Do Wasps Nests Need to be Removed?

Wasp nest removal, all you need to know.  Wasps in the UK start to be visible in the months of June and July since this is when the colonies are usually fully populated. In the winter, the queen is usually hibernating, and in the spring, the queen emerges looking for a place to build a new nest. However, once she has chosen a good nest location, this is when the colony expansion begins. Some wasps will carry on building the nest while others search for food to bring back to feed the larvae.

wasp nest removal
huge wasp nest in the attic

If you have a garden and plan on entertaining during the summer, or you have a food business with an outdoor space and expect to see a lot of customers coming through your doors, the last thing you want is wasps ruining the experience. If you have noticed a particularly high number of wasps hovering around your premises, it may be that you have a wasp nest nearby. Although your first instinct may be to look up wasp nest removal, is it always necessary, or safe to do so? Below we look at wasps a bit more in-depth and cover what you should do if you discover a wasp nest.

Common Types of Wasps in the UK

In the UK, there are over 7,000 species of wasp. However, the most common are the Vespula vulgaris (common wasp) and the Vespula germanica (German wasp), and these are the wasps we tend to see in the summer. They are both yellow with black markings and are similar in size. There is also the red wasp, which nests underground; the tree wasp, which builds its nest both underground and in trees; and the Saxon wasp, which will build a nest in the eaves of houses and outbuildings.

You may also spot the European hornet, which is more common in the South of England. It is the largest wasp in the UK, with a yellow body and dark markings. The sting from a hornet is known to be a lot more painful than that of a common wasp, and it can cause pain and swelling for a good few hours.

How to Identify a Wasp Nest

When the wasp queen has chosen a place to start building a nest, she will begin to strip bits of wood from shed walls, fence panels, and garden furniture. So, you may notice little white lines on wooden items near your building, indicating that a nest is nearby. This wood is then chewed and mixed with saliva and wax to be used as a nest building material. The first piece of the nest will be attached to something sturdy, such as a beam within a roof structure. Next, a stalk called a petiole is built, and cells are built around this, much like the cells seen in a beehive. The nest begins to take shape as a grey or brown balloon-like structure, with a papery finish. The nest will grow in size as more worker wasps are produced. If the nest has been built inside a roof, you may not always be able to spot it.

The Case for Leaving Wasps Alone

If you do discover a wasp nest, before you go ahead and search for ‘wasp nest removers near me’, you may want to consider whether leaving it would be a better idea. First of all, if you have a nest but the wasps aren’t invading your space, know that it will eventually die off once summer ends anyway. Also, contrary to popular belief, wasps do actually have a purpose. For one, they are a form of natural pest control since they help to keep the number of crop-eating insects down. They are known to catch black flies and aphids to feed their larvae. Jewel wasps will lay eggs on cockroaches, and when the larvae emerge, they eat the insides of the cockroach, which eventually kills it. Lastly, wasp nests are also used by other creatures such as hoverflies.

Finding an Inactive Wasp Nest

At the end of the summer, wasp colonies tend to die off. At this point, the queen will find a new place to hibernate, leaving her current nest empty. If you find an empty wasp nest, there is no need to take any action, as they are only used for one year.

How to Prevent Wasps from Nesting on Your Property

It is not always possible to prevent wasps from nesting on your property since this would mean sealing all cracks, gaps, and crevices in your building. However, attempting to do this will at least reduce the risk of them finding a way in. In addition, you’ll want to make sure that any areas and receptacles used for food waste are tightly sealed and avoid leaving food and drinks out for any length of time.

If you tend to have your windows and doors open in the warmer months, consider using fly screens to prevent wasps from entering your home. You can also use wasp traps filled with sugar water or jam, which can then be placed outside. However, it is important to regularly check and empty any traps as a build-up of dead wasps simply creates a raft for living wasps to make their way back out.

You can build your own wasp traps with a large drinks bottle. Simply cut the top of the bottle off to make a funnel shape, turn it upside down and place it back in the bottle. Tape it together making sure not to cover the spout. Next, pour a sugar and water mixture into the bottle to about 3 inches in depth. The wasps will be attracted to the sweet smell, and they can fly in through the bottle opening but they will not be able to fly back out.

How to Remove a Wasp Nest

Wasp nest removal. Removing a fully formed wasp nest yourself is never recommended. Although you may find a good few wasps nest removal tips and guides online, they are usually unsafe and ineffective. Obviously, the wasps will try to defend their nest and they will use their venomous sting to do so. The worst thing you can do is try to burn the nest, flood it, or hit it down. Since wasp nests are made from wood pulp, this makes them highly inflammable, and trying to burn one down would risk you suffering severe burns, and also burning down your property. Never try this method.

You may also be told that using water to flood the nest is an effective way to get rid of the wasps. It is not. As well as causing water damage to your property with this method, you will simply aggravate the wasps and they will begin to attack you. And unlike bees, wasps do not die after one sting, so they will simply keep on defending their nest. Although one or two wasps stings are not considered dangerous, a large number of wasp stings can be fatal.

Lastly, hitting a wasp nest down is another removal method you should never try. Since you need to be quite close to the nest to hit it down, the angry wasps will probably start to attack you before you have even started.

However, if you manage to spot a nest in the early stages, when there is only the beginning of a stem, you can try to deter the wasps from making a home there. As long as the queen has left the vicinity, you can try to prevent her from coming back. You can do this by spraying the area with a homemade peppermint or lemon spray. Wasps cannot stand the smell of peppermint and lemon and so it acts as a strong deterrent. It may also be a good idea to purchase a decoy nest. Hang this near to where the new nest was about to be built and it may cause wasps to avoid the area since they will assume there is another colony already established there.

Call in the Professionals

If you want to remove a wasp nest safely and effectively, the best option is to head online and look up ‘wasp exterminator near me’. This should put you in touch with a professional pest control team who can come and investigate the problem. A pest control expert will be professionally trained to remove the nest from any number of places, including inside your roof. This also means they will have the right safety equipment and personal protective equipment to protect them from falls and stings. They also have access to powerful pest control products that you cannot buy at your local homeware store. These products will be guaranteed to get rid of the wasp colony. 

Entertaining in your outdoor space doesn’t necessarily have to be ruined by wasps. If you spot any, make sure you don’t have a wasp nest nearby. If you do, never attempt to remove it yourself, and remember, consider whether it needs to be removed in the first place.

RESIDENTIAL PEST CONTROL

No one wants to deal with wasp nest removal, bugs, rats, micecockroaches, flies, textile pests, insects, wasps, hornets, or bee control and ants in their house or business.

Pest infestations should be addressed as soon as possible, since if left unchecked, they might spread rapidly and cause structural damage to your house, health risks, lots of stress or even a fire danger.

At Bon Accord, we provide a full range of home pest control services as well as the Bon Accord Helpline, which allows us to deliver our clients with the level of service they require when dealing with rodents, ants, cockroaches and other infestations.

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