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Wasp Nest Identification Guide

Wasp Nest Identification Guide

Nothing ruins an enjoyable summer day faster than annoying insects, especially wasps. These pests pose a particular threat as they are aggressive and capable of repeated stings. Stay safe outside by learning what to do if you find a nest on your property.

Types of Wasp Nests Found in PA, NJ, DE, and MD

If you notice a lot of wasps around your home or business, it's a safe bet that there's a nest nearby. Know what you are dealing with by familiarizing yourself with these common types of wasp nests found in the area:

shutterstock_2303288705Mud Daubers: Mud daubers reach a size of ½ to 1 inch and don't normally attack humans. They have thin, black bodies with bright markings and a metallic sheen. A unique trait of mud daubers is their nest-building habits. Instead of building large nests together, each insect constructs a small nest out of mud or clay to house themselves and any offspring. The nests look like they are made out of mud pipes and you can often see the individual chambers that each hold an egg. You may find their nests on the sides of buildings.


Wasp Nest-1Paper Wasps: Growing to a size of ¾ to 1 inch, paper wasps are either dark brown or black and have antennae tipped with orange. They construct small nests out of grayish paper-like materials that form hexagon-shaped cells. They place them under the eaves of buildings, in rafters, or in trees and shrubs. This species is less aggressive than other wasps and typically only sting when threatened.


Yellow Jacket NestYellow Jackets: These black and yellow wasps grow to about 1/2 inch. They build spherical nests that appear as though they are wrapped up in gray bandages, with a single hole located on the bottom. The nests can get as large as a basketball. Yellow jackets build their nests in high branches of trees and shrubs, inside the protection of structures, and even underground. They prefer hidden spaces, so stay alert. People discovering Yellow Jacket hives by stepping into them is surprisingly common. If you've seen yellow jackets in the area, tread carefully. 


Hornet NestHornets: These insects are a little larger than wasps, growing up to 2 inches. They have brown or black bodies with yellow-orange markings. Their hives are large, built using the pulp of chewed-up wood, and placed high off the ground. Hornets don't often sting unless they feel threatened, but they will swarm humans.

If you suspect there's a wasp nest nearby, you can often find it by observing the insects or inspecting your property.

What to Do If You Spot a Wasp Nest in Your Yard

The DIY approach to wasp nest removal is dangerous, so proceed with caution. If you choose to get rid of a wasp nest yourself, dress in layers of tightly woven fabric to protect yourself from stingers. Cover as much skin as possible, including wrapping a scarf or bandana over your face. 

You can apply a spray treatment from afar to keep your distance while killing wasps. Another option is pouring boiling water on the nest to kill the wasps, but this can be dangerous. Whatever you choose, it's best to approach the nest at night and act quickly.

Get Professional Wasp Control from Viking Pest

Wasp ExterminatorThere are numerous risks to treating wasp nests yourself. Some sprays can discolor roof tiles or siding. In some cases, wasp treatments have been known to melt vinyl siding. Getting stung is a more obvious risk. Unlike bees, wasps can sting repeatedly and some species of wasps are especially aggressive when protecting their nests. This is especially dangerous if you have an allergy. If you haven't been stung before, keep the possibility that you might be allergic in mind.  It's important to note that professional pest control technicians where specialized bee suits to deal with stinging insects. 


While it's possible to remove a wasp nest yourself, it's usually best to call a professional pest control expert, especially if you have a dangerous allergy to wasp stings. Viking Pest Control can handle all your wasp control needs safely and effectively, no matter what type of wasp you are dealing with. Schedule a free wasp control estimate today. 

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