Wasps (Vespula vulgaris) are beneficial garden insects. However, they can become a nuisance in summer time. Nests can be found by looking for signs of wasp activity on fine days. You can find the position of the nest by looking for foraging wasps flying either towards or away from a nest.
Wasps can damage wooden fences and garden furniture when they collect wood to construct their nests.
Wasps can cause painful stings and our reaction can be different. For most people, bee and wasps sting are painful for about half a minute and later the area swells as the body reacts to the venom. This may last for a couple of days before subsiding and becoming itchy. Anti-histamine cream or even an ice pack may help.
Following a sting, some people can have a life threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylactic shock. They may lose consciousness soon after a sting. It is very important to get them to hospital as soon as possible.
Life cycle of wasps
The queen wasp lays eggs in the nest which hatch into female larvae within a few days. Four to six weeks after the eggs are laid the first generation of workers emerge. The wasps are smaller than the queens and take on the responsibiltiy of maintaining the nest and finding high protein foods such as flies, caterpillars, or spiders. Worker wasps will feed on a variety of foods including apples, pears and plums.
The queen then devotes all her time to laying eggs and by the end of the summer the nest may contain 20,000 or more wasps. By the end of the summer, the queen wasp stops laying eggs and the workers no longer need to collect food for the young. They become free to search for things to eat like cakes or sweets and they can become a nuisance.
In the autumn the new queens and males mate and the fertilised queens search for hibernation sites. The nests die out in winter and are never reused.
Bee can adopt wasp nests. Honey bees will hibernate as a colony over winter and they will use the same nest.
How you can deal with wasps
If you are absolutely sure that the nest is dead you can knock it down and dispose of it.
If you have disturbed a wasp nest and have been stung retreat from the nest. One wasp sting will provoke the other wasps.
To avoid getting stung try to stay still. Wasps and wild bees are programmed to chase and sting anything that moves. With bumblebees, this is the opposite as they will defend themselves rather than attack. If you have disturbed a bees nest, wait until they have calmed down and then slowly retreat.
If you have been stung in the mouth or throat area by a wasp seek medical help immediately as there is a risk that the swelling will interfere with your breathing.
Occasionally swelling may increase to alarming proportions or even a rash may develop. If this happens seek medical attention immediately.
How we can deal with wasps
Due to the high risks involved with wasps nests and the risk of anaphylactic shock only professionally qualified technician should undertake any treatments. The treatment charge is £54.
We will spray or dust the nest with an insecticide which will poison the whole inside of the nest and contaminate it for any returning wasps. Control is usually achieved within a few hours.
The technician will not remove the nest.
If you would like to book an appointment call 0161 234 5004.