Information about wasps, wasp nests, bees and hornets
Yes! Wasps do frequently build their nests indoors, both in attics and inside houses, however it is unusual to find a nest in a part of a house that is used regularly but it does happen. Most of the time nests are built in lofts, sheds, gardens and garages etc.
If you are finding wasps inside your home on a regular basis, there is a good chance that you have a nest within your home. Wasps can squeeze through the smallest of gaps and can even get through the gap in down lights (flush fitting lights in the ceiling).
The insecticide used by pest controllers is a powerful dust based product. This dust is pumped into the nest or entrance to the nest where it is carried into the nest by the active foraging wasps. The product has a shelf life of around 3 years. So we advise customers to leave the treated nest in place where possible, any other wasps that may attempt to rob the treated nest (as it will be unguarded) will come in contact with the dust and die. Any queen wasps that check out the treated nest area in the spring will also contact the dust and will die before ever making a new nest. If you have a nest that needs to be removed for whatever reason, you can read more information on wasp nest removal
Common wasps and hornets will nest in the ground in old vole or mouse holes, rabbit burrows etc, they will also use any other suitable underground space to build their nests. Cavities in walls and voids behind wooden sleepers are also favourite places.
Wasps and hornets use lofts/attics for several reasons. The first reason is because it is dry and more importantly warm. Wasps like most insects need a source of warmth to maintain their body heat. The warmer they are, the more active they become. The second reason why they nest in attics is, most attics are easy for wasps to gain entry too, also they are quite dark places that are undisturbed.
There are many DIY wasp treatments available for sale from various retailers, most of which require that you need to see the nest. Often this is not possible due to the location of the nest. With most wasp nest treatments, you need to get fairly close. If you do not have the correct protective clothing, interfering with a wasp nest can result in defensive behaviour from the wasp and in some cases this will result in a serious attack. Some highly defensive colonies will attack just for being near the nest. Read more information on DIY wasp nest treatments
The best advice we can give you is to seek a professional pest controller who has experience of dealing with wasp nest on a daily basis. Professional pest controllers have all the equipment needed to deal with each case, they also have the necessary protective clothing needed when dealing with stinging insects. Most independent pest controllers are cheaper than your local council and will certainly get the job done faster, usually the same day.
We advise customers to keep away from a nest for at least 2 hours after treatment, longer if possible. When the treatment is first applied, the returning wasps are reluctant to enter the nest for short period and there is a build up of wasps around the area where the entrance to the nest is (this is normal). The insecticide is fast acting and once each individual wasp comes into contact with dust, they die off within 10-15 minutes, just enough time for them walk around inside the nest and contaminate the interior. Some foraging wasps take an hour or two to find their way back to the nest, sometimes they can even stay out overnight and return in the morning.Read more on wasp nest treatments
Honey bees differ from wasps, and although they are not a protected species at the moment, where ever possible every effort must be made to save them. Most pest controllers will not have the means or motivation to extract honey bees from awkward to reach places. Increasingly beekeepers are arming themselves with new methods of getting bees out of cavity walls and lofts etc. If you find yourself with a honey bee swarm or colony, please take a look at our bee swarm collectors list and find your local bee collector and speak to them about the problem before taking the decision to kill them. If for some reason the colony cannot be removed and has to be destroyed, there are some regulations about treatment. After a colony has been treated and killed, all entrances must be blocked as soon as possible to prevent other foraging bees coming into contact with any insecticide. Preferably all honey combs should be removed (but sometimes this is not possible or financially viable).
English wasps (common wasps) are usually smaller than their European (German) counterparts. The European wasp normally builds its nest in bushes and hedges and the nest although highly camouflage is visible. The common wasp builds its nest under cover normally in the ground or in a building.
If you are finding wasps in your home on a regular basis and in any numbers then that is a sure sign that you have a wasp nest either on your home or on your property. To find where they are, we recommend that you first take a look outside. Wasp by their nature want to forage for smaller insects and are not really interested in being inside your house. So look at the roof of your house, this is the first and most obvious place to start. If a nest is present, you will see a constant stream of wasps arriving and leaving the nest. If the nest is elsewhere on your property, you can track it down by following the flight lines of the wasps. You can read more on wasp nest identification