22/10/2022

How to spot a wasp nest developing

Wasp nests are never a welcome sight in your home or garden, and the longer that you leave one unchecked, the more difficult they are to remove. In this post, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to spot a wasp nest developing.

Wasp nest stages – how does a queen wasp start the nest?

Wasp nests are complex structures and are typically built in stages. These are: 

  1. Nest establishment
  2. Egg laying, pupation and colony expansion
  3. Queen production and mating

Start of a wasp nest

After hibernating through Autumn and Winter, a queen wasp will emerge in a bid to find a suitable place to begin building her nest. Some of the more common locations include wooden structures, lofts and holes in the ground. The queen will look for sources of wood such as trees and fences; she’ll then mix any wood that she sources with saliva to create a pulp.

Egg laying, pupation and colony expansion

After establishing a nest, the queen’s next job is to begin colonising it. She creates a collection of cells in a hexagonal pattern. She’ll then lay eggs in each cell before moving on to create outer structures and expand the nest. The nest will then continue to grow over the course of the Spring and Summer.

Queen production and mating

Towards the end of the Summer, the queen will begin mating in order to produce new queens – the cycle then begins again. 

What does the start of a wasp nest look like?

The start of a wasp nest will be a small structure (around the size of a golf ball). As they’re primarily made from thin wood shavings, they’ll have an almost paper-esque look and feel. The colour might be an off white or brown due to the wood that has been used to create them.

How do I know if I have a wasp nest? How to spot a wasp nest

The start of a wasp nest will be a small structure (around the size of a golf ball). As they’re primarily made from thin wood shavings, they’ll have an almost paper-esque look and feel. The colour might be an off white or brown due to the wood that has been used to create them.

How do I know if I have a wasp nest? How to spot a wasp nest

The easiest way to know if you have a wasp nest is simply to see it in the flesh. However, they’re not always visible straight away. Queen wasps work hard to find an appropriate location to build their nests and sometimes this can mean hiding it from plain sight. 

One way to know if you have a wasp nest would be spotting increased wasp activity around your home or garden. During the day, wasps will be entering and leaving the nest as they seem to build it further. If you notice an increase in wasps and any specific patterns of movement then you could be witnessing a wasp making a nest. You should then be able to get a rough idea of the location of the wasp nest by following the wasps to their destination.

What time of year do wasps build nests?

Queen wasps build nests in Spring and Summer after emerging from hibernation.

How big can a wasp nest get?

Wasp nests can be extremely large towards the end of the Summer months. As mentioned above, they typically start off around the same size as a golf ball, but they can grow to be much larger. The largest recorded nest was found in New Zealand and measured 3.7m long. Now we’re not saying that all wasp nests will grow to that size, but it is possible for them to become large enough to be a considerable obstruction. 

wasp nest in attic

What to do if you spot a wasp nest developing

Now that you’re clued up on how to spot the early warning signs of a wasp nest, you’re probably wondering – what do I do if I have a wasp nest? 

If you have a wasp nest developing, our advice is always to seek the help of a professional pest control technician to ensure that the nest is removed safely and that the risk of another nest is reduced. There are options to use over the counter products to remove a nest but these are usually ineffective when compared with the products that a professional will have at their disposal. 

If you’ve spotted a wasp nest in your home or garden and need it to be removed then please feel free to reach out to us for a free, no obligation consultation.

CPC is based in Shropshire and currently services residents and businesses in Whitchurch, Wrexham, Chester, Crewe, Telford, Shrewsbury and surrounding areas
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