strategies are ineffectual without anyone else’s input, control techniques are required. At the point when experts actualize a control strategy, they initially assess it for hazard and viability. Techniques that represent the minimum hazard, for example, traps or the utilization of pheromones to upset mating, are utilized first. On the off chance that the edges set up show these strategies are not powerful, the control procedure at that point moves to the utilization of pesticides in focused territories.

Green pest management

Green pest management is an environmental-friendly pest management that helps to control pests and reduces harmful use of pesticides. Pests like woodworms, longhorn beetles, fruit flies, spiders, termites and paper mites in the buildings degrade the carpets, leather, wood, cloth, food, utensils and so on. They can spread diseases, damage properties and contaminate food in our home. So, green pest management has been developed in buildings to avoid degradation and protect human health and surrounding environment. Green pest management is a relatively new concept. Its practices help to keep our building green. It includes sanitation, management, biological control, least toxic chemical pesticides and minimum use of chemicals and avoids killing of non-target species by spraying in target locations.

Exactly what to Look for in a Green Insect Control Company

The observation, avoidance and intervention approach to green insect control helps consumers have peace of mind understanding that evicting pests from the house does not suggest hurting the environment. Whenever you need the assistance of experts to assist with unwanted bugs, bear in mind that green bug management is the only approach that has both your personal and monetary wellness in mind.

Learn about the process and chemicals a company uses prior to hiring them. Some specialists use green bug control items at first and after that follow them with traditional chemicals, which you may not desire. An excellent eco-friendly pest control man should concentrate on utilizing quality items that are low or non-toxic rather than products that are the least costly, which are often highly hazardous. Furthermore, quality green pest control business inform their customers on the best ways to avoid the return of insect, help fix conditions that are inviting to them and offer to install pest-proofing materials.

The Best Tips To Make A Good Care Of Possums

EXPERT TIPS FOR TRAPPING AN OPOSSUM

GET RID OF POSSUMS: HOW TO TRAP AN OPOSSUM

Opossum traps come in a variety of sizes and styles. Possum trapping tips include placing traps wherever you’ve seen signs of their activity, such as burrowing. Before setting a trap, always check with your local game commission to ensure you’re allowed to trap in your area. Also, avoid trapping during early spring and summer to prevent separating babies and mamas.

BAITING POSSUM TRAPS WITH THE BEST BAIT FOR POSSUMS AND OTHER OPOSSUM BAITING TIPS

Although they aren’t particularly finicky eaters, the best possum bait is fish or apples. Baiting opossum traps with canned pet food also works well. While there are differences of opinion as to the best bait for opossums, all professional trappers agree, the smellier the better. (No, your old sneakers won’t do the trick!) One of the most important opossum baiting tips is to smear the bait in, on and around the trap.

HOW TO DETER POSSUMS

Chicken-wire fence is a good method to ensure you won’t find a possum in your yard. Construct a fence that is four feet high with the top 12 to 18 inches bent outward away from the garden. You can “possum-proof” standard fencing by attaching an electrically charged wire along the top. However, if you’re like most, you’d rather not detract from your landscaping. If you really want to say goodbye to a possum in your garden and in your yard, apply a liquid or granular repellent that targets their sense of smell and taste.

POSSUM TRAPPING TIPS

POSSUM TRAPPING WITH LIVE CAPTURE TRAPS:

These come in two forms, either live capture cage traps or possum leg hold traps. Live capture cage traps are ideal for use near your home or dwelling. These are safe to use in areas where pets or other animals are nearby, as any non-target animals can be released. Cage traps are easy for you to use, simply lift the door and set the trip hook and place bait or possum lure at the far end of the trap. Pestgard large possum cage trap or pro version cage trap are larger than most cage traps available. These are suitable for catching all sizes of possums along with other animal pests.

POSSUM TRAPPING WITH KILL TRAPS:

Possum kill traps have the advantage of killing possums humanely in the trap, this also means they do not have to be checked as regularly as live capture traps. It is not recommended to use kill traps in areas where pets or non target animals may be able to access the trap. Like leg hold traps, possum kill traps are set on or near trees where there is regular possum activity.

possum

How to Trap a Possum: Picking a Possum Trap

What Should be Done to Avoid Catching Opossums Later?

Opossums are small animals, their maximum length is 40 inches and they weigh up to 14 pounds. Possums’ natural habitat is wet and dry forests and fields. They prefer to settle near swamps and rivers in abandoned burrows or hollows. They can also settle among piles or in the attics of abandoned houses, in the basements or under houses.

What Do Entomologists Recommend? 7 Rules of Successful Possum Catching

What should you do if possums actually love your place and irritate you? To rid yourself of unwanted neighborhood you can use: Live Animal Trap, other traps, repellents, guns and simple sticks. Here are some pieces of advice from the scientists to help you to properly trap a possum.

The Best Live Animal Trap to Catch a Possum

Acquiring a high-quality Live Animal Trap, which will allow catching a possum without harming it is the simplest and most humane way of possum trapping. We’ve picked two best traps of all the plenty available.

How to Get Rid Of a Possum: A Detailed Guide about the Methods and Possum Repellents

Know Your Enemy: Possum Facts to Help You Get Rid of Them Effectively

These tiny animals of a size of an adult cat don’t attack people unless they have rabies. Opossums are nocturnal animals, and they feel most comfortable in the dark. Many homeowners have never seen them move around the yard and its surroundings, but they often find evidence of the animals’ presence in the morning. Litter, broken things, gardens, empty feeder for pets, compost heaps or scattered garbage cans can all signal the opossums’ presence.

How do they work?

Repellents affect one of the animal’s senses: scent, taste or hearing. Some repellents have a smell that causes fear, as they smell of natural enemy predator urine. The composition of granular and liquid repellents include predators urine, egg powder, castor oil, garlic and soap, as well as products containing capsaicin (hot pepper extract). The electronic repellers on the other hand repel animals with flashing light, sound or water. In our review, we have selected the best possum repellents of all three types.

What to do if there’s a possum in your roof

Do you have a furry housemate you’d like to evict? Here are four simple and gentle ways to move them along.

Possums are regular visitors to South Australian gardens, especially common brushtail and common ringtail possums. Both are nocturnal, but brushtail possums are about the size of a cat, with bushy black tails, thick grey fur and large ears, while ringtails are also grey, but are smaller, with small ears, and skinny, white-tipped tails.

Possum boxes

Buy or build a possum box or two, and put it in a sheltered spot in your garden at least 4 metres off the ground. Check the boxes regularly to make sure that bees, wasps or pest birds such as starlings have not taken up residence.

Secure the roof

Look carefully for any gaps or holes around the eaves, then wait until dark. When you see the possum leaving the roof, block the gap with wood or chicken mesh.

Install a one-way door

If you’re struggling to see when your possums are leaving the roof or concerned that one will be left behind and become trapped, a pest controller will be able to advise on how to install a one-way door that will let the possums out but not back in.

Possum traps

The first thing to note here is that trapping possums requires a permit. Most councils have wire mesh possum traps you can rent. Put the trap in the roof near the possum’s access point and check it every morning.

Tips How To Handle The Wasps

These Are The Tips You Need If You Hate Wasps

Use Peppermint Oil

A 2013 study showed that peppermint essential oil had a repellent effect against yellow jackets and paper wasps.

You can take advantage of this effect by putting a few drops of peppermint oil on several cotton balls. Place the cotton balls around your patio, outdoor furniture, or wherever you spend time outside to keep wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets away.

Plant These Plants

There are certain plants that wasps don’t like to hang around, so adding these plants to your yard can help keep wasps at bay. Consider planting the following wasp-deterring plants around your yard.

Avoid Floral Scents

Avoid wearing bold floral scents when you’ll be spending time outside. This could include perfumes, body sprays, lotions, and other scented products. Floral scents can attract wasps, and no one wants to be a walking wasp magnet!

Make A Decoy Nest

Wasps are very territorial, so if they see a nest near your home, it may deter them from building a nest nearby. You can take advantage of their territorial nature by making a simple decoy wasp nest!

Move Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbirds love hummingbird feeders, but wasps do too! If you have a hummingbird feeder in your backyard, you may want to move it to a secluded area or bring it inside when you or your guests will be spending time out there.

How to Find a Wasp’s Nest and What to Do Next

How do you know what kind of nest it is?

There are several features that will enable you to differentiate between the nests of different wasp species:

-If the wasps appear to be coming from a hole in the ground, on a building or in a tree, they are most likely yellow jackets. A single yellow jacket nest can contain as many as two thousand insects.

The average hornet’s nest will be round with a slightly pointed bottom, about the size of a football, and have fairly smooth “papery” walls with a single large opening.

A paper wasp’s nest will have large, hexagonal open combs and a “stalk” from which it hangs. Many have described the appearance of the nest as an “umbrella” due to the distinctive shape. Paper wasps are sometimes referred to as umbrella wasps because of this.

-If the nest you’re looking at is formed of yellow layers with tight hexagonal combs, and appears to be made from a waxy substance, you’re most likely looking at a honey bee hive. These are rarely aggressive and are a protected species that is important for the environment.

How to Find Wasp Nests

How to Destroy the Wasp Nest

  • Destroy – To destroy the wasp nests apply NO Wasps Eliminator to the entrance, particularly where the wasps land to walk into the nest entrance. The wasp picks the powder up on their feet and carry it into the nest.
  • Stay Safe – Although powder insecticides help keep wasps calm, for safety apply the powder late in the day when activity is low or has stopped.
  • Tip for Nests in Eaves – The new NO Wasps Eliminator adheres better to surfaces. However, although it puffs upwards well, it can still be difficult to get the powder to the nest entrance. A temporary ad hoc solution is to use the dip tube from a trigger sprayer e.g. NO Bugs Super 1L RTU or other trigger bottle typically found under a kitchen sink. Clean and dry it, and it will fit neatly into the aperture of the NO Wasps Eliminator puff bottle. Push the dip tube down to the level of the powder. The puffer will now puff the powder upwards easily and the nozzle can easily be inserted into the small holes and gaps that usually constitute the entrance to the nest.
wasp hive

What’s the best way to get wasps to go away?

Wasps are attracted to white, bright blue and yellow, but can’t see red, so plan your wardrobe accordingly.

Their vision is also optimised to look for the sudden, sharp movements of insects, so wildly flailing as you try to swat a wasp will just make it more determined.

Killing a wasp also releases pheromones that will attract other wasps nearby. Instead, calmly trap the wasp under a glass, so it can’t return to the nest and tell the others where to find your food.

A 2012 study tested the wasp-repelling properties of different essential oils and found that a mix of clove, geranium and lemongrass oil was the most effective, so try a dab behind each ear.

Getting Rid of Wasps and Hornets: 5 Crucial Facts You Should Know About Their Behavior and Life

Mind that the wasps can sting not only with the sting itself. These guys are so insolent and evil that they also use their mandibles, as well. They rip the victim’s skin as they would with teeth, and it hurts very, very much.

Vivid, artificial, sweet smells and alcoholare to wasps like a red rag is to a bull. They feel these odors miles away and are eager to taste those who carry them. Fragrances and colognes especially excite the yellow jackets. The worker waspsare also attracted by puddled water – get rid of leakages in the backyard.

Wasps go nuts in summer. They reproduce actively and protect their offspring. The hot weather impacts them greatly and these insects sting anything that moves and  – most importantly – smells nice.

It’s best to fight the wasps and the hornets in spring or in autumn. In autumn, yellow jackets lose their enthusiasm and aggression, become drowsy, and slowly retire. It’s extremely easy to access and destroy the hive at that time. By springtime, the queen will have spawned lots of defenders for herself and will be too busy building a nest. You’ll suffer throughout the whole summer if you don’t take your chance at that moment.

Most often the wasps settle in colonies. There could be thousands of these insects in the same nest. They all are subordinate to the queen, who is the head of the nest. The queen is the only member of the colony that survives the winter – that is proven by many scientists including Jeff Hahn, Laura Jesse and Patrick Liesch from the University of Minnesota. So killing all the workers, but leaving the queen alive means working in vain. Another disadvantage of such sociality is the ability of wasps and hornets to attack as a team. The smell of their congeners’ venom excites them and makes them join the attack on the victim.