The Sting of Summer: Understand & Avoid Wasp Nests
As summer arrives in the United Kingdom, so does the buzzing sound of wasps. While these insects play a crucial role in the ecosystem, they can become a nuisance when they decide to build their nests near human dwellings. Avon Pest Control presents this comprehensive guide to help you understand wasp nests in the UK and how to avoid them.
Wasps are a common sight in the UK, with the most prevalent species being the common wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) and the German wasp (Vespula Germanica). They are often mistaken for bees due to their similar appearance, but unlike bees, wasps are known for their smooth bodies and distinctive yellow and black markings.
Wasp nests are made from a mixture of wood fibres and saliva, forming a papery structure. These nests can be found in various locations, including trees, bushes, attics, sheds, and wall cavities.
The size of a wasp nest can vary, with some reaching the size of a football or even larger.
In 2010 a wasp nest nearly the size of a car was found in a Southampton pub attic measuring a staggering 6ft by 5ft and housing around 500,000 wasps!
Lifecycle of Wasps
Understanding the lifecycle of wasps is crucial in dealing with their nests effectively.
In the early spring, queen wasps emerge from hibernation and start building their nests. The queen lays eggs, which develop into worker wasps responsible for expanding the nest and gathering food.
Towards the end of summer, new queens and males are produced, and they mate before the cold weather sets in. The old nest is usually abandoned at this stage.
While wasps can be beneficial for controlling other insect populations, they can pose a safety risk when their nests are located near human activity areas. Wasps can become aggressive if they feel threatened, and their stings can cause pain, swelling, and in some cases, severe allergic reactions, known as Anaphylaxis which can be fatal.
It is Important to Exercise Caution and Avoid Provoking Wasps.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Whilst it is difficult to ensure wasps do not nest on your property, there are some preventative measures you can take.
- Regularly inspect your property: Conduct routine inspections of your exterior walls, eaves, roof, and any potential entry points. Seal any gaps, cracks, or openings that could provide access for wasps to build their nests.
- Remove potential nesting sites: Keep your property tidy by removing any unused garden furniture, old equipment, or debris that could serve as potential nesting sites for wasps.
- Seal waste bins: Make sure your outdoor waste bins have tightly sealed lids to prevent wasps from being attracted to food waste. Clean the bins regularly to eliminate food odours.
- Trim vegetation: Regularly trim shrubs, hedges, and tree branches near your property, as overgrown vegetation can provide suitable locations for wasp nests. Maintain a clear distance between greenery and your home.
Professional Wasp Nest Removal
When faced with a wasp nest infestation, it is recommended to call in the experts. Professional technicians have the knowledge, experience, and specialised equipment to safely remove wasp nests. They will assess the situation, determine the most appropriate treatment method, and carry out the removal process efficiently while minimising risks to you and your property.