Are you and your family looking forward to spending time outdoors in your garden this Summer? If you are like many UK garden owners, you may have some things you are not quite looking forward to, such as Wasps. In August and September Wasp numbers are at their peak. Just one Wasp can cause many of us to run around hysterically waving our arms in the air, imagine what a whole nest could do?
Just as humans are social, Wasps can be social and build nests together or solitary and lay their eggs in cracks or crevices. At their peak a social Wasp’s nest can contain 6 to 10 thousand Wasps which tend to be more aggressive toward the end of the year when the workers die off. It might only be the female Wasps that have a sting, but they can use this repeatedly. They can also attack in numbers if disturbed or if they feel threatened. Wasps are not just a nuisance, they can be a great danger. Their stings are painful and some people react violently to being stung with several people dying from Anaphylactic Shock each year.
If you are suffering with Wasps or other lawn and garden pests, why not take advantage of the Lawnscience Lawn and Garden Pest Control Service?* One of our fully trained, lawn care professionals will be happy to arrange a free review with you, during which they will identify the issue(s) and provide you with a fully costed solution for you to consider. To take advantage of this opportunity just contact us.
In the UK we see at least seven species of Wasp. We are most familiar with the Common or Social Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the Median Wasp (Dolichovespula). They have 3 main body parts; the head, thorax and the abdomen which is striped black and yellow, but will vary in colouration. Worker wasps are approximately 12 – 17mm in size. The Queens are much larger, approximately 20mm.
The Hornet is also part of the Wasp species. It is much larger in size than the Common Wasp, it can be up to 40mm in size. The Hornet will defend it’s nest much like other Wasps and it’s sting is just as powerful as a Wasp sting. Their colonies can reach up to 700 workers. Where necessary, the entire nest will mobilise itself ready to sting in defence. This can be very dangerous to humans. You will often find Hornets around puddles or ponds as they are known to be thirsty creatures. Do not disturb or attack them as they will alarm other hornets nearby with an alarm pheromone, and will become aggressive.
Sheltered places with easy access to the outdoors to build their nests are ideal for the Queen. She will use garden sheds, bird boxes, under the eaves of buildings, garden sheds and wall cavities and even your lawn! Resulting in a great deal of potential problems for homeowners. The Queen will look for fresh wood, which she will chew, shred and mix with saliva to create a material similar to papier mache. Keep an eye on your sheds, gates, wood frames and fence panels as they are preferred real estate for Wasps to nest. Typically you will see small white lines on fence panels or other wood frames, this means a Wasp nest is not very far away.
Wasps begin to construct their nests in Spring and the population is relatively small at this time of year and easier to treat. It is in the later Summer months when the nest is growing with as many as 6000 worker Wasps building and defending the nest that is much more serious to deal with.
It is best to avoid DIY nest removal or treatment especially if you are sensitive to stings. Wasp stings do not only hurt, but they can produce an Anaphylactic Shock in some people and in extreme cases this can be life threatening. We believe a professional and safe approach when dealing with Wasp nests is best. We have a team of Garden and Lawn Pest Control professionals and we offer effective, fast and affordable services to safely treat Wasp nests in your lawn and outside of your home. We can also advise on other lawn and garden pest problems such as Ants and Moles
We have had calls from customers in a panic state as they have tried to deal with the Wasp nests in their gardens by knocking them down or much worse trying to set fire to the nest. If a nest is knocked down it breaks apart really easily and is exposed. You will then have to deal with a lot of very angry wasps and the risk of being stung is extremely high. Setting fire to a wasp nest will not kill all of the wasps but it will send them into attack mode and they will sting. Just like us humans they are highly defensive of their home and young and any threat to them will provoke an attack.
We do not advise you to try to block an entrance to a nest. The wasps will not give up trying to gain access back to their nest, and during this time they will be agitated and angry, which again puts you and your family at risk of being stung. Further damage will also be done to the surrounding area where the nest is established, this could lead to the wasps getting inside your house or summer house.
The timing of new queen production will vary from year to year. It is around September when the colony starts to die off and the queen goes into hibernation to begin the whole cycle next year. The workers that are left in the nest will now have little food source. The colony starts to collapse and the worker wasps will fly around aimlessly. This is when wasps will become a real nuisance as they will seek food sources elsewhere. Sugary drinks and food lying about in our gardens are perfect spots for hungry Wasps. As the weather gets colder and food diminishes, the remaining adult Wasps and queens will die off. By Winter most nests will have also died off but occasionally a nest will survive longer if enough food can be found.
If you are suffering with Wasps or other lawn and garden pests, why not take advantage of the Lawnscience Lawn and Garden Pest Control Service?* One of our fully trained, lawn care professionals will be happy to arrange a free review with you, during which they will identify the issue(s) and provide you with a fully costed solution for you to consider. To take advantage of this opportunity just contact your local Lawnscience office.