Have you ever wondered why there are wasp nests near your home when it warms up outside? It’s worth knowing what these annoying pests look for when choosing a location for their nests. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to dissuade wasps from moving in around your home.
What a Wasp Thinks About When Searching for a Home
Humans look for a home that provides shelter from the elements and enough space to live comfortably. Unfortunately, wasps aren’t as selective. They’ll build their nests just about anywhere, so long as they have a sturdy, horizontal base to hang from.
Things that wasps commonly look for include:
Eaves, Ceilings and Overhangs
The favored nesting spots for wasps are eaves, porch ceilings and overhangs. They often choose a corner spot where the nest will be more protected.
Supply of Weathered Wood
Paper wasps, a very common species, get their names from the nests they construct. They build nests using wood fiber, therefore they need a construction resource near the nest. The queen wasp scrapes wood fiber from wood materials, and chews it to mix the fiber with her saliva, creating a paper pulp. She then spits it out at the desired build site to shape and create the nest. Gross, but very efficient for building.
Insect Food Supply
The one good quality wasps have is that they control the insect population by eating other bugs – placing them in the category of beneficial yard pests. The bad news is that if they decide your home is a good nesting location, that probably means there’s an ample food supply nearby.
Access to Indoor Shelter
You’ll be happy to know if wasps made a nest on your property last year they won’t come back to it. Wasps abandon their nests in fall and let Mother Nature take its course to decompose it. The downside is that the queen seeks shelter indoors to survive the winter. If she is successful she can start the process all over again come spring.
How to Make Your Home Less Appealing to Wasps
The first line of defense is having regular pest control treatments around the exterior of your home. That will cut down the other bugs that wasps feed on.
Also keep your trash either in the garage out of reach or away from the home at the curbside. In addition to bugs, wasps will eat trash consisting of protein-rich debris.
Clean up around fruit trees. As the summer wanes, wasps’ diets turn from protein to sweets. They enjoy feasting on fallen fruits, so if you have a fruit tree make sure to clean up around it.
Put bright, floral décor far away from the house. When wasps can’t find sweets in the trash or fruit to eat they get nectar from flowers. They’re naturally attracted to bright, floral prints, so minimize the use of these in your yard.
Limit outdoor water resources. Like all living things, wasps need water. In the drier summer months there usually isn’t a lot of standing water, but take steps to eliminate any areas where it may stand. Taking these steps is also important for mosquito control.
What to do if Wasps are Still Attracted to Your Home
Sometimes your property is just so darn appealing that no matter what you do, at least one wasp will think it’s the perfect real estate for its summer home. And that’s all it takes when mud daubers are around. Here’s how to evict wasps once they build their home on your property.
June is the ideal time to get rid of a wasp nest because it has been established but hasn’t had time to grow. The best time of day to eradicate nests is at dusk or later when wasps are less active.
For exposed nests, use a spray that’s formulated for wasps to treat the area. Wearing gloves, protective eye wear, pants and long sleeves, spray the nest with the insecticide. Make sure there is a clear escape route in case you stir up the wasps. They attack whenever they feel threatened. The next morning look for activity – if there is none, the spray has done its job and the nest can be removed. If there are still wasps around the nest, administer another treatment within the next few days.
Wasp nests aren’t always out in the open. Concealed nests behind walls or under decks are much more difficult to eradicate. You’ll need to use a dusting insecticide and possibly even drill holes into the surface to reach the nest. There needs to be a nozzle that’s slim enough to fit through the hole and puff the dust into the hollow area where the nest is located. As you can imagine, this job tends to get messy and is usually best left to the professionals.
It’s always advisable to enlist the help of professional exterminators when you’re dealing with insects that sting. If you’re in Alabama and starting to notice wasps building nests at your home, give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control, Inc. a call and we’ll handle the wasp eviction for you!