How to Identify Wasp and Hornet Nests

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active pest control technician identified this yellow jacket nest under eaves on cobb county georgia house

In the middle of the summer, stinging insects are a common sight in our area. Since different types of wasps and hornets have different temperaments, it’s important to know which you’re dealing with – and learning how to identify the nests they build is an important part of that. 

If you notice one of the below nests on your property, exercise caution. Even if it appears abandoned, there may still be insects inside. Refer to the information below for how to identify wasp and hornet nests – and give our team a call if you have questions.

4 Different Types of Wasp Nests to Look For

It’s a valuable skill – being able to differentiate the different wasp nests you’re most likely to encounter in our area. Here are the main characteristics of each:

  1. Yellowjackets – Likely the most common nest you may see, yellowjacket nests are a papery material and have a single opening. The inside of a yellowjacket nest can have up to 100 tiers of cells. Yellowjackets can also build underground nests that can be enormous.
  2. Paper wasps – These nests famously look like upside-down umbrellas. Paper wasp nests are often open and can get quite large. They are typically supported by a single stalk and consist of a paper-like material.
  3. Mud daubers – True to name, female mud daubers construct their nests out of mostly mud. The nests are small and tubular in size, often looking like organ pipes. They are typically found in cracks or crevices.
  4. Bald-faced hornets – These nests are almost always at least three feet off the ground. They are made of chewed wood fibers mixed with saliva. They often grow to be the size of a football or basketball.


A handy visual guide showing common wasps in Georgia and what their nests look like

Where Are Wasp Nests Found?

There are many different species of wasps, each with its preference for where to construct nests. As a result of this, it’s difficult to identify any particular areas where wasp nests are likely to be found. They can be found in many places including:

  • On the ground or under porches
  • In hollow trees and abandoned burrows
  • Under eaves or on the sides of buildings
  • Inside buildings, particularly in garages and attics
  • High off the ground such as in trees

What to Do About Wasp Nests on Your Property

Even if you believe a nest to be old or abandoned, don’t get too close or touch it – unless you’re OK with the possibility of getting stung. Lingering stinging insects may still be inside. DIY nest removal is always a risk, and is especially dangerous for anyone who is allergic to stings. 

If you don’t want to deal with the identification or the risk of handling it yourself, Active Pest Control is here for you. Our local wasp removal experts provide reliable and effective solutions. Call us today for a free estimate.

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How to Identify Wasp and Hornet Nests in Georgia

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