When Do Wasps Return to Their Nests? Understanding Wasp Behavior

Posted by Matthew Rathbone on March 15, 2023 · 3 mins read

If you are a homeowner who spends time in your backyard during the summer, chances are you have encountered a wasp or two. While these insects may be intimidating, understanding their behavior can help you coexist peacefully with them. One question many people have is what time do wasps go to their nest? Let’s explore the answer to that question and more.

DIY Wasp removal recommendations

For non aggressive wasps I've had great luck spraying the nests with this Spectracide wasp remover in the evening. For more aggressive wasps I also use this rediculous looking upper torso Beekeeping suit. It seems silly, but trust me, it's amazing.

The Life Cycle of a Wasp

Before we dive into when wasps return to their nests, let’s take a quick look at the life cycle of a wasp. Wasps have a four-stage life cycle - egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Female wasps lay their eggs in small cells within their nest, which hatch into larvae. The larvae then feed off the food provided by the adult wasps until they reach the pupa stage. Finally, they emerge as fully formed adult wasps.

When Do Wasps Build Their Nests?

Wasps typically begin building their nests in the springtime. Queen wasps will emerge from hibernation and start constructing their nests using chewed-up wood fibers. Once the queen has laid her eggs inside, she will continue to build out the nest as her offspring develop.

What Time Do Wasps Return to Their Nests?

Wasps are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest at night. They will typically return to their nests in the evening before it gets dark. This is because wasps rely on natural light to navigate, so they need to return to their nests while there is still some daylight left.

How to Avoid Getting Stung by Wasps

While wasps play an important role in the ecosystem, nobody wants to get stung by one. Here are some tips for avoiding wasp stings:

  • Stay calm and still if a wasp approaches you. Swatting at it will only make it more aggressive.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors or strong fragrances, as this can attract wasps.
  • Keep food and drinks covered when eating or drinking outside.
  • Seal up any cracks or gaps around your home, as wasps may build nests in these areas.
  • If you find a wasp nest on your property, call a professional pest control company to safely remove it.


Now that you understand more about the behavior of wasps, you can better coexist with these important creatures. Remember that wasps are unlikely to sting unless they feel threatened, so give them their space and enjoy spending time in your backyard. And if you ever find yourself asking, “what time do wasps go to their nest?” - now you know!