Wasp activity varies over the year.
Wasps in winter
During the winter only the queen will survive, hibernating and then emerging to make a new nest and start laying eggs to hatch into worker wasps.
What do wasps do in spring?
In the spring you may spot larger than normal wasps. These are queen wasps emerging from their overwintering place which could be places as diverse as the warm folds of a curtain, a cosy crevice in a shed or a loft. The queen wasps will be on the scout for a new place to build a nest and lay their eggs. You’ll certainly know it’s a queen if it stings you because only the female wasps have the distinctive stinger, which they can use repeatedly unlike bees.
Wasps in summer
At this time of year, wasps feed their young on other smaller insects or spiders so they tend not to bother us too much but at the end of the summer the adults will be searching for sugary foods and if there is a colony near humans can become serious pests as they will sting if humans threaten them.
End of the summer
At the end of the summer season, worker wasps return to the nest and die. Only the queen survives. The queen will never use the old nest (probably because it’s full of dead wasps) and build a new wasp nest, creating a single cell at the end of a petiole. Six more cells are then added to create the hexagonal shape.
The queen then lays eggs which grows into small larva. The larvae grows to full size then it pupates into an adult worker wasps. The lifecycle from egg to fully grown insect is approximately three weeks.
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
If you think you have a wasp problem – call CSS on any of the numbers above for advice and assistance.
What’s inside a Wasp’s Nest?
The worker wasps will continue to build and maintain the nest, forage for food and feed the larvae. Until June the nests will normally be golf ball sized but may be larger with warm weather. From late June the wasp nest will have grown considerably and wasps can normally be spotted on the outside carrying our repair and maintainance work. Take a look at this amazing footage by world of wasps showing a queen hornet and workers tending to the nest.
There are no hard and fast rules with nature, but help us to map out Britain’s wasp infestations by plotting your wasp sighting at www.ukwaspwatch.co.uk