Wasp Nest Removal
As we approach the warmer weather of spring and summer, many of you will already have started to notice an increase in wasp activity. You may have seen a new wasp nest in your loft, had wasps buzzing around the garden, or even in your living room.
Many people have an understandable fear of wasps and wasp stings. Indeed, for some people, a wasp sting can be a matter of life or death, therefore understanding wasps, wasp nests, wasp biology, wasp behaviour, wasp nest treatment and wasp nest removal, is valuable.
Let’s discuss the two most common wasp species that we see during the warmer months; The common wasp/yellow-jacket (vespula vulgaris), and the German wasp (vespula germanica). We are sure that everybody knows and has seen the familiar yellow and black stripes of a wasp, swatting them away from our ice creams and cola cans every year between April and October. Wasps can be seen in your home during the winter if your central heating is turned up or if there is a spike in external temperature.
Wasps, like most insects, have 3 body segments; head, thorax and abdomen. Wasps have 2 pairs of wings, with the front set of wings being larger than those at the back. There is then, of course, the dreaded stinger that is designed as a defence mechanism, but also to immobilise it prey by injecting it with venom. Unlike a bee, a wasp can use its stinger more than once.
Wasps go through complete metamorphosis. This means that the young wasps look completely different to the adults. Wasp queens will lay eggs, they become larvae (grubs), then after pupating, they become the adult wasps that we see.
At the end of each summer, new wasp queens emerge from the nests and look to find somewhere to “over-winter.” This is the process of winter hibernation. They will find a warm and safe spot, such as your loft, to begin the construction of a nest to help them survive the winter. This nest will be no bigger than a golf ball and will have a small “honeycomb” cell chamber in it, ready for the first wasp eggs of the new season.
Once we reach spring and the weather turns warmer, the queen wasp will emerge, go looking for food and lay the first batch of eggs which, once grown, will become the first workers and start the process of building up the new nest.
A wasp nest is typically made from wood and spit, which becomes a paper-like consistency, therefore it is much lighter and more fragile than you may believe. It will look light grey/beige in colour. In the middle, the queen wasp will build the cell chambers, and each one will have an individual egg laid in it.
When the queen wasp lays an egg in a cell, the wasp egg will take up to 8 days, under favourable conditions, to turn into the wasp larvae. The wasp larvae will grow by feeding on sugary foods or protein (e.g. insect fragments) that either the queen wasp or worker wasp will bring into the nest. The wasp larvae will moult 5 times as they grow over approximately 15 days. After this, the wasp larva spins a silk “cap” to allow pupation to take place. The pupation period lasts up to 18 days at which point the new adult wasp emerges. The whole process takes between 28 to 48 days from egg to adult.
The queen wasp will do all of the early work, but once she has a few worker wasps she will allow them to do the building, foraging etc, allowing her to do nothing else but lay eggs for the rest of her natural life. This is when the size and building of the wasp nest grows rapidly. A wasp nest will only be used for one year and will not be reused by future queen wasps. At the end of the summer, the process will start all over again with the new queen wasps leaving the nest to over-winter.
Common Sites for Wasp Nests
Queen wasps can travel many miles to find a suitable nesting site. When they do, they will utilise any space they believe will provide the right environment to allow it to grow and develop safely. Common spots for a wasp nest in your home include:
- Wasp nest in your loft, eaves, soffit boards, roof, or chimney
- Wasp nest in your air vent, cavity wall, or brickwork
- Wasp nest in your garden, lawn, bushes, or trees
- Wasp nest in your shed, garage, windows, or conservatory.
What Should I Do If I Have A Wasp Nest?
Wasp nests do need to be treated as soon as possible, especially if someone is in danger of having an anaphylactic shock if they are stung. Babies, children and the elderly can also suffer more if they get stung. It is recommended that a wasp nest treatment is carried out several days before having the dead wasp nest removed.
Not all wasp nests can be seen when there is a high amount of wasp activity, but as long as you can see the access point the wasps fly in and out from, then the wasp nest can be treated externally as it will be located behind this access point. Dependent on the location of the wasp nest and height it may be at, ladders or extension/telescopic poles may be required.
A wasp nest should not be treated without using the correct PPE, as wasps will become more volatile during and immediately after the wasp nest treatment. Remember, wasps are still dangerous and will try to lash out more frequently during this process.
Once the wasp nest has been completely destroyed and dependent on the size, this can take several days, then the wasp nest removal can be completed.
Opkill and Wasp Nest Treatments
Opkill Pest Control have years of experience in wasp nest treatments and removals. Opkill are the preferred supplier of pest control, wasp nest treatments and wasp nest removal to several local authorities in the Midlands and North. Using BPCA qualified pest control technicians, and supported by a warm, friendly contact centre, you can rest assured that your wasp nest treatment and wasp nest removal service will be professional and guaranteed.
Book a Wasp Nest Removal Service
Our field-based staff are supported by a dedicated team of managers, administration and call centre staff at our UK head office in Worcestershire. They are your first point of call for all your insect control needs. To book a service, you can contact Opkill Pest Control direct via our enquiry form on our website; or alternatively, you can call our sales team who are happy to help on 0800 980 41 42.