Wasps

How to get rid of a wasp nest

Moving a wasp nest can be very dangerous. Wasps inside the nest will feel threatened and often become aggressive. This could cause them to sting you and others as they defend their nest and young.

To get rid of wasps you do ‘not’ need to remove the nest, but you do need to treat it and the nesting wasps.

To reduce the risk of stings to you and your family, arrange for a professional wasp nest treatment. This effective solution will eliminate the wasps and keep you safe from the threat of stings.

How to get rid of Wasps

The location of a nest on your property, or nearby, is usually the reason why you have a wasp problem.

If you can get rid of the nest early on in the spring, you can really help to avoid a serious problem in the height of summer.

You should only attempt to use DIY products under the following conditions:

  • if the nest is small, on your property and easy to access.
  • if you discovered the nest in early spring and the nest is still small (size of a golf or tennis ball).
  • if there is minimal wasp activity around the nest.
  • if you are NOT allergic to wasp stings.
  • If the nest is within a wall cavity or similar enclosed space it may not be possible to remove it at all.

The good news is that the same nest is never reused by a new queen the following year.

A new nest may be built in the same location though, if it continues to offer shelter, protection and easy access to the outside.

Wasp Nest Treatment

A mature wasp nest only found in late summer will almost certainly require professional treatment due to the high risk of wasp stings. By this stage, a nest may contain thousands of individual wasps. If you still wish to remove the nest yourself, it would be better to wait till late autumn before attempting this and ensure you wear protective clothing as the treatment may still be active within the nes

Wasps are most active in the warm summer months. In South Africa, the Common Wasp and German Wasp cause the most annoyance and painful stings. Even with their special yellow and black body, they can still be confused with hornets, although hornets are not as common in this country, they can still bite and sting you.

Signs of Wasp Nests

If you are experiencing high numbers of wasps 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 nest in summer can contain thousands of wasps.

It is important to treat a wasp nest early to reduce the threat of a wasp sting, which can be very painful and even cause an allergic reaction.

Identifying a Wasp Nest

Wasps make their nests from chewed wood pulp and saliva, giving them distinctive papery walls.
Nests are usually built in sheltered spots with easy access to the outside. You can often find wasp nests in wall cavities, roof spaces, under eaves, in bird boxes, sheds or garages.
To locate a nest, carefully watch the flight path of the returning wasps, this becomes easier later in the summer as the numbers of wasps increase.

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 football, or even bigger in some cases.

It is best to treat a nest earlier in the year before numbers increase and the wasps become more aggressive.

Difference between Wasps and Bees

It is possible to confuse wasps with bees. However the treatment available for a wasp nest and a bee hive differ.

Bees are an endangered species and a bees nest will only be removed if it poses a significant threat to nearby people. Ecopoise will only treat a bees nest as a last resort and with honey bees, only after contacting a qualified bee keeper.

Treatments for a wasp nest are far more common and can be carried out professionally by Ecopoise, quickly and safely.

Facts

  • 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.