Pest control advice - Wasps

We can treat wasp nests for you.

There is a charge of £52.00 (including VAT) for this service. To book please call 01295 227007.

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 wall 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 late 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.

Please remember that wasp stings are unpleasant and can be dangerous, so if you are concerned seek professional advice.