Despite wasps being an annoyance and irritating, they are actually get clever and artistic creatures and this is evident in how their nests are made. Wasps make nests by chewing fibre from wood or wood products such as garden fence panels. As this is done, the saliva in the mouth creates an enzyme which turns this substance into paper pulp. It is the queen and the worker wasps, operating together, which build the nest from this substance as it dries, where hexagon shape grooves are made which house wasps and their young.
Similar to bees, wasps prefer to nest in an area where they are unlikely to be disturbed. However, that doesn’t always go to plan, and like bees, wasp nests become a real and bothersome problem during the spring and summer months. Wasps tend not to be angry per se (until later in the summer at least) although encountering wasps close to the nest is a different situation entirely. People know wasps can sting multiple times and when a whole nest is put into the equation it can become a serious situation which needs to be avoided.
Wasps are defensive and will sting when feeling threatened or becoming angry. Wasps are more likely to be in this state closer to a nest so do realise this. One of the best initial things to do when seeing a wasp’s nest is to walk away calmly creating as little fuss and quick movement as possible. Do not disturb the nest under any circumstances. Wasps send ‘signals’ to other wasps in times of distress meaning more and more are likely to attack. In close proximity to a nest, this can be achieved very easily and quickly.
At the end of the summer only the young queen wasps survives and goes away to hibernate. A queen will never return to an old nest (because it will have dead wasps inside) so waiting until nearer the end of the year will generally solve your wasp nest problem, although stories have been reported where nests have continued to grow after the summer (in the right conditions) creating a super colony. Seek advice to make sure before you do anything concerning wasp and wasp removal.
Ways to prevent or deal with wasp nests.
Wasps are part of the summer and so cannot be avoided, however there are certain steps that can be taken to lower your chances of having a nest:
1) As best as you can, seal, cover and remedy all vulnerable areas of the house, such as holes in sheds, the roof, guttering and mortar etc. It is near impossible to do everything but the more you can achieve will simply lower your chances.
2) Wasps are very territorial insects and so the presence of another wasp nest will drive them away. You can purchase fake wasp nests which are simply a hanging structure that is made to look like a proper nest. You know it isn’t real but the trick is they don’t!
3) Be mindful of fruit trees, sweet plants and flowers close to the house. These are all attraction points for wasps meaning you are at a greater risk of getting a nest close by.
4) Wasps are also attracted to household rubbish so ensure this is kept away where no smells can permeate.
5) Homemade wasp traps can be useful if you have some wasps around but not necessarily a nest. These are hung (usually on trees) with a sweet bate being set. This attracts the wasps with the idea that it can enter the trap but not leave it.
6) Ultimately pest controllers are the best solution for eradicating wasp nests as they have the equipment, skills and experience to tackle the situation. We would never recommend anyone treat a wasp’s nest theirselves as the situation can quickly turn and become dangerous. Professionals ensure the job is done properly with minimal risk, and this really is the best approach for what can be a difficult situation.
Follow our tips and hopefully you will have a nest free spring and summer this year!
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