Wasps (Vespula spp)

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Significance

  • Wasps can cause alarm when present in large numbers and where the nest is in a place where insects 
can interfere with humans.
  • Can inflict painful, dangerous stings, especially to those people with allergies.
  • When the sting is inside the throat, the effect can be fatal.

Control of Wasps

  • CSS recommends the use of Electronic flying insect control units which are extremely effective at attracting and controlling wasps.
  • Other treatments involve applying liquid insecticides, aerosols or dusts in or around the entrance of
 nests.
  • For the control of adult wasps, residual or space sprays can be used.

Key features

  • Adult worker wasps have the characteristic
 black and yellow patterning on the abdomen.
  • Length is between 15 and 20 mm long.
  • Have a black head and thorax.
  • Fore and hindwings are held together by a row
 of minute hooks giving the appearance of only 
one wing per side of the wasp.
  • The wings are heavily veined.

Biology

  • Wasps are colonial insects living in social
 groups.
  • Over wintering queen makes a small starter nest
 from paper made by mixing wood and saliva
 and establishes each colony in the spring.
  • The colony grows throughout the summer and the nest with it.
  • Many thousands of individuals are associated with each nest, with the workers feeding on nectar, sweet 
materials and at certain times, insect larvae and other animal pieces.
  • The colony develops males towards the end of the summer to mate with presumptive queens, which, when mated, overwinter to start a new colony the following year.

For more info on this insect check out our page on Wasps as summer seasonal pests.

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