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

If you’ve noticed a high number of wasps in a particular area recently, there is a good chance that there’s a nest somewhere close by.

Wasps, unlike bees, are a very unwelcome sight in any home or garden and are known for being a great deal more aggressive than their honey-making ‘cousins’. They are able to sting multiple times and will defend their nests against anything deemed a disturbance.

Ordinarily, attacking humans isn’t a common activity for a wasp, but when the nest becomes overcrowded and the temperature rises, they can become extremely agitated and will sting with little provocation.

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They can be even more aggressive in autumn. After summer, when the wasps have completed their life’s work, they spend all their time gorging on fermenting fruit and becoming drunk. Being bored and drunk is a toxic combination for the wasp and they will attack anything in the vicinity, even when it puts their own lives at risk.

How do you find the nest?

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Wasps will often build their nests in trees, inside lofts, on the edges of roofs and in sheds or garages. If you’re particularly unlucky, the nest may actually be inside your home. There have been reports of them being found in the corners of quieter rooms and even inside wardrobes.

It’s imperative that you locate the nest as soon as possible to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones. To do this, spend some time observing the flight patterns of the wasps. You should begin to notice them coming and going from a single location. If you follow them back to the source, you should see the nest.

If you do not feel that you can approach it safely at this point – and we strongly suggest you do not, call a pest control professional who will be able to identify the nest and explain if and how it can be treated or removed. If you’re aware that you or someone nearby has a severe allergy to bee or wasp stings, do not even consider approaching the nest. Call a professional immediately and stay inside.

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.

As such, it is illegal to treat the honey bee nest. However, if you’re at all concerned, a pest control professional will be able to provide information and advice. In some cases, you may be able to contact a local beekeeper who will be happy to relocate the nest.

Removing a wasps nest yourself can be very dangerous. This is particularly true if the nest is somewhere that you would need high level access equipment.

If you’ve discovered a wasps’ nest and would like to discuss your options for removal, or simply get more information on the issue, please call Safeguard Pest Control on 0800 328 4931 or send a message through our contact page.

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