Wasps

Wasp Pest Removal Sheffield

German Wasp (Vespula germanica)
Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris)

There are eleven species of wasp found in Europe but only two, the common wasp, and the German wasp cause us any real concern, although occasionally we may encounter the French wasp.

Description

It is unlikely that any one would need to be told just what a wasp looks like. at the height of summer it is practically impossible to avoid some contact with them, but despite the fact that they can become a real nuisance, as well as the threat from being stung, they can be a useful insect in our environment. Wasps in their daily routine control other insect pests, and clear dead insect carcasses as well as acting as pollinators.

Life cycle

The queens normally emerge from their winter quarters in mid-April, and each one starts to search for a suitable site for its future colony- this may be a cavity in a wall, in a loft, or under the eaves of a house. Other favourite locations are, garden sheds, privet hedges and holes in the ground. The queen starts the colony by building a spherical cell about the size of a walnut. The nest is built from wasps paper, a mixture she makes from chewed wood, plant debris and saliva. Inside the cell she constructs between 10 - 20 hexagonal cells and lays a egg in each one. When these hatch she is kept busy fetching food for the larvae. The larvae then construct silken cocoons in which they pupate, about a month later the first workers emerge. These are smaller than the queen and are all female - male wasps emerge later in the season. The queen can now concentrate solely on egg laying, whilst the workers take over the nest construction enlarging it as required. They also forage for food, ventilate the nest and feed the developing wasps larvae. By the end of the summer, the nest may house over 20,000 wasps. With the onset of autumn, new queens and males are bred. Once fertilization has taken place the males die and the young queens search for a suitable hibernation site to spend winter i.e. lofts and under the bark of trees. Because wasps have not evolved to the level of storing food over winter the colonies die when conditions become too cold, existing nests decompose and are never re-used.

  • Queen over-winters under bark or in other sheltered location
  • In early spring the queen starts to build the nest.
  • About a month later the first workers emerge
  • The colony is expanded during the summer months
  • At the height of summer the population of workers reaches a peak, and become a nuisance.
  • In autumn young queens and males are bred and fertilisation occurs for the following year.
  • At the onset of winter colonies demise. Nest decomposes and is not re-used.

Reason for control

To most of us being stung by a wasp can be an extremely unpleasant, if not traumatic - but to some they can prove fatal. The ability of these insects to inflict multiple stings means that for certain individuals, they can kill. At the very least a wasp sting can cause a great deal of irritation, old fashioned remedies such as the application of vinegar, which is still used today, will almost certainly irritate the sting further as wasps venom is not alkaline. The best advice is to clean the area around the site of the sting and apply an anti histamine preparation. Controlling wasps at the height of summer is essential - despite the nuisance factor wasps can carry pathogenic bacteria on to food from carrion. Food and processing establishments are especially at risk.

Control measures

Despite the large number of wasps nests destroyed annually, the number of infestations continue to increase yearly. There is no doubt that the easiest way to control wasps is to destroy the nest. If a large number of wasps are present continually then that in itself would indicate either a nest close by, or a something of considerable attraction. By closely watching their behaviour pattern should indicate just why they are present in numbers. This will normally result in either finding the location of the nest, or some source of attraction. Where a nest is located it should be treated with extreme caution as wasps are capable of warning each other of any pending danger. It is recommended that professional help is sought. The best time to treat a wasps nest is either early or late in the day. Should you decide to try to deal with it yourself, make sure you are well protected and that you follow any instructions given with the products you purchase.

Wasp Nest Removal Dinnington Wasp Nest Problems South Yorkshire
Wasps Nest Inside the Nest

Created by DS Creative