In spring, queen wasps emerge from hibernation to begin to build a nest. Queen wasp characteristics are similar to worker wasps and include the iconic bright yellow and black stripes, triangular shaped head and narrow waists. The main difference between worker and queen wasps in appearance is that queen wasps tend to be longer in length; around 2-2.5cm. The ideal location for nest building is somewhere safe, dry and structurally secure, this can often be in tree cavities, or within buildings, such as sheds or loft spaces. The queen then lays eggs which hatch into a labour force of sterile female workers who assume responsibility of nest building.
What Does a Wasp Nest Look Like?
Aerial wasp nests are very distinctive in appearance. The nesting material is made when wasps mix chewed up wood fibres with saliva. This creates a pulp which gives the nest the appearance of paper. The intricate architecture of the wasp nest can be both impressive and daunting. They are dull, cement grey in colour, and resemble a balloon shape. Whilst nests start off around the size of a golf ball, they can reach a significant size. Last year a wasp nest measuring 2.5ft, “the size of a space hopper” was reported in the UK, containing an estimated 5,000 wasps.
How Long do Wasp Nests Last?
Wasp nests last for one season only. As soon as the temperature decreases, so do wasp numbers, after which nests are left empty and will not be reused.
Telltale Signs: Wasp Nest Construction
At this time of year, Avon Pest Control advise staying alert for signs that a wasp nest may be being built in or around your property.
Such signs include:
- Chew marks on wooden fence panels, gates, sheds, and window frames
- Observed increased wasp activity
- Visible nest structures
- Continuous loud buzzing from an enclosed space, e.g., in wall cavities
One way to help you to locate a wasp nest is to follow a worker wasp back to their nest. It is advisable to act fast as soon as you discover an active wasp nest. In early spring the nest will be small, containing a solitary queen and a few workers. By summer, the nest will have increased considerably in size, may contain thousands of wasps, and the colony will be more aggressive, making the situation more difficult to manage.
Removal: Don’t Stir Up a Wasp’s Nest
Wasp nests can be difficult and dangerous to treat or remove. Wasps can be aggressive and carry painful stings which can trigger an allergic reaction. If you find a wasp nest on your property, Avon Pest Control recommend contacting a professional pest control management company who will have the correct protective equipment and expertise to handle these picnic pests for you.
If you are concerned wasps are building a nest in your home or garden, or would like information and advise on how to deter social wasps, contact Avon Pest Control today on 01789 293 463 or 01926 632 929, or click here ; to let our fast and effective service resolve your pest problem for you.