Sand wasps

Sand wasps can be seen over sandy areas where they dig their burrows to lay their eggs. Their activity on the surface is a clear sign of their presence in a park.

Why do they dig into the sand?

The female digs her own burrow, where she stores prey that she has paralyzed with her venom and lays an egg. After they hatch, the larvae eat the prey and complete their development in a cocoon made of sand and silk.

Do they sting?

Research conducted by Ville de Montréal experts show that they can sting, but are very unlikely to because these wasps are not aggressive and seek to avoid humans when we disturb them.

What is Gatineau doing about them?

Gatineau is using the same strategy as Montréal to control sand wasp populations:

  • regularly rake the affected sand lots to cover up the wasps' nests because this makes it difficult for the wasp to find its cocoon; and
  • sift the sand to reduce the cocoons as much as possible in order to reduce the infestation the following summer.

Why not eliminate them?

Sand wasps are useful because they help us get rid of pesky insects like flies. A single wasp can capture hundreds of flies a year. Also, they help pollinate flowers and are part of the biodiversity we are committed to protecting.

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