There are many different species of wasps in Australia, but three of the most common types are paper wasps, mud-daubing wasps, and European wasps. These wasps create nests, which can be the cause of much anxiety for families and homeowners.

Wasp Nest Identification

Paper wasps most often build nests under eaves or beneath branches or leaves. Their nests are usually small and can be seen hanging from a stem. They most often consist of open combs with cells for brood rearing. They are made out of a papery looking material that consists of fibers of chewed up trees mixed with saliva.

Paper wasp nest by Downtowngal [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)] via Wikimedia

Mud daubers are large solitary wasps. They typically build small nests with cells that are made of mud that has been plastered to the wall. Many mud dauber nests resemble pottery.

Mud dauber nest by Keenan Pepper [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)] via Wikimedia

European wasps are not native to Australia, but have become very common in the more temperate areas. They build very large nests that can reach up to 100,000 individuals. The vast majority of nests (80-90%) are in the ground, and a hole with swarming wasps may be all that is visible of the nest. The remaining European wasps build nests in building, wall voids, under eaves, etc. Their nests also have cells, but the cells may not be visible because they are often covered by a greyish paper-like coating. European wasp nests continue to grow over the course of the summer and can become quite large.

Inside a European wasp nest by CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)] via Wikimedia

Wasp Prevention

Prevention is the best defense against unsightly wasp nests and potential stings. Some things you can do to prevent wasps are:

  • Neatly trim bushes, trees, and landscaping
  • Keep outdoor rubbish bins tightly closed and away from your home
  • Keep all food covered unless being used, and remove leftovers as soon as possible
  • Use containers if you choose to compost
  • Fill in cracks and gaps around your home
  • Spray the perimeter of your home and around the eaves with a residual insecticide

What to do About Wasp Nests

Removing wasp nests can be dangerous, so it is recommended to call in a professional with the right clothing and equipment. Spring is the best time to remove wasp nests when the colony is still small and less aggressive. During the Summer, the wasp population can grow quickly. The end of summer or early in the fall is the worst time to try to deal with wasps. The population is at its biggest, and the colony is very protective and aggressive during this time.

If you have a wasp nest on your property, avoid things like spraying water at it, trying to light it on fire, or attempting to knock it down. These methods will most often make the wasps angry and could lead to many stings. If you are determined to handle the nest on your own, it is always best to approach it at night when the wasps are calm. You can then use an aerosol insecticide to kill as many wasps as possible. After spraying, quickly leave the area and return later to respray, if necessary. Once the wasps have been killed, you can then remove the nest.

Best Sunshine Coast Pest Control

If you would like professional help dealing with wasps and their nests, trust the experts at Radar Pest Control. Our trained technicians can help you get rid of the wasps and keep your family safe and comfortable. We have the right training and the right equipment to remove wasp nests safely. Radar Pest Control also specializes in termites and general pest control dealing with things like spiders, rodents, cockroaches, and more. For Sunshine Coast pest control, look no further than Radar Pest Control.