How to Find a Wasp or Hornet Nest


  • Wasp vs Hornet 
  • Signs of wasps
  • Wasp nest identification 
  • Where are wasp nests found? 
  • How to get rid of a wasp or hornet nest 

What’s the difference between wasps, hornets and bees?

Hornets – A hornet is a large type of wasp known for its size and aggressive nature.

Wasps – Wasps have sleek and smooth bodies with flashy black and yellow stripes. The most common Canadian wasps include hornets, yellow jackets, mud daubers and paper wasps. 

Bees – There are many different species of bees but generally, they are rounder and fuzzier than wasps, although they share their distinct yellow and black patterning. 

It’s easy to tell wasps and bees apart, just remember bees are fat and fuzzy and wasps are skinny and smooth.

Signs of a wasp nest 

If you notice a surge in wasp sightings around your home, it is a strong indication that there is a nest nearby. During the summer months, a mature nest can house thousands of wasps. It is best to address the issue early on, when the wasp population is smaller and their aggression levels are lower, to ensure a more manageable and safer resolution.

What do wasp nests look like?

What the nest looks like depends on the species of wasp. In Canada, our most common wasps include hornets, yellow jackets, mud daubers and paper wasps and their nests are described in more detail below. 

Types of wasp nests

Hornets build nests that are covered in a papery outer layer and often located hanging from trees or eves. The wasps create their nest themselves, by chewing wood fibers and mixing them with saliva.

Yellow Jackets also envelop their nests in a papery outer layer, often locating them within wall voids.

Paper wasps build open nests with an exposed honeycomb-like structure. They usually build underneath a surface out into an umbrella shape. 

Mud daubers are a little different from the other Canadian wasps as they build their nests out of mud. These tube-like structures are hard to see from the surface as they are built underground or in old stonework. 

Where are Wasp nests found? 

Different species of wasps prefer to nest in different locations but there are a handful of key locations you should look at when trying to find a wasp nest. 

Be very cautious when searching your property for wasps. Don’t move any leaves or debris around suddenly and wear protective equipment if possible.

  • Trees and shrubs: Many species of wasps build their nests on tree branches, in shrubs, or within tree cavities.
  • Eaves and overhangs: Wasps often construct their nests under eaves, roof overhangs, or in the corners of buildings. These locations provide shelter and protection from the elements.
  • Attics, crawl spaces & wall voids: Some wasp species may build nests in attics, crawl spaces, or other voids within buildings. They may access these areas through small openings or gaps. 
  • Underground burrows: Some wasps such as mud daubers or solitary wasps build their nests in the ground. These nests can be found in abandoned rodent burrows, under rocks, or in other protected areas. 

To locate a wasp nest pay close attention to the flight paths of returning wasps. You can often follow these paths back to their nest.

Wasp nest

How to get rid of a wasp nest 

Wasps are famous for their dangerous and aggressive defence tactics! If you suspect a wasp nest on your property, it’s best to contact a professional pest control service for safe removal.

If you are only noticing a few wasps it is likely that there is a nest in your neighbourhood but not necessarily on your property. If this is the case, there are steps you can take to dissuade wasps from visiting your home. Check out our article on the topic: How to dine wasp free this summer!

Do you have a wasp problem? Terminix Canada has you covered! We offer expert pest & wildlife control services for both residential and commercial properties with locations across Canada including BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Call us today to get rid of your wasp problem for good!