How Do Wasps Build Their Nests?

October 15, 2020

Wasps, like hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps, are aerial menaces who are annoying at best and can cause you a lot of pain with their sting at worst. If you’ve noticed wasps around your home, it’s likely that there’s a nest somewhere on your property. Wasps nests are made with similar materials to each other, but they vary widely in size, shape, and location depending on the species that made them. Typically, however, you’ll see nests that resemble honeycombs or an enclosed paper structure. These small, sturdy nests can hold up to 10,000 individuals at their peak, all of which can cause you and your home a lot of strife.

Follow along as we detail general wasp nest facts, including how wasps build their nests, what they are made out of, and more.

Where Do Wasps Usually Build Their Nests?

Have you ever noticed an uptick of wasps around your home when it starts to warm up? It’s likely that your house has a lot of high areas that are tucked away, like eaves and porch overhangs. Wasps favor these nesting spots because they are much less likely to interact with people, which helps to protect them, their queen, and their offspring.

Other types of wasps species – such as hornets, yellowjackets, and mud daubers – build their nests in even harder to get to places. Hornets build football-shaped nests that are frequently located on high tree branches, so if your yard has a lot of trees, be sure to look out for telltale signs of a nest. Yellowjackets, on the other hand, build their nests underground.

Mud daubers, which are several species of slightly elongated wasps that construct their nests using mud, have even more interesting nests that can be located around homes. The organ pipe mud dauber builds its nest in the shape of a cylindrical tube resembling an organ pipe and it’s commonly found on vertical or horizontal areas like walls, overhangs, and bridges.

Black and yellow mud daubers build one-cell nests containing one egg each and multiple nests are usually clumped together. The metallic-blue mud dauber is known for either building a new mud nest or refurbishing the abandoned nest of another species. These two species’ nests commonly occupy the same barns and porches as each other.

What Do Wasps Use to Build Their Nests?

There are a lot of substances wasps use to build their nests but the most common (and abundant) material is paper pulp. They create this material using raw wood and their own saliva. To begin the nest, the queen wasp selects a suitable site and searches for sources of wood fiber, such as trees, logs, fences, houses, or even cardboard boxes. Using her jaws, the queen then scrapes off bits of wood fiber to use.

With the wood product in her mouth, the queen’s saliva breaks down the wood fibers until they form a soft paper pulp that she can then manipulate. Eventually, she will begin constructing the nest at the building site. Once worker wasps start to become fully grown, which takes about three weeks, they will assist the queen in expanding the nest.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Wasp Nest?

Nests are generally always under construction throughout the spring and summer as the colony continues to grow, so technically, a fully realized nest takes about 4-6 months to complete. In the fall, the nests reach their peak size and are then abandoned because only a fertilized queen can survive the winter.

During the lifecycle of a wasp nest, any part of it can happen inside or around your home. This can, of course, cause damage to the structure of the property and lead to expensive repairs. Additionally, you or your loved ones could happen upon a nest and get stung. If you notice that there’s a wasp nest in or around your house, call Insight Pest Solutions today. Our team is uniquely qualified to get rid of wasps and other common pests safely and without using harmful chemicals.

Learn more about our wasp removal services or schedule a free consultation online today!

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