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How safe are wasp nests?

I spotted a wasp yesterday starting to construct a nest on the ceiling of my shed where I store the lawn mower and all the other gardening tools. I can relocate all the things I need for this summer and keep the shed padlocked but my question is how safe is it to leave the nest there? We've got a baby, a toddler and some chickens. the garden is around 100 feet long and the shed is right down the bottom end.


  •  you might find this link interesting.....I hope it helps

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,933

    After my little three year old got attacked by hornets defending their nest that was growing in an apple tree he was playing under (he got stung at least six times!) I've been careful to ensure none take up residence in my yard.  

    I try to catch it early while they are still building, so they can restart again off elsewhere.  

    Do you know what sort of wasp you have?  What does the nest look like?  Some are rather passive and won't really bother you, but other types are more aggressive.

    Utah, USA.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,251

    I usually like to leave wasps alone to get on with their business - they're very beneficial insects to have around - however, you'll be wanting to go in and out of your shed to get your mower and tools, and doing that will agitate them and you have a couple of little ones - In your situation I'd destroy the beginnings of the nest and encourage them to move elsewhere - somewhere that you're not going to be going in and out and stress them out - but hopefully not too far away - you want them to eat the aphids on your plants image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    I'm proposing bolting the shed up and leaving them to it. I can store my stuff elsewhere temporarily. The husband has thrown his toys out the pram claiming there's no room in his shed for our tiny push mower and just wants to destroy the wasp. It was just the female yesterday, how can I shoo her off with out incurring her stripey wrath?

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,228

    We regularly have a wasp nest in our wood shed. They either attach it to the back of the door or to the ceiling. We have never been attacked by them and we have regularly gone for fire wood in there. We just open the door very, very slowly and try not to make any loud banging noises when we take the logs out.

    I think the benefit of wasps' aphid and caterpillar eating outweighs the slight inconvenience of having to move slowly and quietly every once in a while.image

    Hornets are completely different. I was attacked once out of the blue. I unknowingly walked too close to a nest in a field and one flew out and stung me on the leg. My whole leg went up like a balloon and it was very painful. Still, I admire hornets and just give them a wide berth if I see them. I would never kill one or interfere with a nest.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • star gaze lilystar gaze lily Posts: 17,043


    Don't think I'd leave the nest in the shed, i want to use it also wasps can chew their way through wood etc.image

    You might have to leave the window/door open rather than lock them inimage

    I always thought  wasps didn't return to old nests...

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,251

    It is just the queen who builds the initial nest each year - she will then lay some eggs which will hatch into sterile females who will take over the role of expanding the nest

    if you click here and scroll down it's explained pretty well

    If you want her to move on just use a stick and break the nest.


    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Mrs GMrs G Posts: 336

    The shed is on its last legs. Last time we had a bit of wind one of the plastic windows blew in so i haven't locked her in so much as I've locked us out image.  Checked on her today and she'd created the initial cells and was curled up round them.  Took all the hand tools I needed which hang on  the back of the door and clatter around each time it's opened and the mower and left her to it. It felt too cruel to smash what she'd made and I'm actually quite interested to see the finished thing. Been looking up wasps and she seems to have a round rather than long face which means she might be quite cross apparently!

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,293

    We had some conifers next to a path, their branches spread, so we had to brush past every time we used it, which was very often as it led to the back door. We only found out about the wasps' nest when the autumn rains soaked it and made it fall from its branch.

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