By Josie January 30th, 2023
Having read this, you will surely have newfound appreciation for these fascinating structures
Although wasps and their stings is something to fear, their nests are marvel-worthy.
The ancient Egyptians and Greeks used wasp nests as fuel for heating and lighting.
In the Middle Ages, they were used for medicinal purposes.
Recently, scientists have studied the unique properties of wasp nest paper and has been used for insulation and filters..
The surface is smooth and papery, almost like a ball of scrunched up newspapers.
It has layers of hexagonal cells stacked upon one another, each one perfectly symmetrical and precise.
They come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the species of wasp that built them.
#1 Paper Wasp Nest Their size can range from a few inches to several feet in diameter. They have an open bottom.
#2 Hornet Nest These are usually more prominent and enclosed than paper wasp nests. They are either round or oval-shaped and made of a thick, paper-like material
#4 Mud Dauber Nest These nests are made of mud and are typically found on walls, eaves, or other flat surfaces. They are built by solitary wasps.
#3 Yellow Jacket Nest These sneaky ones like to hide underground in burrows or cavities. They can house thousands of insects and are made of a paper-like material.
Many species of wasps are generalist predator and feed on what we deem "pests."
By controlling these pest populations, wasps protect crops and gardens from damage.
Similarly, wasps also serve as pollinators for many plants.
Likewsie, they can be a food source for other animals and provide nesting material for birds
Once the wasps have vacated the premises, their nests provide shelter and nesting sites for other wildlife, such as birds, bats, and insects.
Wasps like to build their homes in protected areas, like trees, bushes, eaves, attics, and even underground.
Keep an eye out for an area with many wasps coming and going during daylight hours.
Moreover, the presence of a strong, musty odor in an area could be a sign of a nearby wasp nest.
Other species of wasps, such as the paper wasp, will reuse their nest from year to year - the nest can thrive for several years if undisturbed.
Some species of wasps, such as the annual yellow jacket, build a new residence each year.
Wasps can cause structural damage to buildings and other structures
Wasp-stings are excruciating for anyone, but an allergic person can experience difficulty breathing and even anaphylaxis.
Lastly, wasp nests can also be a problem for wildlife by disturbing their natural habitats.
Removing a wasp nest can be dangerous and should only be done by a professional.
There's several methods:
- Insecticide spray
- Smoke bombs
- Physical removal
In a nutshell, they are truly fascinating structures that play a vital role in many ecosystems.