How to identify wasp nests?

Around our houses, especially if we live in areas where we can find lots of green spaces, there might be insects that want to enter it, or to have a life there just as we do. It is significant to know what kind of insect we have in our homes, since they can vary, as some of them might be more dangerous than others. In this case, we will be talking about wasps and why we need to identify if we have a wasp nest in our garden or inside our homes.

What makes wasps and bees different?

Sometimes people confuse bees with wasps. Of course, they have differences that you can recognize at plain sight. Generally, bees have exceptional yellow and black colours all over their bodies, while wasps can be not only yellow and black but many colours, even red.

Furthermore, their sizes are different. Wasps tend to be longer, while bees have an almost round figure that you can easily recognize. Their wings tend to be smaller, according to their bodies, except for the queen. On the other hand, wasps have bigger wings and more of an elongated figure.

Their nests vary in size, so you can set them apart. Having a bee nest in your house is not that complicated as having a wasps’ because the former is more aggressive and can attack anyone who gets close to it, having serious consequences. Do not mess around with wasp nests.

How can you identify if there is a wasp nest nearby?

One of the first signs that you will notice is the increase in wasps near your house. They can be seen flying looking for food sources around, like flowers, nectar and sometimes even other insects. You can take this to your advantage, as you can follow one of them from a near distance, but not too close, of course. This will lead you to the nest, so you need to be cautious not to upset them, their aggressiveness is known to be fierce.

wasps nest

Where can you find wasps nests?

This is a common question that has a simple answer: anywhere that you find a crack, or a dark space may be ideal for wasps to build their nest. There are examples of these places, like cracks in a building, garden sheds, which tend to be their favourites since they are not going to be disturbed at any moment given.

Moreover, you can find them under the ground, where basements are. This can be very troublesome. You’ll see that when you follow the wasp, they will take you directly to the place they are hiding. A sign that tells that one of them is there, is the deafening sound of buzzing.  Check every place around the house where darkness fosters, and you will find it.

What do wasp nest look like?

It really depends on the type of wasp because each one of them has a different way to approach building them. A wasp nest can start as a simple ball made of material and saliva they have collected and from there it starts to grow. Most of them tend to have a hole in the bottom part where wasps can enter, and a round shape, almost like a balloon.

Also, some of them look like a honeycomb, with its rounded and circular shape, but remember not to get near them since they are aggressive insects that can attack you when you are near their territory. The ones that create nests with mud are not as dangerous as the ones that have a proper nest since these only put the eggs inside mud “balls” that the adult wasp will eat from the inside in order to go out.

How can I identify a wasp nest?

First, one of the main ways to do this is to find a wasp and follow it directly to the nest. It is not complicated, but dangerous as they can sting you if you are not careful. An Other way of saying that it is indeed one of them it is by checking the material it is made of. Naturally, most of the nests are made of wood that has been chewed previously, mixed with saliva in order for it to stick to the location it is going to be placed, giving it notably walls made of a papery material.

Remember that you need to search your whole house for you to find a wasp nest. They are hidden in many places, as they like crevices and dark places. If you see that there is a rounded structure near a lamp, or in your basement you can hear a very distinctive sound, then there might be a nest in your premises.

It goes from being almost the size of a golf ball, to a football in a couple of months. In the summer is when the wasp starts to raise their number since the queen lays many eggs and as a result, it gets bigger and more dangerous to be around.

How can I avoid having a wasp nest?

It is easy, since what you need to do is keep every entry that can be used by wasps to create a nest. Also, if you have protected your house, doors, and windows with fly screens this will help a lot since, as wasps are almost the same size, they are not going to be able to enter.

Keep your rubbish bins protected with their lid on so if a way were to enter to get food from it, it would not be able to do it, thus removing itself from the property as there are no resources to get.

Sometimes you do not want to deal with wasps in your home, so it is better if you call a pest control service to remove it for you.


Type of British Wasps

Like bees, wasps are a type of insect that forms colonies. These insects have a common structure since there is a queen that reigns over all of them, leaving them certain chores as to collect food and pollinate flowers.

When we talk about wasps, we are not referring to one in particular since they come in multiple types and their aggressiveness, behaviour, and everything changes according to that, so it is better to get to know them first.

German Wasp (Vespula germanica)

Vespula germanica

This one shares its throne as one of the most common but cannot compete with the Vespula Vulgaris. They can grow up to 13 mm and have their legs and body covered in yellow and black stripes.  It looks similar to the common wasp, but it has three black dots in its head that can set it apart from other species.

This type of wasps can be very dangerous, even with wildlife that has stepped into their territory. Humans need to be cautious when they are around them as they can attack pretty quickly and very aggressively. Always remember to check the grounds around you and inside your house as they can set up their nests in attics, although only a part of it is grounded. In terms of their diet, once they have found a source of food, they can go and get it again as many times as possible.

In the winter things can be rough to their nests if they are not as protected since low temperatures can make them die off. If a nest is well-built, it can recover and not die.

Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris)

Vespula Vulgaris

You can find this one the most annoying type of British wasps. It can bother you while you are having a picnic, but it is not as aggressive as the German one. Their appearance is also pretty similar, being the male almost identical to the naked eye, while the females have a few differences. Their dots now transform into different shapes like a dagger or an anchor. They can also be bigger than the germanica as they can grow up to the 17 mm of length and their queen can reach the 20 mm.

The behaviour of this wasp is pretty normal, and not as aggressive as other types. There is something unique that represents them, and it’s their adaptability to the place where they live as habitats can vary among them. Furthermore, their nests can be found in different places as cavities made by rodents or any kind of animal, inside hollow trees or holes, even though they can be found underground.

Although they create nests that are smaller than the germanica ones, they do not survive the winter as it is not prepared for those kinds of temperatures. This nest can hold up to 10.000 individuals in most cases.

Red Wasp (Polistes Carolina)

Polistes Carolina

From all the types of British wasps, this one is unique in terms of appearance. You can spot them pretty easily since they are big in terms of size. They go around 18 mm to almost 30 mm. Their colour is very singular since they have black wings and are a reddish- brown coloured. Often with red stripes along their abdomen. They dislike sweet things as much as others so if you want to lure them in a trap these might not work.

It is important to say that they are very well skilled when building their nests. They are umbrella shaped, and like them to be in protected areas, so nothing can disturb them or the nest. It is pretty common to hear it being called the paper wasp, this is because they tend to use materials like paper, so they can build their nests, which normally are in rural areas.

Their diet is varied as they can go from sugary foods like nectar, up to different insects as larvae, cicadas, and caterpillars. They rely on their stings to get their prey, and they can be very painful.

Tree Wasps (Dolichovespula sylvestris)

Dolichovespula sylvestris

It is said this is the only wasp that is not considered as a pest since they do not have a lot of interest for human food, so they do not usually go around houses. Their main focus is to build nests, with a singularity that distinguish them from the rest, as they can be aerial and underground, but attached to an overhanging structure. These British wasps build their nests on tree branches, rocks, or even grass stem.

Their behaviour is different from other wasps since they are not really aggressive towards wildlife or humans. You will get a sting or two if you get near them, though. They look similar to other wasps but the feature that distinguish them is the brownish colour of their wings.

Norwegian Wasps (Dolichovespula norwegica)

Dolichovespula norwegicaScopoli, 1763)

They are the smallest species of wasps around Britain. Their queen is the one that goes up to 18 mm long. Yellow and black are the colours that represent them, however, red can be found in the front part of their abdomen.

This species can be found in the rural areas of the UK, and their nest can be seen in trees, house walls, shrubs, and other enclosed areas where the nest can be protected. Their diet consists of different insects like spiders, and the most important thing is the nectar they get from flowers.

These are some types of British wasps that exist. Remember that not all of them are friendly and if you need to get rid of them you can call a pest service to remove them from your premises.


How to get rid of wasps at home

When the hot days of summer come, they bring with them friends that are not desired by many: the wasps. Those who dislike the idea of sharing space with them, try to kill and crush them, and this unfortunately makes everything worse.

So, if you have had problems with wasps recently or if the experience was traumatic enough for you, then we invite you to read on. Learn how to get rid of wasps in your home in a preventive and corrective way.

Tips to prevent wasp infestation

Check your home for nests

It’s important to check everywhere in your home or garden for signs of wasp nests, especially in early spring when the mating and nesting season begins. These nests initially look like a golf ball or a walnut.

Small nests have fewer wasps, and therefore are the easiest to treat. Search in garages, lofts, sheds, under roofs or in hollow walls.

Make sure rubbish containers are tightly closed

Make sure that external waste containers are tightly closed and have their lids on tightly. Place containers far enough from doors and windows so that wasps are not attracted to the contents of the container.

If you see one or two wasps

If you see a wasp or two, even if you have not confirmed the presence of a nest, it is vital that you close doors and windows to prevent wasps from entering the home. Keep your children and pets safe, especially if they are allergic to wasp stings.

Wear dissuasive clothing

You should know that brightly coloured or floral-printed clothing attracts wasps because by mimicking the appearance of a flower, wasps can appear more curious than usual searching for nectar.

Avoid wearing perfume

Wasps are attracted to sweet smells, which can be present in creams and perfumes, especially in summer. Decrease the amount of strong perfumes and odours that attract these insects.

Eliminate all food sources

Wasps tend to gravitate towards protein foods in late spring and early summer, so you must set aside any food that is available to them, as is the case with pet food.

In late summer, wasps begin to like foods with sweet smells, so they identify where these are. Therefore, they will continue to search in the same place after the food has been exhausted.

Uses herbs to keep wasps away

Wasps are not very fond of aromatic odours, such as mint, eucalyptus, or thyme. Plant any of these herbs outside, so you can repel these pests when they come near your home.

Tips for getting rid of a wasp nest in your home

Make sure you have found a wasp’s nest

To verify if you really have a wasp nest in your house, the first thing you should do is to check it thoroughly in every corner inside and outside where you live. Once you have located it, make sure it is a wasp nest and not a honeycomb.

The honeycombs can be distinguished by the fact that they have hexagons, so it is vital to leave them alone. Wasp nests are made of dead wood, which makes them light brown or grey with some spirals in their texture.

Call a professional in a timely manner

Avoid removing wasp nests on your own, especially if you are allergic to their stings or if the nest is not close by. If you need a ladder to remove one of these nests, it is best to desist and call the fire service or pest control experts.

Swarms of wasps, when you try to move them yourself, can cause you to fall from high places, resulting in injuries and medical bills that are more elusive than an exterminator asks for.

Use a special spray to kill wasps

Although we strongly recommend you call a professional to take care of the problem, there are aerosols and chemical powders that are guaranteed to kill all wasps including the queen of the colony. You can buy them in physical shops or online, and you can administer these substances at night when these insects are less aggressive and slower to react. Remember, handling chemicals can be dangerous.

Kill wasps by applying do-it-yourself skills

These are methods commonly used and can be beneficial if you are dealing at a specific moment, to eradicate wasps properly, call the professionals.

Trap made with soda bottles

To make this trap you only need scissors, plastic bottles, tape and a bait (diluted dishwasher or vinegar). The idea is that you place this trap in the corner of the room with wasp problems. First cut off the top of the bottle and place bait at the bottom of the bottle.

Invert the top third of the bottle and insert it into the base. Glue these two pieces together and place the trap in any corner of the room. The wasps are attracted to the bait, and will stagnate at the bottom where they will die.

You must empty the trap periodically to ensure that any wasps that come near are exterminated and to avoid unnecessary accumulation.

False paper nest

Wasps are territorial, so they will not build a nest if they think there is another colony nearby. A false nest is ideal in these cases, and you will need a plastic bag, a paper bag, some bits of paper and some string to make it.

Fill your plastic bag with the bits of paper, these being the inside of the nest, and the plastic bag will do because this is basically the shape of the nest, and it also helps to resist the other components.

Then, wrinkle the paper bag so that it takes the shape of a nest. Once crumpled, open the bag again and place the full plastic bag inside it. Stick the string into the paper bag, making sure it is long enough to hang up easily.

It is important that the false nest is placed as close as possible to the real nest so that the wasps can notice it. Close the door to the room with the wasps and leave the window open so the wasps can leave the room with their colony.