Wasp nests can pop up in unexpected places near your house. They are a real nuisance and potentially very dangerous. For professional help please call our specialist wasp nest removal London team who can assist.
It’s best to try to destroy the nest as soon as practicable. However, it can be complicated to do this safely. Today, we’ll be talking about how to deal with a wasp’s nest on your property.
We’re covering the basics of pest control in London and how to get rid of a wasp nest, and how to prevent wasps from coming back. We’ve accumulated all the best tips and tricks from the wasp experts.
You can find everything you’ll ever need to know about treating wasp nests! Rest assured, that horrible wasp nest will be gone in no time.
What are Wasp Nests?
A wasp nest is used to house a colony of wasps. They are usually made from wood pulp and saliva. It will usually take about 6 months for a population to make its nest. The nest will be under construction during the hotter months as the colony grows.
In the spring, the queen wasp builds a petiole which is used to hang the nest. From the stalk, the queen creates a hexagonal cell by chewing wood pulp. This single cell is the foundation of the entire nest.
The queen makes more and more cells around the original one. She will always lay an egg in the hollow spaces inside the cells to grow her colony.
A nest is usually hung from a high position that is easily accessible to flying wasps. Tree branches, garden sheds, or inside wall cavities. Wasps nests become problematic when they interfere with your daily life and threaten your safety.
Some people aren’t phased by a nest, because wasps can be excellent for controlling pest populations like flies, aphids, and caterpillars.
Why Do Wasp Nests Appear?
Wasp nests appear once the queen has come out of hibernation. After a cold winter, the queen is ready to create a colony to produce more worker wasps.
The nest will start to be built in early spring and finish in the middle of summer. By the end of summer and into early autumn, the nest will be filled with a whole new generation of wasps.
What Kind of Wasps Are in the Nest?
There will always be one female wasp, known as the queen in the nest. Alongside the queen, there will be male wasps and worker wasps. These are the main types of wasps in the nest.
Queen wasps are the matriarch of the colony. Queen wasps are bright yellow with small black stripes and a triangle shaped head. Queen wasps lay eggs, reproduce, and do the bulk of the labour.
Queen wasps are absolutely imperative to the successful function of the colony.
The queen spends most of her time laying eggs to further the wasp population. As she builds the nest she is constantly laying eggs in each tiny hexagonal cell.
The main purpose of the wasp nest is to create a safe, secure place for a queen wasp to reproduce.
Worker wasps tend to raise the eggs the queen lays, defend the nest against threats, collect food, and attend to the queen.
Worker wasps are very important to the successful day-to-day functioning of the nest.
For example, worker wasps collect insects and larvae to feed the young while the queen lays eggs.
Workers also may develop into fertile male wasps after they have successfully raised the eggs and supported the queen.
The queen is able to deliberately create males, also known as drones, by laying unfertilised eggs. This is a form of sex determination called haplodipolidy.
Male wasps take no part in the social life of the colony. They are predominantly used to fertilise female eggs whenever the queen requires them to.
Male wasps may also be called upon to protect the colony if the workers are unable to do so. Ultimately, the male wasp is the weakest link of the whole colony.
What are the Main Wasp Species?
Depending on where you are in the world, there will be different species of wasps in the nest.
It can be helpful to know what species of wasp you have near you. However, all the wasps can be eliminated using the same methods. Regardless, these are the most common species of wasps…
German wasps are the most common species of wasp in the United Kingdom. If you spot a wasp in Britain, chances are it’s a German wasp.
German wasps are native to Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. German wasps are predominantly black, with spots of vibrant yellow. They can be identified by an arrow shape mark down their belly.
Paper wasps are one of the most common species of wasps. Paper wasps are often found in Europe and North America. They look like the quintessential wasp.
Paper wasps are small and slim, with a bright yellow body, and black horizontal stripes. Paper wasps are also known as umbrella wasps, due to the distinctive round, canopy shape of their nests.
Yellow jackets are often found in North America. They look very similar to German or paper wasps. However, yellow jackets are far more aggressive.
Yellow jackets are prolific stinging wasps. They will sting to defend their nest and when they are unprovoked. They are unpredictable, dangerous, and should be avoided.
Hornets are the largest species of social wasp in the world. Hornets can grow up to 5cm! They look very similar to yellow jackets but are significantly bigger.
Hornets are vicious wasps that can give multiple stings at once. Hornets are nasty creatures that aggressively guard their nests and have very painful stings.
Mud daubers prefer ground nests over aerial nests. Unlike other species of wasps, mud daubers build nests from mud. Because of this, mud daubers are known as “potter wasps”.
Mud daubers do not have a very strong sting. The effects of the sting will not be as severe as other species of wasps.
Where Do Wasps Create Nests?
Wasps create nests in areas that are safe, secluded, and have easy access to the outside. Places like fruit trees, bird boxes, sheds, or inside walls, are all places where nests are commonly found.
During the spring and summer have a look in these areas on your property for signs of a nest.
A nest will look like a pyramid shaped, light brown structure. It will likely be hanging from somewhere or buried in an enclosed space.
You will know there is a nest close by if you hear a loud buzzing noise or can see swarming insects.
Aerial Nests on Tree Branches
An aerial nest is attached to a tree branch by a petiole. It is very common for social wasps to nest high up in a tree. From here, the nest is far away from people, predators, and other insects.
Aerial nests will generally be the size of a football in diameter. It will look like a big, grey ball dangling from a tree. They can’t be missed!
Wasps love wall cavities! Wall cavities are the hollow centre in the middle. Wasps nest at the top of the wall, in between the two layers. Wall cavities are very secluded and secure.
Wasps may even remove some of the insulation in the wall to make room for their nest.
It’s very easy to miss wasps inside your walls. The only sign will be live wasps swarming around the infected area. It can be difficult to get rid of wasp nests inside wall cavities.
You will need to find the entrance to the cavity and permanently seal it. Additionally, you will have to spray the nest with insecticidal dust or poisonous wasp powder.
Wasps build nests on the garden shed for easy access to the garden and surrounding areas. Garden sheds are also dry, sheltered, and quiet.
While they are more exposed than other areas of aerial nests like a tree or roof, wasps always ensure there’s a good escape route in case humans do get too close.
A garden shed is accessible and will generally be safe. Hence why it’s a popular location for all kinds of wasp nests!
Outdoor furniture won’t be used as a nest location, but it will be used to build it. Wasps like to use wood from garden furniture to make their nests.
They will chew off tiny bits of wood and debris. Once they have scavenged their materials, the wasps fly off to build their nest with them.
You’ll know a wasp has been chewing your outdoor furniture if you spot minuscule dents or holes in the wood. It’s good to keep an eye out for these chew marks as it is a sign there is a nest close to you.
Wasps are also known to chew (and sometimes nest) on the exterior of a house if it is made from the wood cladding.
What Do You Do When You Find a Nest?
You have two options when you find a nest near your home. You can either destroy the nest or let it be.
Deciding what avenue to take depends on where the nest is, how it is impacting you, and whether you wish to utilise it for pest control.
More often than not people will choose to destroy the nest.
How to Get Rid of a Wasps Nest
There are so many ways to get rid of wasp nests! You can use a pesticide spray or powder, spray it with a garden hose, or you can hire a removal specialist.
If you choose a DIY method, you will need to act with care and diligence. Pest management can result in aggravated wasps.
An aggravated wasp will feel threatened and will try to sting you. Additionally, this may upset the whole nest and hundreds of wasps may swarm at you.
It may be easier and safer to call your local pest controller.
Pesticide spray is designed to destroy wasp nests from a distance. Pesticide spray can easily remove wasp nests and deter returning wasps.
The spray usually kills wasps instantly, however, it may take up to 24 hours to exterminate all the wasps inside.
Even though you are standing away from the nest, they can still become aggressive. You always need to be cautious when dealing with wasps.
Wasp Killer Powder
Wasp killer powder is used for killing wasps inside the nest. In order to use the powder, you need to puff it on the openings of the nest and the wasps themselves. This requires you to get quite close to the nest and potentially put yourself in danger.
The killer powder will quickly solve your wasp problem and result in hundreds of dead wasps. Any remaining wasps should be exterminated within 24 hours.
Spray With a Garden Hose
You can flood the wasp nest with a garden hose to destroy the nest. All you need is a garden hose attached to a strong water supply. However, flooding isn’t always the most effective method.
The wasps can fly through the water and attack you. The garden hose may kill some wasps, but other wasps will escape. This is perhaps the riskiest method.
Fake Wasp Nests
Wasps are very territorial. If you hang a fake wasp nest in your garden, a wasp colony will avoid the area entirely. This is a great way of limiting wasp activity near you and preventing wasps from ever entering your garden.
On the other hand however, a fake wasp nest will not destroy a preexisting wasp nest.
Homemade Wasp Trap
A homemade wasp trap is a fantastic way to catch individual wasps. Place a piece of food or sugar (basically anything that attracts wasps) in some liquid. Pour the liquid into a plastic container with a small opening at the top.
Ideally, the wasps will fly into the liquid looking for a delicious meal. They will get stuck in the liquid and eventually drown. The wasp trap is only able to kill a couple of wasps at once. It will not be effective enough to eliminate the whole colony.
Wasp Nest Removal Specialist
Wasp nest removal experts can remove a wasp nest on your behalf. A removal specialist has all the right equipment to get it done effectively and safely. Wasp nest removal can be very dangerous if you are ill prepared and inexperienced.
If you’re not careful you can get a lot of nasty stings. It’s definitely better to pay a professional than risk harming yourself or others.
Tips for Dealing with Wasps
These are our top tips for dealing with wasps and wasp nests…
Wear Protective Clothing
Protective clothing helps you to stay safe if you’re attacked by a wasp or a swarm of wasps. Wasp stings can be very painful. If you’re unlucky enough to be stung multiple times, you may have to be admitted to the hospital.
Remove the Nest Early Morning or Late at Night
The best time to remove the nest is in the early morning or late at night. This is when wasps are inactive and sleepy. You are less likely to be swarmed or attacked during these times of the day!
Don’t Swat Them
Swatting wasps will only aggravate them further. Unlike bees, wasps do not lose their stinger when they have stung once. Instead, they can keep stinging to their heart’s content.
After wasps have been swatted or provoked in any way, they defend themselves at all costs. Swatting a wasp or multiple wasps may cause you significant harm.
Avoid Bright Colours
Bright or dark colours can be easily seen by wasps. To get the best results when dealing with wasps, you should try to wear all white.
Wasps can barely see the colour white and so you will appear virtually invisible to them. If you don’t have a full wardrobe of white, you can opt for any pale tones and shades.