Wasps and Wasps Nests
All wasps found in the UK, with the exception of the hornet, are very similar with black and yellow bands on their body and two pairs of wings.
Where do they live?
In spring, the fertilised queen leaves her hibernating quarters to seek nesting sites for a new colony. These could be holes in the ground, hollow trees, sheds, loft spaces or wall cavities. The queen starts to build her nest with a papery material that she makes by chewing wood mixed with saliva; this is known as wasp paper. She will raise the first few workers who will then enlarge the nest and care for the immature wasps. Nest construction starts in spring and will reach its maximum size in September, when up to 10,000 workers may be present. An old nest is not used in subsequent years.
What problems can they cause?
Wasps become a nuisance to humans mainly in late summer as the weather gets cooler when they become more likely to sting. A wasp, unlike a bee, can sting many times. Although the wasp sting is not normally serious, it can be very painful, and in certain cases can cause a severe reaction.
How can you control them?
Nests located in areas away from human contact can be left untreated. It should be remembered that wasps have a beneficial aspect as they kill many garden insect pests.
However, if it is necessary to destroy the nest, it is easy to do so but it is strongly recommended that you seek professional help as wasps can be very aggressive.
“A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. This means that wasps are paraphyletic with respect to bees and ants, and that all three groups are descended from a common ancestor.”