Pests in London | Wasps
By far the most common social wasp species in the UK, the Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) and German Wasp (Vespula Germanica) regularly nest within our homes and outbuildings and have painful stings.
Only young Queens survive over winter and emerge in spring to start nest building and lay eggs. Queens are larger than workers at around 20mm and are commonly seen in the late spring looking for new nest sites.
Preferred nest sites for the Common Wasp are in outbuildings and sheds or in house cavity walls or loft spaces, German wasps also nest in trees, bushes or hedgerows.
Wasps strip untreated wood, which mixed with saliva becomes a form of papier mache used in the construction of their nests. Small white lines of stripped wood on fences or wooden buildings are a tell tale sign of wasps harvesting wood and it is likely a nest will be nearby.
Workers are sterile females and vary in size from 10-17mm and are easily identified by their bright yellow and black striped abdomen.
Wasp nests grow rapidly during the summer and can number in excess of 20,000 adults. As the nest is growing worker wasps kill large numbers of insects which they take back to the nest to feed the larvae receiving a sweet nectar reward from the young. As autumn approaches however the queen stops laying eggs. Workers have less to do and begin to crave sweet sugary foods instead making them much more agressive.
In the winter the queen and the nest will die completely, including all the males and workers leaving the new queens to hibernate till the next spring.
Wasps sting readily and repeatedly in defence of their nests or when provoked, releasing pheromones that alarm other nearby wasps encouraging them to also attack. Whilst the venom delivered is less than that of a bee, they can sting multiple times and wasp stings cause allergic reactions in over 10% of the population.
Once a nest is established the worker wasps will agressively defend it so watching for the presence of wasps and taking early action can limit its impact.
Wasps are not active at night so any DIY treatment is best undertaken then. Treatment within a confined space can be very dangerous and should only be undertaken by a professional.
The best method. Call the experts - we can use chemicals not available to the home owner, with immediate treatments guaranteed to solve your wasp problem.