15th October 2011
Wasps are more aggressive in late summer/early autumn – as they become drunk on rotten fermenting fruit…
Wasps are usually only a summer problem. However due to the recent warm weather this autumn, the wasps have stayed active for much longer than normal.
Wasps usually stay around until late October/early November if their nest is in a warm location (e.g. a loft). If their nests are outside, however, they are less likely to survive the first frost, will be killed off by the cold weather.
But be careful, although the weather may be cold, wasps can still survive indoors for many months. So although you do not see many wasps flying around outside, that does not mean that they have disappeared. They are just very inactive – unless accidentally disturbed. So be careful when entering a dark loft space, just in case there is an inactive wasps nest there, as it may not be as inactive as you would like.
At the end of the summer, a wasp nest produces new Queens and new drones (male) which will mate off. After mating, the drone, whose sole purpose is to fertilise the Queen, will die off; whereas the Queen will usually fly off and find a new nest site for the following year, and will hibernate there over the winter months. Occasionally the Queen may hibernate near the site of the original nest.
Wherever the Queen hibernates, she remains inactive and it is not until the start of Spring, that the Queen starts making a new nest. Wasps never re-use an old nest, but they may build a new nest adjacent to an old one. At the start of Spring, the Queen lays her first batch of eggs, which she feeds. When the eggs hatch, they form the first of the worker (sterile female) wasps, which will fly off in
search of food to feed the next batch of eggs. The Queen continues to lay eggs throughout the summer, so that the nest gets bigger and bigger. The nest does not stop growing (laying eggs and producing new workers) until late summer, when the new Queens and drones are produced. When these new Queens fly away, the social structure of the nest declines, leading the remaining worker wasps to become more aggressive. So you will often find stray wasps flying around in late summer acting more aggressively than normal.
So what happens to the old nest. If kept warm, the remaining wasps will continue to forage for food, often finding old rotting fruit (e.g. fallen fruit from fruit trees) which can cause the wasps to become dozey, as they become slightly drunk from the rotten fermented fruit.
Wasps are starting to become more of a problem as the warm weather continues and nests are increasing quickly. Our staff at Terminex can quickly and efficiently deal with this problem for you.
Textile / Clothes Moth have been very prevalent this year. During 2011 we have dealt with more moth infestations this year than in any previous year.
If you find moths, please call us to arrange a free survey and quotation.
Enjoy a Pest Free October.
Love from your Terminex Team x