Wasps and their Nests
Most of us have had problems with wasps at one time or other. Whether there’s one buzzing around your ice cream on a hot day, or you’ve got a nest in your house, garage or shed, it can be a frightening experience. And they’re not always just a nuisance. If you happen to be allergic to their stings, they’re deadly.
What Sort of Wasp is This?
There are actually two main sorts of wasp in the UK: the Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the German Wasp (Vespula germanica). They’re actually pretty similar. Both have yellow and black markings, build paper-like nests and have a painful sting. To tell the difference you have to get really close, and you probably don’t want to do that.
Hornets (Vespa crabro) are another type of wasp found increasingly across England and Wales. A lot of people think hornets are more dangerous than ordinary wasps, but although they’re larger, they’re actually less aggressive than people think.
Other UK wasps include Tree (Dolichovespula sylvestris), European Paper (Polistes dominula), Red (Vespula rufa) and Median (Dolichovespula media) varieties, but these are less common and unlikely to cause problems.
Are Wasps Dangerous?
In ordinary circumstances wasps aren’t that dangerous, but they do have a nasty sting. Unlike bees, which die after they sting you, each one can sting several times. This is a particular problem if you get in the middle of a swarm.
People with allergies can die from wasp and bee stings; a condition called anaphylactic shock means their airway can close up if they don’t receive treatment quickly. Even if you don’t have an allergy, some stings get infected and require antibiotics.
Wasps are most likely to sting when protecting their nests, and it’s when people try to remove them they often get hurt. Imagine the effects of getting attacked by wasps while up a ladder, for example. That’s why it’s best to leave these things to the professionals.
Wasps can also be problematic in late summer, when they go in search of sugary foods and carbohydrates. They often eat fermenting fruit, which can make them more aggressive as they’re effectively drinking alcohol.
Can They Damage my Property?
Surprisingly, yes. Wasp nests are made of a kind of paper, and to produce this the wasps chew up weathered bits of wood. If you have garden furniture and other wooden objects outside, they can get damaged and may be expensive to replace.
Getting Rid of Wasps Yourself
If you act early when the problem is still small, you might be able to deal with wasps yourself using off-the-shelf products. However, if you have a nest in or around your home, we strongly recommend you give us a call instead. Wasps can be very dangerous if their nests are disturbed.
It might seem safer to wait until the wasps are gone in winter, but you risk a family member being stung while you’re waiting. In warm weather (or if the nest is in a warm place) infestations can last well into October or November. Wasps only use nests for one year in any case, so removing it once they’re gone is unnecessary – they won’t return to an empty nest.
Professional Wasp Nest Removal
Rather than risk removing a nest yourself, the best plan is to call in the professionals. Our pest controllers have a great deal of experience with wasps, and have all the tools and equipment needed to tackle the problem quickly and safely. We often use poles to deal with nests high up in trees, although on occasion we use ladders and other access equipment.
If you need to get rid of wasps or remove a nest, don’t have a DIY disaster. Contact us online so we can visit and tackle the problem safely.