You may have seen fake wasps nests promoted as a valid way to keep wasps away. Homeowners can build their own or purchase already-made fake wasp nests to discourage wasps from creating nests near their home. But, do these fake wasp nests actually work or are they a waste of time and money for homeowners?
Fake wasp nests do not work very well. While they might discourage some species of wasp from nesting near the home, many wasps will nest in the ground and right next to an unused/fake nest.
What Are Fake Wasp Nests?
Fake wasp nests are items designed to look exactly like a wasp nest. They are hung where wasps might typically create a nest with the idea that the wasps will look elsewhere if there’s already a nest in the area. Most of the proponents of fake wasp nests will say that wasps are territorial and will not be willing to create their own nest if they believe there are already wasps in the area. However, these fake wasp nests do not actually work as well as they’re intended and wasps can still build a nest near the fake wasp nest, if not inside of it.
What are Fake Wasp Nests Supposed to Do?
The idea behind fake wasp nests is that wasps are territorial and will avoid living in an area that already has wasps. While the fake wasp nests don’t repel the wasps, they are intended to encourage the wasps to move to a different area to live, much further from the home, so they aren’t as much of a risk for homeowners and their families. The main goal is to keep wasps away from the home, so people and pets do not have to worry about being stung when they’re outside.
Why Aren’t Fake Wasp Nests Very Effective?
Fake wasp nests aren’t very effective because the wasps don’t really care about them. The fake wasp nests may look just like a wasp nest, but that won’t deter the wasps from living nearby. There have been reports of wasps creating a nest right next to the fake wasp nest or one actually inside of the fake wasp nest. The wasps will notice that there aren’t any wasps actually living in the nest, which means to them it’s fine to set up their own nest inside.
On top of the territorial aspect being incorrect and ineffective, many wasps actually build their nests inside the ground. Wasps such as yellow jackets will nest on or in the ground, which means they’re not going to care about fake wasp nests hanging outside of the home. The fake wasp nests are completely ineffective to any type of wasp that doesn’t use a hanging nest, which means homeowners need to take other steps to keep these wasps away from their home.
Are Purchased Fake Wasp Nests More Effective?
The impact is typically the same whether the homeowner creates their own fake nest or they purchase one that’s already made. Since the basic idea of how it works is incorrect, any fake wasp nest will be ineffective. The ones you can purchase may look more like a realistic wasp nest, but they’re not going to be any better at keeping wasps away from the home.
Why Do People Think Fake Wasp Nests Could Work?
Many people think fake wasp nests work because of their belief that wasps are territorial. Some wasps are territorial, but that doesn’t mean they see a nest and leave the area. Wasps generally leave their nests at the end of the year, so they will investigate a nest before deciding there are other wasps nearby and they should find a different home. When they investigate the fake wasp nest and find there are not wasps in the nest, they may not leave the area.
Most people also do not realize that many wasps do not actually have nests. Homeowners may see wasps and look for a nest and think it’s just well hidden if they cannot find it. In reality, many wasps nest in or on the ground, so the fake wasp nests would not be an effective deterrent at all. Since those wasps nest near or on the ground, they aren’t going to be impacted by fake wasp nests hanging up high.
Do Wasps Reuse Their Own Nests?
In the winter, wasps will die off, and the queen will leave the nest to find somewhere to hibernate. They will not return to their old nest the next year but will, instead, look for a new place to create a nest. Once they have started building a nest, they’re not going to leave just because another nest appears next to them, making fake nests ineffective if there is already a nest being built.
Though the queen will not return to her old nest, she may go back to the same area and create a new nest. In fact, it is possible for the queen to start a new nest right next to the old nest. Once they have started the new nest, it will continue to grow as the colony grows. At this point, the nest should be removed by a professional as wasps will sting and can sting multiple times if they believe their nest is being attacked.
What Wasp Control Methods Do Work?
Though the fake wasp nests aren’t effective, there are ways homeowners can keep wasps from deciding to nest near their home. Some of these may not be effective all of the time, but they will minimize the chance a wasp will decide to create a nest by the home. Some of the wasp control methods homeowners can try include the following.
- Keep Outside the Home Clean – Keep trash cans covered and remove any food or drink that’s outside the home. Wasps can be attracted by the smells from foods or drinks, so minimizing what’s outside can help keep wasps away.
- Repair the Home – When the queens are looking for a place to nest, they’ll typically look for cracks and other damage to your home that can allow them to attach the nest to the home easier or even get inside your home to nest. Repair any damage to the home and seal any cracks or openings around the outside of your home.
- Use Wasp Traps – Wasp traps can be an effective way of keeping queens from starting to build a nest, though they may not be completely effective. Wasp traps can be purchased or made and should be used when winter is ended to trap wasps looking for a place to create a nest.
- Professional Services – Pest control professionals may be able to look around your home and yard to let you know what else can be done to keep wasps away from the home. Ask about repellent services to help keep wasps from building nests next to your home.
Check out our recommended gear page if you want to read more about our favorite pest control traps and baits.
What Can Homeowners Do About a Wasp Nest?
Homeowners should generally not try to remove the wasp nest on their own. Even small nests which hold only a few wasps and can create a situation where you are stung multiple times. If they do need to remove the nest on their own, they should wear protective clothing, including items to cover their face and neck, remove the wasp nest at night by placing it into a garbage back and sealing it, then spray the nest with wasp killer spray. Taking all the right precautions, however, will not completely eliminate the possibility they will be stung.
Pest control professionals are the best option if you have noticed a wasp nest being built close to your home. The professional has the experience and equipment necessary to safely remove the wasp nest from your home and make sure all of the wasps are removed. Even though they have years of experience, they still are stung occasionally, which shows why they’re crucial if you’d like to have a wasp nest removed without risking stings yourself. The pest control professional can also give you tips to help keep wasps away from your home so you don’t have to worry about the wasps creating another nest in a few days.
If you’re worried about wasps close to your home, you may have considered the fake wasp nests available today. Unfortunately, the fake wasps nests are just not as effective as they are supposed to be. Though they might help deter a few types of wasps, those who have tried them say the wasps were not deterred at all and created a nest right next to or even inside the fake wasp nest.
Instead, use some of the preventative methods posted here and contact a pest control professional if you do notice a nest being build close to your home. They can remove the nest for you to get the wasps away from your home and make sure you, your family, and your pets are safe from the possibility of being stung by the wasps. We have tips for picking and hiring the best pest control service here.