A Simple Guide To Wasp Nests In Trees
So how do you determine if your tree has a wasp nest? To start, you must be clear about what you are looking for. Wasps can construct their own structures or live in places like hollow trees or abandoned foxholes.
You can keep an eye out for constant entry and departure sites in your garden, if there are no evident structures that would suggest a wasp nest there then keep an eye out for areas of your tree where it appears that wasps are frequently visiting and leaving. Wasp nests are simple to spot when they decide to set up residence on the limbs of your tree.
They are mostly grey in hue and frequently resemble pieces of grey paper that have been adhered together. This
Dangers Of A Wasp Nest In Garden Trees
Wasps have accrued a rather fearsome reputation as one of the most aggressive and feared pests. There are people, such as those with allergies, children, or the elderly, who are greater affected by a wasp sting. This is why, depending on how actively you use your garden, treating the nest is often the best solution. With greater activity in the garden, people come into contact with the tree that homes the wasp nest on a more frequent basis. And when a wasp becomes distressed, it is a bad sign. When aggravated, they emit a pheromone that signals nearby members of the colony. Wasps will then come flying from your tree to the defensive aid of their comrade.
If your trees bear any fruit, they are also at risk! Wasps will tend to burrow into the flesh of fruit such as pears and apples, to get to the sugary juices within. There is often little that you can do to combat this. Your only option is to pursue the removal of the entire nest from your garden tree.
Benefits Of A Wasp Nest In Your Garden Tree
For all the bad rep that these insects get, they do serve a purpose to the ecosystem in your garden. One of their primary food sources includes caterpillars and other insects, which they feed to their grubs. A healthy population of wasps in your garden will help to keep the population of these pests from getting out of control. This will keep the leaves on your trees from being overrun and destroyed. Although this may not be a good enough reason to keep an active wasp nest in your tree, it at least gives you an understanding of their existence.
A small crumb of comfort to a recent sting victim, we know. Having said this, wasp nests in trees should only be removed if they pose a health and safety risk to the public. Which, in your garden, is often the case.
So, What Attracts A Wasp To Your Garden Tree In The First Place?
Besides the more obvious reasons such as easy access to set up a nest and easy food sources, there is another lesser-known reason. The reason you have a wasp nest on your garden tree often means you have an Aphid problem. Not a wasp problem.
What is an Aphid you may ask?
Aphids are small insects that suck sap from the leaves of trees, particularly poplars, aspen trees, and evergreens. When they feed on the leaves they leave behind a sweet and sugary trail. This attracts the wasps to the tree and they begin to swarm toward it to feed on the honeydew. The Aphids are particularly fond of trees that have been weakened by under-watering, as the leaves are rich in protein and a far more appealing meal. So, the best way to deter wasps from your trees is to treat the Aphids themselves. Therefore, a different treatment method will be needed.
Treatment For Your Trees
It is important to wait a short period of time before attempting to treat the nest. Nests can often move within the first 48 hours. Regardless of the size of the wasp nest in your garden tree, when a Queen decides that they want to move the nest, the wasps listen. Usually, they will deem the environment to be unsatisfactory within the first 48 hours and move to a more suitable location. Where no nest is present, it indicates the wasps are swarming around your tree. Observation is needed, looking out for signs of a nest being built. But when you spot an obvious nest, establish that it has been active for some time, and deem it a health and safety risk, you need to act.
DIY solutions are never optimal. They put you at risk of aggravating the nest. Not to mention a few too many stings for anybody’s liking, also. Over-the-counter treatments are not as strong. They are not as effective as the chemicals that are used by trained pest controllers. It cannot be guaranteed that pesticide treatments will never cause any additional harm to non-targeted insects, wildlife, or plants. But treating with pesticides is not dangerous when controlled and undertaken by a professional. The pesticides used are fast-acting, manufactured to eliminate the wasps and break down quickly. Pesticides are designed to cause as little effect on your trees as possible.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on why, where and what wasps are doing in your trees. If you ever have any problems that you believe need treating, remember to spot if there is a nest or entry point first. Keep calm, stay clear, and if they do not move on, seek assistance to keep your mind at ease
Our ISA Certified Arborists at Johnson Ops Tree Care will help you detect any problems your tree may be experiencing. Call us for an assessment of your trees at 608 526-6297