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Watch Out For Wasp Nests

Jeffrey Hahn, Asst. Extension Entomologist

Now is a good time to take a close look for wasp nests around your home. They are getting large enough to be noticed but have not reached their peak size yet. Wasps can nest in a variety of locations. Some species commonly nest under eaves of homes, the branches of trees and shrubs, and similar open, exposed areas. They also commonly nest in the ground, especially in old rodent burrows, as well as wall voids, attics, and other hidden sites. If you see any kind of persistent activity of wasps in a particular location, take a closer look to see if there is a nest involved.

Jeff Hahn

Photo 1: Wasp nests can be found in the most unexpected places

One wasp, the European paper wasp, is interesting because of its ability to construct small nests in many different, unusual sites. Just in the author's backyard, they have been found nesting in the tail pipe of a unused van and inside an unused bird feeder. Paper wasps typically nest on the underside of horizontal surfaces. However, European paper wasps have the ability to construct their nests at angles. This wasp is also somewhat unique because while other wasps do not reuse their nests, they frequently reuse them which can result in larger than normal sized nests (for a paper wasp).

If you do find a wasp nest, the particular control you use will depend on factors, such as where the nest is located, how close to human activity it is, and whether the nest is out in the open or hidden. Click here for more specific information on controlling wasp nests.

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