Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris)

Or what should be taken under consideration when you got a wasp nest

While for most people wasps are nothing more than a nuisance, their sting can cause a severe allergic reaction and are considered life-threatening. Wasps in UK are usually more active during the spring and summer when the queens start to build their new nests.

A wasps nest in UK can grow in numbers which can result in more difficult extermination and if you are trying to get rid of wasps by yourself keep in mind they can be quite aggressive when agitated. Local wasp control and wasp nest removal are meant to be left for pest control professionals. A wasp nest can contain up to 30,000 worker wasps who wander around to find food, preferably anything sweet.

Habitat and Life Cycle

A common wasp is about 10-20mm in size. They have distinctive binding in bright yellow and black and 2 pairs of membranous wings. They live in a wasp nest and have a complex structure. Nesting sites are often lofts, cavities, trees and walls, soil banks, under the house, and attics usually during the summer months

Wasps are social insects and their social structure kind of resembles the complex social structure of the ants and their life cycle has the same 4 stages known as full metamorphosis:

 

  • Egg – the first one laid soon after the queen wasp emerges, and then throughout spring and summer

 

  •  Larva – legless grubs, fed by the workers, developed in approximately 4 week

 

  • Pupa – usually developed in 2 weeks

 

  • Adult–winged workers, significantly smaller than the queen
Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) AccuRat

How the wasp nest and colony is formed?

If you are familiar with the ant way of life, you will find a big resemblance to the wasps. Wasp colony consists of a queen wasp and worker wasp, again mostly female. The queen is responsible for building the nest at the beginning of spring and laying the eggs. Usually, in the beginning, the nest is the size of a golf ball. The worker wasp, just like the worker ants is responsible for enlarging the nest, finding a food source, and feeding the queen and the larvae.

Usually, a wasp nest lasts about a year, but the queens manage to survive and go into hibernation until the next spring season. The wasp colony starts with the queen that goes out of hibernation, starts to build her nest from chewed wood and saliva, and then lays her first eggs in the few cells she has built in the nest.

 

When the first worker is hatched they start expanding the nest, actively search for food and feed the young. In this period wasps are rarely a nuisance as they are too busy with the building of the nest and the search for food. Now the queens’ only job is to lay eggs – up to 300 eggs a day. She also releases pheromones in order to keep the colony together.

​In summer that colony has expanded rapidly, so does the nest itself. Wasps have the ability to build their nest in a way that will fit the space available. During late summer the queen starts laying which will develop into new queens and fertile males. Autumn is the season that the wasp nest has reached its peak.

The queen reaches the end of her life and without her, the worker wasps are left with no purpose, start spreading, and eventually die. The new queens already hatch leave the nest, mate with the fertile males, and start looking for a safe place to start their hibernation until the following spring.

Importance of controlling wasp species in the UK

There aren’t many known diseases to be carried by wasps, but knowing that they visit waste depots, dustbins, and feed on another dead insect there is a chance they can spread them. Earlier in the year, they are not dangerous and you can barely see them as they are busy building their nest and search for food. When the colony starts reaching significant numbers, that is when the troubles start.

When the weather gets cooler, wasps become more and more irritated. Their sting can inflict pain and in some cases where you’ve been stung multiple times, for some people, can cause a serious condition known as an anaphylactic shock – this is an extreme reaction to the toxins in the wasp’s venom. It is important to avoid these insects and their sting and be aware of the reaction to the sting becomes more acute.

Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) AccuRat

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Local Wasp Removal from AccuRat

Wasp pest control is not difficult if access to the nest is rather easy and protective gear is essential. There are residual sprays or dust that are available for non-professional use, but treating wasp nests by pest professionals is always recommended. Like any other insect that is giving you grief, it is best not to try and handle them yourself.

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