How to know if there is a wasps nest nearby

If your garden has a lot of wasps buzzing around constantly there will either be something in your garden that is luring them or there will be a wasps nest nearby. Or both!

Wasps are foraging insects, they spend their lives looking either for food or for building materials. Early in the season they need wood to chew up and turn into wood pulp with which to build their nests, and food protein to feed the colony. The food protein they get from killing aphids, house flies, caterpillars, etc, and the wood pulp from any handy source – garden furniture, sheds, fences, etc. They take their foragings back to their nest and pass it on to the wasps in the nest whose task it is to build the structure and feed the inhabitants.

To find a wasps nest look around the eaves of your house, in the upper areas of your garage, in your attic or roof space, in crevices. Look for regular wasp activity.

Wasps usually use the same route to and from a lure, whatever it is – if you can’t locate a wasp nest in or around your garden then you can often back track to where they are coming from by observing their flight path.

Up to May, a wasps’ nest will only be between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball. From June to July it can grow up to the size of a football or rugby ball, after that it can grow right up to size of a medicine ball or even larger. The biggest wasps’ nest we heard of was the size of an armchair with an estimated population of 300,000 wasps.

It will be either grey or straw in colour depending on the wood pulp used to build it, and it will have dark and light swirls, or striations around it.

If you can’t find one externally but believe you have a nest in or around your house, look carefully for wasps going in and out of any small holes in the structure of your property. If you can see activity every few seconds, you probably have a wasps’ nest inside the cavity.

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