Wasps – a real nuisance, especially if you’re enjoying a summer picnic, a drink and food in a pub garden or just general al fresco dining. While this is cause enough for concern, it’s worse when wasps take up residence in or around your property. We offer our top tips for identifying wasp nests and what to do if you find one!
How is a Wasp Nest Made?
Wasps start construction of their nest in spring. This process begins with the queen attaching the first part of the nest to a structure from which the nest will be built from. She then gets to work building a ‘petiole’ or the central stalk which the rest of the nest hangs from. Then comes the single cell, hexagonal shaped, which hangs at the end of the stalk. From here, six cells are built around the central one where the queen lays here eggs – one in each!
Once those eggs from the initial cells are hatched and the wasps reach adulthood, they take over construction of the rest of the nest while the queen continues to lay eggs.
The nest is actually constructed from wood which has been stripped from shed walls and fences. If you look closely at your fences, you may see small white lines where the wood has been stripped. This is your first indication of a wasp nest nearby. This wood is then chewed and shredded, mixed with saliva and wax and formed into a paste material. It’s very clever when you think about it.
How to Recognise a Wasps Nest
Wasp nests are usually an uneven ball like shape – the bigger the nest, the more uneven. They are grey in colour and dull looking. There will be swirl-like patterns on the outside with a honeycomb pattern on the inside and they feel papery to the touch. While this information is useful in identifying wasp nests, we do not recommend getting close enough to touch or look inside!
Where Will You Find a Wasps Nest?
Given that the primary requirement for a wasp nest is access to wood, the most common places to find them are in the follow locations:
- Wooden beams or rafters of loft spaces or garage roofs
- Sheds and summer houses
- Dog kennels
- Fence posts and wooden gates
- Bird boxes
- Trees and bushes
- Log piles and log stores
- Outdoor decking
- Wall cavities near to fresh sources of wood
That’s not to say that you will find them in exact locations, but certainly close by.
Struggling with Identifying Wasp Nests?
If you can’t see the nest, but are seeing lots of wasps in a certain area, there is a good chance that there is a nest somewhere nearby. We don’t recommend rummaging in bushes, under eaves or in roof spaces for danger of being stung. Some people can be allergic to wasp stings without being aware. Instead, if you have reason to suspect that there may be a nest present, we would urge you to call in the experts.
At Falcon Environmental Services, we have extensive experience in dealing with wasps. We have removed many wasps nests safely and effectively. We would always stress that you don’t try and deal with a nest, or suspected nest yourself, even if you believe it to be an old one. While wasps generally don’t return to the nest for a second year, you are in danger of being stung by any worker bees or the queen who may be inside. Instead, give the experts a call on 01752 929292 and we will resolve the issue for you.