We can treat wasp nests for you. Please contact us to find out how much it will cost and when we can visit.
Habitat and biology
Wasps are social insects living in colonies inside nests that they build from wood pulp. The most common locations for these nests in buildings are roof spaces, airbricks and w all cavities. Outside nests are often built in garden sheds, holes in trees, hedges and soil banks.
The building of each nest starts in the spring when the fertilised queen wasps emerge from hibernation and search for suitable sites to rear new colonies. This is usually around Easter time but can vary enormously depending on the weather and temperature. The number of queens emerging from a single property can vary from the odd 1 or 2 to what looks like a small swarm. Although it may appear that the queens are all together they are in fact working independently of each other in seeking out a nesting site. These individuals can be dealt with by purchasing an aerosol spray and applying it with regard to the manufacturer's instructions. There is nothing that we (or any private company) can do at this stage.
When the queen has found a suitable site she begins building a nest about the size of a golf ball in which she lays between 10 and 20 eggs. Most of these will fail to result in an active nest. Initially the young queen feeds the larvae that emerge, but once they reach adulthood ('worker wasps') they take over the enlarging of the nest and the feeding of all subsequent larvae that hatch. This is usually from about late May to the end of June and it is from this point that we can consider treating it.
The queen continues to lay eggs throughout the summer until early autumn, by which time the nest can contain 3,000 to 5,000 individuals (although most are smaller) and can be up to 30 cm or more across. By this time most people will be aware of the presence of a nest by the continual wasp activity around the entrance point.
During the later part of the summer the nest produces fertile males and new young queens who emerge and mate. The males die and the now fertilised queens fly away to find somewhere to hibernate for the winter. This can be in lofts, sheds, garages, overflow pipes etc.
With the onset of cold weather, the workers and the resident queen all die. Again the timing of this can vary enormously and be anywhere from October to December, normally the first ground frost is regarded as the point from which the nest will rapidly die off. The nest is then empty and will never be used again. It can be left alone as it will not affect the chances of problems in future years or if it is certain that all activity has ceased then it can be removed. We do not normally do this as part of our service.
Reasons for control
Although not a public health pest in the home, wasps often visit unhygienic places when foraging for food and therefore may carry germs. The main reason for control how ever is the wasps' habit of attacking when disturbed or interfered with. The resulting stings are painful and to a small number of hypersensitive people, dangerous.
Information and control advice
As the wasp season nears its end in late summer, the worker wasps become more aggressive. This is due to the queen ceasing to lay eggs. With no larvae to feed the worker wasps seek sweet substances on which to feed themselves. A favoured source of food is fallen, over ripe fruit. It is the ingesting of the often-fermenting juices that contribute greatly to the worker wasps’ increasingly aggressive behaviour. It is also at this time of year that they more frequently come into contact with humans either looking for food indoors or attracted by heat or more often by light emanating from your home.
It is not unusual to get large numbers congregating around any light source from any nest within eyesight. This usually occurs in the early morning or late evening
Firstly consider whether or not it is absolutely necessary to destroy a nest, how much of a problem is it causing? Could you safely leave it alone? Remember wasps are beneficial to your garden helping with pollination and keeping other garden pests under control. The nest will die off naturally, even if left alone.
In late spring and early summer, wasp nests can often be successfully treated using proprietary brands of insecticide for the specific control of wasps' nests. These can be purchased from most garden centres and hardware stores.
ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURERS INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE ON THE CONTAINER.
As the summer progresses and the nests become larger, it may be wiser to seek professional help. We offer a service to destroy active wasp nests in any property within the city. A competitive charge will be made and the work is guaranteed.
Before booking a treatment you must ensure that the nest is on your property. If it is not, you will have to speak to the occupiers of the property concerned so they can make their own arrangements.
Larger wasps seen from mid spring are most likely to be recently emerged young queens seeking a new nest site. We can not treat these wasps. We can not treat until there is an active nest, usually from late May.
Worker wasps seen entering and emerging from a specific point on a building or in a garden is the most reliable indication of the presence of a wasp nest. This activity should become more apparent as time goes on and should be spotted by a quick survey of the outside of the property.
Wasp nests are used for one season only and therefore do not need to be physically removed following treatment. Removal will not affect the chances of future problems. We do not remove inactive nests as part of our service.
With the exception of the hibernating queens (that leave the nest late summer) all wasps die off.
As the days become shorter, wasps are often attracted to the artificial light showing from the inside of buildings, particularly at dusk and dawn. They perceive the light as natural sunlight, become confused, and are attracted towards it. This can result in wasps finding their way inside. However, it does not necessarily indicate the presence of a wasp nest on the affected property. This can be combated by keeping windows shut; limiting the amount of light that can be seen from outside and even taping an old net curtain over the window when open will help.
Please remember that wasp stings are unpleasant and can be dangerous, so if you are concerned seek professional advice.