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Identifying Wasps Nests in Southern New Jersey

When Hoffman gets called out for the treatment of a wasp nest we can quickly assess what type of wasp it is just from the nest. In New Jersey, there are 3 main types of wasps that build nests out in the open, bald-faced hornets, paper (Red) wasps, and mud daubers.Wasps

Bald-faced hornet nests are one of the most common types of nests Hoffman’s treats. These nests are grey and spherical, made up of cellulose and saliva that make up a paper-like consistency and can be upwards of 12 inches in diameter. Some of the largest nests recorded to reach up to 24 inches high and 18 inches across.  There can be multiple entries and exit points on these nests but none of them allow you to see the individual cells inside the nest. Bald-faced hornets nests can be often found in bushes and trees, normally no lower than 3 feet off the ground. In a mature nest over 300 male workers can be present. Before the first frost male workers will fertilize the new potential queens. These now fertile females will find places to hibernate over the winter, such as a hollow tree, while the rest of the nest will die and be abandoned, never to be reused. It is important to note that bald-faced hornet workers can be very protective over their nest when disturbed and they have the potential to swarm. Treatment of these nests should be done with caution and preferably by a pest professional.

Paper wasps make their nests in a similar fashion to bald-faced hornets. But unlike the bald-faced hornet they lack an outer shell, this means that the outer cells of the nest are visible. These nests also have a tendency to be shaped like an upside-down umbrella and easily built-in sheltered areas like window and door frames, eaves of houses, playsets, and picnic tables. Paper wasps are now known to sting humans for no reason but will do it when they feel threatened. Stings most often happen when nests are located by doors or areas that people frequent. The good thing about these nests is that they can be easily treated with home wasp/hornet spray if caught in their early stages. If caught when larger a pest professional should be called.

The last kind of nest built in the open is from mud daubers, the most common species of which is the pipe organ mud dauber in New Jersey. These wasps are solitary, bluish-black, and build pipe-shaped mud nests in areas that are protected from the elements such as on walls, under eaves, or in attics. The nests are normally 2 inches wide by 4 inches long. Even thou these are solitary wasps, if they are living in an area with an abundance of pray there may be multiple nests built together or on a single structure. Mud daubers tend to be a more docile wasp and rarely sting humans. If their nests are a nuisance they may be treated with wasp/hornet spray and then removed with either a shovel or powerful stream of water from a hose as some tend to re-use an old nest the next season.

No matter what type of nest you have on your property it is important to take safety measures first. If someone in your home is sensitive or allergic to stinging insects it is important to call a pest professional, like Hoffman’s Exterminating, to rid your home or property of these insects.