Have you ever wondered about what is the right thing to do if you discover a wasp nest on your property?
In this article, we will take you through some information about common paper wasps – which are the most widespread wasp variety found in Melbourne – and what to do if you find these insects on your property.
The life cycle of a wasp begins in the late spring when the days start to get warmer. The queen chooses a nest site and starts building the nest by shredding and chewing wood. She will then start laying her eggs inside these nest cells. During the hatching process, she will forage for food to feed the larvae, which will grow to make the nest densely populated. In late summer and early autumn, fertile females and drones are produced.
Common paper wasps offer some ecological benefits such as pollination, parasitism, and predation. However, wasps are known to give painful stings. Since common paper wasp nests are usually found in residential areas, people might start to notice the increasing presence of wasps that can become highly interfering and inconvenient. It is best to call an experienced wasp exterminator in Melbourne when wasps are found in properties or places that become unsafe or highly inconveniencing for humans.
Don’t mistake a bee for a wasp
Bees – especially honey bees – and wasps are often mistaken for one another. While both are capable of stinging people, there are some noticeable differences between the two insects. Wasps have a slender body that narrows along the waist area that is shiny and sleek. Meanwhile, bees have tiny hairs all over their bodies.
The honey bee is usually passive and will only sting when it feels attacked. They can only sting once before dying after stinging. On the other hand, wasps are aggressive and can sting multiple times.
Bees are usually seen around flowers, collecting pollen and nectar, while wasps are usually seen around food and drink. Knowing these differences will help to prevent unfortunate encounters with these insects.
Where to look for wasp nests
Wasps cover up their nests within the roof spaces or wall voids of a building, making it quite difficult to find them. You can often find wasp nests in roof spaces, bird boxes, wall cavities, under eaves, garages and shades. Other places to look for wasps include:
- Below fallen logs
- Beneath concrete
- Behind shutters
- Near light fixtures
- Under rocks
- Mailbox stands
- Crack or crevice of a building
- Unused grills
- Eaves, decks, and patios
Other signs to look for
As wasps return to the nest to feed their queen, you can see them leaving their nest frequently throughout the day. If you follow the flight path of a swarming wasp, you can usually find the nest location quite easily.
If the nest is in an out-of-the-way location, just rely on sound to find it. With a nest containing thousands of insects, you will hear an audible buzzing sound which would indicate the presence of a wasp nest.
What you should do with a wasp nest
Removing a wasp nest on your own can be a dangerous and unpleasant exercise for the inexperienced, which is why it is best left to the professionals.
However, if you are forced to engage with a wasp nest, you must ensure to wear all necessary protective gear, such as a full-body beekeeping suit. The best time to approach a wasp nest is at night when wasps are more docile. Try to approach the nest quietly and ensure everyone around you is safe and at a reasonable distance from the nest. Never poke a wasp nest, set it on fire, or douse it with water. These methods are mostly ineffective at getting rid of wasps, can cause damage to property, and provoke wasps.
Ideally, it is recommended to engage a professional wasp exterminator who has expertise in eco-friendly pest management. A professional can easily and safely remove a wasp nest with the right equipment and suits and ensure that no-one will get hurt during the removal process.