Wasp Nests On Their Way
With spring around the corner, our gardens will soon have to face the arrival of several insects, the most common being wasps. Unlike bees, wasps are aggressive insects that can cause serious harm if they feel their nest is threatened. Wasps begin building their nests at the start of spring (mid-April time) when the weather starts to get warmer.
How Long Does a Wasp Nest Last?
Wasps are warm-weather insects, they build their nests in the spring and the start of summer.
In most cases, wasp nests can last as long as three to four months – assuming they aren’t attacked by predators or the queen moves. As soon as the temperature begins to drop, wasp numbers will follow suit. However, it is very possible that a nest can last all summer.
Important point: If wasp nests are not addressed and treated, it’s very unlikely they will disappear on their own. Once a colony is formed, the worker wasps will defend their nest at all costs.
Where Do Wasps Nest?
Wasps are able to nest anywhere providing the structure they choose can support the weight of the nest. They tend to choose locations that are high up and hidden from predators.
As long as the location provides a suitable breeding and feeding round for their colony and queen, they can nest anywhere.
A common misconception is that wasps only nest high up in trees. However, wasps are known to nest in the following areas:
- Garden sheds
- Lofts, basements and attic areas
- Gutters and roof linings
- Cracks, gaps and fissures in walls
Don’t be surprised if you find wasps nesting in other areas. As stated previously, wasps will build their nests anywhere that provides a safe and secure breeding ground for their colony.
Look out for nests in bushes, tree stumps and even holes in the ground.
How Long Do Wasps Live?
Wasp lifespans vary depending on the type of wasp. Social, worker wasps (females) have an average lifespan of 12-22 days. However, drones (males) live slightly longer, and queens can live up to one year (as they hibernate).
When Do Wasps Die Off?
Fortunately, the number of wasps and wasp activity will begin to fall as soon as the weather starts to cool. You can expect wasp numbers to decline rapidly near the end of September. There are a few reasons for their decline in numbers, including:
Cold weather – the biggest cause, kills off the males due to harsh temperature and lack of food.
Nests become unusable – once summer ends, wasp nests are evacuated as new nests are built the following summer.
Queen wasps are left exposed – without the nest and the workers, the queens are left exposed to predators. Spiders commonly wipe out any remaining queens as summer ends.
Queens tricked by warm winters – if the temperature remains warm during the colder months, this can trick the queen into coming out in search of food. This usually ends with the queen dying of starvation.
Do Wasps Return to the Same Nest?
Once the wasp season has passed, they will abandon the nest and the queen will go into hibernation. However, this is not to say that wasps won’t nest in the same area. Wasps take kindly to areas that provide shelter and seclusion from the elements, so don’t be surprised if they return to build a new nest in the same location.
Come spring, the queen will begin hatched worker wasps. She will spend the rest of her life in the nest laying eggs. As the wasp season comes to an end (early autumn), the queen will lay her final eggs, which will grow into queens for next year.
The Dangers of Removing a Wasp Nest
While the nest itself is not dangerous, the wasp colony inside can present a threat to you, especially if you anger or disturb the nest.
If you come into contact with a wasp nest and you are stung, a pheromone in the venom will alert other wasps and will also cause them to become more aggressive.
While one wasp sting won’t cause too much harm, if you are attacked by a swarm, it can be life-threatening. Stings to the face, chest and neck are best avoided due to the swelling and therefore constrictions to muscles.
Important note: If you suffer from anaphylaxis, under no circumstances should you attempt to remove a wasps nest. If you are stung by a wasp, it is essential you receive immediate medical treatment. Anaphylaxis can be fatal if it is not treated swiftly.
Removing a Wasp Nest
There are several articles online that talk about the best DIY techniques to remove wasp nests. However, these techniques are not guaranteed to work and you run the risk of injuring yourself in the process.
Removing a wasp nest is not an easy task and it can be extremely dangerous, especially if you have no experience and are attempting it alone. If you are considering DIY removal, be sure to wear protective clothing and research the safest ways to remove a wasp nest.
What to Do After Removal
After a nest is safely removed, we will leave it in its natural location. We do this for a few reasons; firstly, wasps will not return to and old nesting site. If we remove the nest, wasps may create a new nest as they have already built a nest in this location before.
If any wasps do attempt to inhabit an old nest that has been treated, they will not survive inside for long. It’s not uncommon for a treated nest to ward off and even kill other nests close by due to the repellents we use in our treatments. If the wasps do enter an old, treated nest and return to their new nest, they will likely infect it.
Wasp Nest Removal
At AMES, our wasp technicians have the experience and tools to remove any wasp nest from any property. Our technicians have over 30 years’ experience and undertake wasp nest removal tasks regularly.
Opting for a pest control service eliminates the risk to your health and safety and ensures swift, effective nest removal.