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So I just discovered them under a solar panel switch ('isolator') today. I have no idea how long they have been there but I reckon it cannot be more than a month or so.

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There are two of them and they look very guarded.

Question 1.

Are they wasps?

Question 2.

And what can I do to remove them? I am planning to expand the solar array so I think their removal is a necessity.

I have done a google, and here is a suggested method from rentokil.co.uk

  1. Approach the nest slowly and quietly at night time;
  2. Take a bin liner and slowly cover the wasp nest;
  3. Detach the wasp nest from the tree or wall it is attached to and seal the bag;
  4. Place the bin liner in an outside bin which has a tightly fitted lid, preferable away from the house.

I hope there is a method that does not require me to handle with close physical contact.

The switch is roughly at my eye level.

The location is in Sydney, Australia.

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    As you are in Australia, I see these are paper wasps. They become angry and attack when you make noise nearby, or operate that switch. Remove before the nest grows. From experience, that location has an increased chance of having a new nest later. Dec 4, 2021 at 3:42
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    If you take wasp nest into a thin bag, they can bite through the bag. One has to be very quick in running with the bag to a fireplace fast enough, otherwise they will be very angry when they get through. Dec 4, 2021 at 11:30

5 Answers 5

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Yes, that is a wasp nest in an early stage. If you can't just leave it be, act as soon as possible. (You may want to check the legal situation, though, some wasps are protected and their nests may be destroyed only in specific cases.) The instructions you found are also geared towards larger nests, remember that some can easily reach football size. Those are challenging, because you'll obviously deal with dozens or even hundreds of angry insects if done wrong.

For a nest that size, you can use a pole or broomstick to nudge it off the location. There won't be many adults to deal with and you can just shoo them away when you destroy the nest. If they are unharmed, they can and will build a new nest in a better location. At that size, there won't be many larvae in side, if they have started at all. So that would be the eco-friendly solution. Note that wasps do have their place in an intact eco system.

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    I have wasps in a shed; they're beneficial insects,, so I just live with them and get out of their way when I see them coming. The species in my shed builds only small nests, not the football-sized ones, so I'm also not being overrun with adults. Been stung once, though - when I reached for something and a wasp was already on that something. She didn't like that very much :) Good point about wasps being protected in some places.
    – Jurp
    Dec 3, 2021 at 14:37
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    This nest seems to be not much older than a few days, so I also think there shouldn't be any larvae inside. Knock the nest down and let them build a new one. Had one of those on the frame of my window. After removing that nest, the wasps built one in the garage. After just a few days, it was football size and grew even larger. Very annoying, but we just let them be.
    – arne
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:59
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    @arne. I remember reading that the paper wasp species that builds the large, football-sized nests are somewhat territorial - if there already is a nest in an area, then they'll build somewhere else. I actually purchased a waterproof gray-with-black-speckles fabric drawstring bag that I filled with balled up newspaper and hung it where I didn't want wasps (a porch, to be specific). It worked, but then again maybe the porch wasn't attractive to wasps anyways. Always hard to prove a negative, unless wasps had built there before (which I wasn't sure of). Nice non-toxic option, though,
    – Jurp
    Dec 3, 2021 at 21:49
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    Piece of 2x4. [Don't let them fly away] Squish. Done. +1
    – Mazura
    Dec 4, 2021 at 1:32
  • @Stephie It is as easy as you suggested. Thx Dec 4, 2021 at 1:56
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I deal with wasps all the time. They like to build nests inside my ornamental aluminum fence posts. I used to go through wasp killer and while the residue would prevent them from coming back to the same pole, they still would come back several times per summer to other poles. Now, I simply use a few tablespoons of dishwashing detergent with a gallon of water in my lawn sprayer. They breathe through their exoskeletons, so once sprayed, they can't fly or breathe and they just drop down to the ground. Then I just soak the nest. Works perfectly and with the soap suds preventing them from flying, I am not scared of getting stun.

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    +1 for ditching neurotoxins for dish soap!
    – johnDanger
    Dec 3, 2021 at 18:01
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    @johnDanger I'm not sure letting them suffocate in soapy water is any better than a targeted neurotoxin though.
    – arne
    Dec 3, 2021 at 19:56
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    I think he's more worried about the environment than the wasp's suffering. Dec 3, 2021 at 22:19
  • Thanks for the great answer. I will consider this if I have no choice but to eradicate them next time. Dec 4, 2021 at 1:57
  • @evildemonic, that's a bingo! While Pyrethroids (wasp sprays) are not too bad for humans, non-targeted insects and the food webs that depend on them are less lucky.
    – johnDanger
    Dec 6, 2021 at 2:25
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About tablespoon or two of original Dawn dish soap mixed with water in a 32 fl. oz ( or I guess 15-30mL into a liter of water?) spray bottle will kill just about any invertebrate in a few minutes (including arachnids) and is effective against flying insects as well, from house fly's to hornets. The mixture coats or creates a film on their wings rendering them flightless as well as dispatching your pests by either dehydrating them or suffocating them, I can't recall.

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It’s fairly expensive, but hundred percent pure peppermint essential oil diluted with water sprayed with preferably a long distance sprayer on the nest and also areas they frequent, such as holes in your walls where they going inside to build nests, will convince them to go somewhere else. I got stung three times in one week on my left wrist area and suffered lasting damage from them. So I ended up paying up to $30 a month for a sense of oil to make sure they didn’t come around my son's house where I was at at the time ultra eco-friendly but takes perseverance and patience my son does use the soap and water method!

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Put up fake nests. They are territorial and may stop future hives.

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    Hi Timothy, this works as I have used this myself. Can you add more details about when to put them up, what they look like and so on...?
    – kevinskio
    Dec 4, 2021 at 15:36

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