What do wasps look like?
Although similar in size to bees, wasps are distinctive in their appearance because of their narrow waist and bright yellow and black banding. They are usually 1-2cm in length, the most common being the common wasp (vespula vulgaris) and the German wasp (vespula germanica). Wasps are aggressive when disturbed.
Where do they live?
Wasps live in nests that are typically found in roof spaces, air bricks, cavity walls, garden sheds, trees and even in flowerbeds.
The nest is usually constructed from chewed bark and dried timber mixed with saliva and is a light grey/beige colour with a papery appearance. If undisturbed and built in an unrestricted space, the nest can measure up to 90-120cm in circumference towards the end of the summer months. A nest this size would contain between 5,000 - 10,000 individual wasps.
New wasps are formed each year by queen wasps that have overwintered. Depending on the weather, nests can be found in late spring/early summer.
Can wasps cause harm?
Wasps are aggressive when disturbed and will sting. This is painful and may cause redness or swelling but a sting is not normally serious, unless you are stung around the face, mouth, throat or tongue or suffer an allergic reaction to sting (known as Anaphylactic Shock). In these cases you should get immediate medical attention, as severe anaphylactic shock can be fatal.
How can I get rid live wasps' nests?
It is important to get rid of wasps nests quickly Wasps are aggressive when disturbed and will sting
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Image supplied with kind permission of Killgerm Group Ltd
Steve Pratt Pest Control Ltd