At Avon Pest Control we receive call outs to treat wasps even during the winter months. Queen wasps do not die in the autumn like the female workers and the males, which are known as drones. Instead they find somewhere dry, warm, and protected to hibernate until the warmer weather comes. Locations such as attic spaces or garden sheds make perfect environments to hibernate. When temperatures begin to increase, queen wasps come out of hibernation, usually around late springtime, and begin to build the first combs of the nest. They do this by chewing up wood and other plant debris to make a wood pulp which looks like paper.
TOP TIP! – little white lines on wooden shed walls and fence panels is a sign that you may have a nest nearby.
Once the queen has built the cells, she will begin to lay eggs and start a new colony. Killing a queen at the right time can prevent a problem before it starts. For example, if the queen is killed in winter when she is the only surviving member of the colony, it will prevent a nest being built. Killing a queen in late spring when they are the only member of the colony can also prevent a nest from becoming active as she is responsible for supplying nutrients to the larvae. Without this, the first set of workers will not survive, and the nest will not grow.
Did You Know?
- You can identify the queen wasp by her size. The queen is normally much longer than the drones. Queens measure around 2-2.5cm, and drones measure approximately 1.2-1.7cm
- A queen wasp will lay around a 100 eggs per day
- Only female wasps have stingers
- A much lower number of queen wasps survive hibernation as they are killed by spiders who inhabit the same sheltered spaces as the queens – another good reason not to squash spiders in your home!
If you are experiencing wasp problems in January, February, or March, it will almost undoubtedly be queen wasps. Because we have such good central heating and lighting systems, our warm houses and artificial lights can confuse queen wasps into coming out of hibernation. Wasps nesting in or near us can be a problem as wasps can sting. A wasp sting can be very painful, and in rare cases can cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock. People are more likely to be stung in late summer as wasp colonies stop breeding new workers. This drives the existing workers to search for other sources of sugary food, such as human foods. Whilst queen wasps are not aggressive when they come out of hibernation, and use their stingers exclusively for self-defence, they can still sting if handled, so be careful!
Whatever the time of year, if wasps are causing you a nuisance, give Avon Pest Control a call today on 01926 632 929 or 01789 293 463, or click here to request a quotation. Removing wasps can be dangerous! Let us take the sting out of your pest problem.