Wasps are common summertime pests. Their stings are not only painful but can cause allergies in some people and so it is necessary to get rid of wasps. One way to protect yourself and your family from wasps is to keep your homes free from hives and nests. Regularly, walk around the exterior of your home and look for nests on the underside of porches, decks, overhangs, eaves, shrubs, trees, sheds, and other structures. If you find a nest, you should be able to identify it to determine the risk it may pose to your family.
How to Identify the Wasp Nest?
A trained pest professional will be able to identify the nests properly, but the following information will help you determine the species.
- Yellow Jacket wasp nest The nest of yellow jackets is constructed of paper carton and is usually the size of a basketball. The nest has a number of rounded paper combs that are attached, one below the other. These paper combs are covered with a many-layered envelope. Depending on the species, the nest may be aerial, attached to houses, sheds, garages, bushes or shrubs, or near the ground, on plant roots, timber or logs. Quite a few yellow jackets may nest underground, usually in burrows abandoned by animals residing previously.
- Hornets’ nest Hornets build their nests from chewed wood pulp and saliva. Their nests are paper-like structures, consisting of hexagonal combs with an outer covering, and a single entrance. They build their nests well above the soil in areas that have plenty of shade and provide protection from various elements. The nests grow in proportion to the size of the colony and are usually the size of a basketball. Hornets use their nests just once. The workers perish in winter, leaving the fertilized females to form new colonies as the warm season sets in.Types of Hornet Hives The only species that is a true hornet in the U.S. is the European hornet. However, bald-faced hornets are common wasp species that bear their name. But, these two pests differ in their nesting habits.
Bald-Faced Hornet Nests Bald-faced hornets build their nest at least 3 feet above the ground, in trees or large bushes. They may even hang their nests from building roofs or eaves. The hive of the bald-faced hornet is 2 feet long and is egg-shaped. The hornet nests can be typically found on overhangs and soffits.
European Hornet Hives The nests of the Europeanhornets are usually found in tree cavities or wall voids. These species typically take up residence in sheds or attics and, unlike the bald-faced hornet, build the entrance to their nests at least 6 feet above the ground. The European variety conceals their irregular nests within a dark, hollow space; only a small part of it may be visible.
- Mud daubers wasp nest This species of wasps are solitary in nature – they do not live in colonies, and they are not social. The mud dauber builds small nests in and around homes, usually on porch ceilings, sheds, open garages, or sheltered sites under eaves.
- Paper wasp nest Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, such as flies and caterpillars. In the autumn, the future queens find a place somewhere indoors to spend the winter. Once spring sets in, they emerge to build umbrella-shaped nests. These nests look as though they are built of paper and are often found hanging from objects like branches or twigs of trees, shrubs, the top of the windows, soffits, eaves, deck floor joists, porch ceilings, railings, doorframes, and many more
The nest has open cells where the queen lays the eggs. The females help build the nest, but only the queen can lay eggs for the colony. Once the queen dies, a new egg-laying female takes her place.
- Call a pest control expert
Getting a professional to remove a wasp nest is the best way to get rid of them. The pest control experts have the right safety equipment, expert knowledge, professional pest control products, and the ability to work in small spaces to remove the nest in a safe and efficient manner.
- Destroy the nest as early as possible
The best time to destroy a wasps’ nest is as early in the year as possible. During the time, the wasps are less aggressive, and the colonies are smaller. If you manage to kill the queen, there won’t be any nest formed that year.
- Consider leaving the nest alone
If the wasps’ nest is far away from your home and doesn’t pose any risk to you and your family, consider leaving it alone, especially if the species are less aggressive like the paper wasps.
Use DIY methods to get rid of wasp nest If you want to get rid of the nest yourself, it is highly recommended that you:
- Wear protective gear that covers your face, arms, hands, and feet.
- Have a well thought out plan and an exit strategy
- Destroy the nest at night when they are least active, hence less aggressive.
- Use a pesticide spray that is designed to kill wasps.
- Use insecticidal dust for ground nests.
- Use dish soap and water. Pour it in a hose-end spray bottle for aerial nests. For ground nests, just pour the dish soap water directly into the entrance.
- Knockdown vacant nests during the winter
Wasps do not return to a previously used nest, but some species can build a new nest on top of an old one. It’s a good idea to knock down the empty nest during winter and clean the area thoroughly before the queen tries to reclaim it.
- Hang fake nests
Wasps are extremely territorial. They do not build their nests anywhere close to another colony. Hang a few fake nests to deter them. These fake nests are available in the market. If you can’t find them, hang a brown paper bag. It will work fine too.
- Seal entry points
Thoroughly inspect the outside of your house over the winter. Look for ideal wasp entry points, such as unsealed vents, cracks around doorframes and windows, and loose siding. Seal them off to avoid possible infestation when spring sets in.How not to remove a wasp nest
1. Don’t burn a wasp nest
Using fire to remove a wasp nest is not only ineffective but also dangerous. The nests are made of a papery substance which is extremely flammable. The fire will not kill the wasps but make them violet, resulting in them attacking you and others. The fire can also damage your property.2. Don’t stand on a ladder to reach the wasp nest
If the nest is somewhere high up, don’t use a ladder to reach. Get professional help.
3. Don’t try to knock down a large nest
You may succeed, but you will make the wasps violet, and they will start attacking you.
4. Don’t pour flammable liquids into a ground nest
It’s ineffective, and it also will pollute the groundwater.
5. Don’t flood the nest with water
Water can damage your property, especially if the nest is your attic. And in response to the water attack, the wasps can get defensive and may sting you.
6. Don’t destroy a wasp nest with a bat
Trying to destroy the wasp nest with a bat or racket will put you at risk of getting stung, not just once, but multiple times. This can lead to anaphylactic shock if you are allergic to wasp stings.
Take Care Termites’ pest control professionals are trained and qualified in wasp nest removal techniques. If you’d like to have an inspection or would like to get rid of the wasp nest, call us at (209) 832-7300.
How to Get Rid of Wasp Nests