Wasp Pest Control
Key Wasp Facts
Wasps can be thought of as "helpful" in controlling garden insects by collecting their larvae. However, come the end of summer, their taste for sweet things and aggressive behaviour can become very annoying! Particularly as wasps can sting several times.
Adult worker wasps have distinctive black and yellow patterning on the abdomen and are between 15 - 20 mm long. They have a black head and thorax. The forward and rear wings are fixed together by tiny hooks giving the appearance of a single wing on each side.
After a winter spent hibernating, the queen constructs a small nest and lays her first eggs. The queen feeds her larvae until her first workers hatch. These workers then take over looking after the larvae, gathering food and constructing the nest, while the queen continues to lay. The colony continues to grow to its maximum size over the next three months. Reproductive males and new queens hatch last and leave the nest to mate. Once "loved-up", the queens look for somewhere to hibernate over winter.
Wasps become most annoying at the end of summer, gate-crashing BBQs and hunting out sticky doughnuts! Whilst "baby-sitting", they consume a sweet liquid given off by the larvae. With that supply all but gone, they're like alcoholics trying to get their next drink! To the relief of many, they die out as soon as the weather turns cold. The nest decomposes never to be used again.
Wasps don't attack unless provoked. Try to avoid the temptation to swat or squash wasps as a chemical signal is released, signalling others to attack.
Although painful and itchy, wasp stings are rarely dangerous. However, some people are allergic and can react badly, becoming very sick. If there is any shortness of breath, call the emergency services immediately.