What do they look like?
All the wasps found in the United
Kingdom, 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 queen leaves her
hibernating quarters to seek nesting sites. These could be holes in
the ground, hollow trees, sheds, loft spaces etc. 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 to follow. The nest construction starts in
Spring and will reach its maximum size in September, when up to
10,000 workers may be present. The nest is not used in subsequent
What do they eat?
Wasps usually eat insects, which are
mainly garden or household pests. They also feed on dustbin waste
and animal carcasses.
Are they a health risk?
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
How do I control them?
Nests located in areas away from
human activity can be left untreated. It should be remembered that
wasps have a beneficial aspect as they kill many garden insect
D.I. Y. Treatments
Consider the risks carefully before
attempting a treatment yourself. Wasps are very aggressive when
their nest is threatened, and multiple stings may result if your
protective clothing is inadequate.
If you do decide to treat the nest
yourself, suitable products can be purchased from hardware shops
and garden centres. You must first locate the entrance to the nest.
Following the flight pattern of returning wasps may help. Treatment
should be carried out very early or late in the day when activity
is at a minimum. Apply the insecticide to the entrance of the nest,
or directly on to the nest if it is visible. Keep well away from
the treated nest for at least 24 hours. Alternatively, commercial
Pest Control Companies are listed in the Yellow Pages and
Thompson's Local Directory.
When using pesticides
always follow the instructions on the label.
Last Updated on 6/25/2012