In the late summer, you may begin to notice nests on your property. They become more obvious in July and August as the nests grow larger and the population is at its peak. This is also the time when wasps and other stinging insects may start to become a little braver, visiting your picnic or barbecue foraging for something good to eat. If you’ve seen nests on your property, you may be wondering what you have living nearby. Here are some tips from the St Louis pest professionals at Rottler on how to identify any nests you have as well as what you should and shouldn’t do to get rid of them.
Yellow jackets measure between 3/8 and 3/4 of an inch long and are typically black and yellow or black and white striped. They used chewed-up cellulose material to build up a paper carton nest made up of a few cells and covered by a paper envelope. They often build their nests in the ground or high up in trees or attached to structures. When they build their nests in the ground, they look for areas bare of vegetation and if they can’t find that, they will clear an area around the entrance to their nest.
Baldfaced hornets measure between 5/8 and 7/8 of an inch long and are typically black bodied with a white face. They use chewed-up cellulose material to build a paper carton nest of dozens of cells covered by a golf ball-sized paper envelope. By the end of the summer, when the population is at its peak, the nests consist of 3 to 5 disk-like paper combs attached beneath each other and all enclosed in a multi-layered envelope. When the nests are fully mature, they can be up to 14 inches in diameter and 2 feet in length. They build their nests sometimes at ground level, but typically in an aerial location in trees or attached to buildings, overhangs, utility poles and other structures.
Paper wasps measure between 3/4 of an inch and 1 inch long and are multi-colored, depending on the species. They can be a combination of yellow, black, brown and orange and they have a long-legged appearance. Nests consist of a single layer of paper-like comb with the cells opening downward; they suspend this comb from a branch or a sheltered structural surface by a paper stalk. They never fully close the comb but leave it exposed; these nests never get especially large, containing only between 150 and 250 cells by the end of the summer. You can find these nests hanging from branches of trees or shrubs, or attached to porch ceilings, soffits, eaves and other protected surfaces.
Mud daubers measure between 3/4 of an inch and 1 inch in length and are long and slender. They are usually black or metallic black/blue with pale yellow markings. These wasps are solitary, unlike the rest of the wasps profiled here. They don’t live in colonies, but do create their nests out of mud. Mud wasp nest identification is quite obvious compared to the nests of paper wasps; these nests look like long slender tubes; sometimes mud daubers clump several nests together and then plaster more mud over them. They typically build nests on vertical or horizontal faces of walls, cliffs, bridges and overhangs.
If you have any of these nests attached to a structure or you’re noticing greater stinging insect activity on your property, you should never try to get rid of the nests on your own. Because many people suffer allergic reactions to a insect stings and because these stinging insects have the capability of stinging more than once if they feel threatened, trying to get rid of these pests on your own could prove deadly. The best way to effectively and safely get rid of wasp nests on your property is by contacting a professional pest control company. At Rottler, we have the knowledge and the tools to quickly remove a stinging insect nest from your property so that these insects won’t be around to bother your next picnic or BBQ.
Contact Rottler Pest and Lawn Solutions today for more information on our stinging insect control in St. Louis and Mid-Missouri!