WHAT IS A WASP NEST?
WASP NEST INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
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WHAT IS A WASP NEST?
Ever wondered why wasps build nests? They don’t do it to annoy homeowners. Wasps have been building nests for millions of years, and wasp nests are intricate, complex homes that are truly impressive structures. Wasps maintain complex social hierarchies, and wasp nests reflect this behavior, creating an ever-expanding home to accommodate the queen, her larvae and workers. Female drone wasps are the workers, who join forces to continually build, fix and maintain the nest to accommodate a growing colony. While they may be home to pests, wasp nests are truly impressive!
Most wasp nests are made of a material that is very similar to paper, hence the name of several species of wasps. Wasps are natural architects, mixing their saliva with wood fibres to build the rigid, structure of a wasp nest. If you have ever handled a wasp nest (after they’re gone of course), you’ll be surprised by how strong and light they are.
In most cases when there is a wasp problem, a nest is sighted. The first step towards figuring out a solution for your wasp control problem is to identify the species of wasp, so a wasp nest removal plan can be put into action. These are some of the different scenarios where you may come across a wasp nest.
EXPOSED, VISIBLE WASP NESTS
Wasps will defend their nest with their lives, so often they don’t worry about finding hidden, sheltered locations for their nest. Yellowjackets are particularly known for starting nests in open areas conveniently located near food sources, meaning they’re built in close proximity to human activity. This can be anywhere from backyard trees, to porches, decks with BBQs, concrete walls where you store your garbage, pretty much anywhere they see fit! These exposed, visible wasp nests can also grow extremely large, making the task of wasp nest removal difficult or dangerous.
HIDDEN WASP NESTS
These can be literally anywhere! All it takes is a small opening that leads to a bigger, protected area to make a suitable location for wasp nests. This can be a crack in the wall, a small hole in siding of a home, a hole in a tree stump, or just a sheltered spot that isn’t outwardly visible like the underside of a deck. It can be a major surprise to discover that a wasp nest the size of a football is right beneath your feet! If you discover a hidden wasp nest, it’s very important not to disturb it. Call a wasp exterminator right away to access the situation, because what you do see may be the tip of the iceberg.
GROUND WASP NESTS
Although yellowjackets often build exposed nests like bald-faced hornets, in natural settings they more frequently build ground nests, meaning below the surface of the ground. They do this to protect themselves and build a home that is not only sheltered from predators, but also shelters from wind, heat or cold. These wasp nests can be very difficult to deal with. Imagine trying to solve a backyard wasp control problem where the only opening to the wasp nest is a small hole in the ground the diameter of a pencil! If you notice that there are simply too many wasps in an area that never had a problem, you may have a ground wasp nest in your backyard.
FAKE WASP NESTS
Perhaps you have seen this in your local hardware store. Fake wasp nests are designed to ward off potential queens from starting her nest in an area close to the already established ‘nest’ that you put in plain, visible sight. Wasps are extremely territorial, and the concept is that putting an already established ‘nest’ in plain site in early summer will deter a queen from building her nest in close proximity. Besides being an eye sore, wasps are better at detecting the pheromones of a rival wasp nest then simply seeing it, but it never hurts to try to protect yourself. It should be noted that this technique only works in early summer, as by mid or late summer wasp nests in Ontario are already in full force and won’t be scared off by a fake wasp nest anymore.
WASP NEST RESOURCES & RELEVANT WEBSITES
The following websites are useful resources for anyone who is interested in learning more about wasp nests. In a perfect world, wasp nests wouldn’t be harmed as wasps are important for the natural ecosystem, often keeping other pests in control through their hunting, and wasps are often used as pest control tools in agricultural settings. However, in urban settings they can be dangerous, harmful pests that need to be removed. Make sure to contact a wasp control expert to evaluate the situation anytime you find a wasp nest!
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