Signs of Wasp Nests

Wasps

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Signs of Wasp Nests

If you are experiencing high numbers of wasps (yellow jackets) in your home or garden there is likely to be a nest nearby, either on your property, in your garden or very close by.

A mature yellow jacket nest in summer can contain thousands of wasps.

It is best to treat a nest earlier in the year before numbers increase and the wasps become more aggressive. This will help to reduce the threat of a wasp sting, which can be very painful and even cause an allergic reaction.

Identifying a Wasp or Hornet Nest

Paper wasps - Paper wasps build open and exposed nests that resemble an upside down umbrella. These nests can get quite large late in the season, and adult wasps will readily sting if they sense danger approaching. Some wasps build new nests on top of old nests, giving the false impression that they are reusing a nest.

Yellow Jackets - build nests that are surrounded by a papery covering, and are commonly found within wall voids or cavities in the ground. When disturbed, yellow jackets are quite aggressive, and can attack in large numbers. Yellow jackets are typically most aggressive in late summer and this leads to an increase in yellow jacket stings.

Bald faced hornets - build nests that are covered in a papery shell and European hornets build their nests in natural cavities like tree stumps, or in cavities within buildings.

Mud Daubers - construct nests using mud or clay. The nests are small, tubular mud shutes usually built either in existing cracks or crevices in masonry, stone or timber around homes, sheds and garages.

Wasp Nest
Wasp Nest

Locating Nests

The best way to manage wasps and a wasp nest is to be able to identify and locate the nest.

A wasp nest is made from chewed wood that gives them their distinctive papery walls, with the exception of mud daubers that use clay or mud.

Queen wasps build small nests in the spring and lay the first batch of eggs. These quickly develop into workers that soon take over nest building activities for the remainder of the season

By mid summer, wasp nests can reach considerable size. Some nests can be the size of basketballs or even larger!

To locate the nest, watch the flight path of returning wasps. If the nest is near the home, keep nearby windows closed. If you suspect the nest is in your attic or in a wall it is then almost always best to call a professional exterminator.

Common sites for a wasp or hornet nest include under the roof eaves, behind shutters or in garden sheds.

Worried about a Wasp or Hornet Nest?

You should not attempt to treat a nest if you are sensitive to stings. If you disturb a nest, you may provoke the wasps inside to attack and sting you as a form of defense.

At Ehrlich, we offer a professional wasp nest treatment service to protect you from harmful stings by eliminating the nest.

Qualified professionals - All our wasp control technicians are fully trained and equipped with all necessary safety gear to complete the treatment quickly and safely.

Safe treatments - Our expert technicians follow strict guidelines to ensure you and your family is safe from harm during treatment.

Nest removal - We can also arrange for the removal of a nest (at a later date; at least 48 hours after treatment to allow for scout wasps to return and be killed) to reduce the risk of a secondary infestation.

How big can a Wasp Nest be?

At first, a wasp nest will start off very small.

  • When a Queen wasp starts to build a nest in spring it is usually about the size of a walnut or golf ball.
  • As summer progresses the nest will grow rapidly in size, as the number of wasps increase. A nest can become the size of a basketball, or even bigger in some cases.

Find out how you can help to deter wasps and prevent nests on your property.

Key Facts

Papernest Wasp nests are generally smaller and are the wasp nests you are most likely to see in the U.S. on external surfaces of your home or business.

Other wasp, hornet and bee species are also considered pests but are far less common.

Wasps have much less hair on their bodies than bees.

Wasps have a tighter waist between the thorax and abdomen than bees.

Wasps are sometimes mistaken for hornets as they are similar in appearance, but wasps are smaller in size.

Wasps have distinctive yellow and black markings on their bodies.

They have three main body parts; the head, thorax and the abdomen.

Worker wasps vary in size from 12-17mm.

Only female wasps sting and can do so repeatedly.

Contact Ehrlich free at for further information on how to get rid of wasps (yellow jackets) and hornets or to arrange for a visit by a Technician.