PEST CONTROL FOR WASPS
There are 2 varieties of wasp in the UK, the Garden wasp and the European wasp
Wasps are social insects and live together in a wasps nest during the sprin and summer months. During the winter months, the Queen wasp, which can be double the size of the other wasps in her colony hibernates alone in a warm and sheltered place - safely protected from the harsh winter elements.
The arrival of spring signals the time for the Queen wasp to emerge from hibernation and search for a suitable place to build her nest. It is quite common for lots of queens to come out of hibernation at once, giving the impression of a swarm or wasp nest. This happens especially if a large number of Queen wasps have hibernated together.
However wasps, in general, do not tend to swarm – so if you see a mass of insects hanging from a tree it is most likely to be a swarm of honey bees.
Once a suitable site has been located, the Queen wasp builds her nest by chewing wood and plant material - turning it into a papery material, she then lays her eggs and nurses the young worker ants for approximately six weeks, until they reach full maturity and can begin to look after her.
A wasp nest takes time to build and will only the size of a golf/tennis ball by the end of May, therefore it is difficult to determine if you have an active nest until mid-summer when the nest should be fully established.
Signs of a wasp nest in your garden or building:
- An established wasps nest can grow to as big as a dustbin and contain over 20,000 wasps.
- You should be able to clearly see the entrance to the wasps nest in your shed or roof
- There will be a constant stream of wasps to and from the wasp nest
Wasps can be useful garden pests as they like to feed on flies, caterpillars, spiders, aphids and other insects, however they are known to swarm feed, so if a scout wasp locates something good to eat, it will communicate this find to the rest of nest and within minutes the food source will be surrounded.
In the autumn, just before the onset of winter and the arrival of the first frosts, new Queen wasps and male wasps are produced. The queen wasps are fertilised by the male wasps, who subsequently die (job done) and the Queen wasp goes back into hibernation, leaving the old wasps nest to die.
This hive of wasp activity can give the impression of a wasps nest or swarm, due the large numbers of Queens and male wasps present in a relatively small area, but it is usual over in a few days after starting.
Useful Wasp Facts:
- One wasp nest usually produces about 200 new queens, of which only 20% will make it through the winter and only 5% will go on to make viable new nests.
- Wasps never use old nests, each year a new nest is built by a new queen.
- It is unfortunate to have a wasp nest every year in the same place; however it isn’t the old nest being re-used.
- It has been known for individual wasps to make nests next to one another
Unfortunately wasps do sting and their sting can be very painful - and for some people fatal. This is why wasps are regarded as nuisance pests.
During late summer a wasps diet changes from a protein rich diet to a sweet sugary diet. It is during this time that most people are stung. However, wasps only really sting if they feel threatened or disturbed; either by people who disturb their nest or who anger them, i.e. by taking away their ice cream or fizzy drink.
The European wasp is bigger than the more common English wasp and builds its nest outside, generally in bushes and trees.
These wasps are more aggressive than our native wasps, especially if their nest is disturbed.
Professional Pest Control for Wasps in Cambridge
We are often called to a wasp problem where there is no apparent nest. This is because wasps can travel up to half a mile from their nest to forage for food.
Wasps are also attracted to light, so it is quite common for wasps to be attracted to a light source, within 500 meters of their nest, especially at dusk, when it is starting to get dark.
Unfortunately unless a wasp nest is located, i.e. the wasps are continuously going in and out of a hole, either in the wall, under tiles/floor boards, or in the ground, there is very little we can do to resolve the problem.
Wasps tend to make their nests in garden sheds, roofs, loft spaces (accessible from the outside) and chimmys. If you suspect you might have a wasp nest in your home, garden or building call DRE Pest Control in Cambridge to safely remove the nest for you.
Sometimes a wasp nest is easy to locate, other times the nest could be in such an inaccessible position it is impossible to see but we have control methods to suit all situations and will return free of charge if the problem persists.