As the summer holidays approach, its common for our pest controllers to receive calls from concerned clients about wasp nests. Often our free site surveys find that many nests actually belong to bees at this time of year, as its a little early for wasps. We’re looking at the life cycle of wasps to explain how and where they build their nests and when you can expect to see them.
In spring time, a Queen wasp will come out of hibernation and look for a cosy spot to build her nest for the summer. This could be in your garden shed, loft, eaves of your house, in a bird box, your soffits or even a bush. She’ll slowly work to build the nest up to its first stage and lay her first set of eggs. Here you can see a very early stage hornets nest from earlier this year. Over time the nest will develop and the Queen will feed her growing larvae.
Over the summer you’ll start to see worker wasps out and about hunting for food for themselves, in particular sugary sweet treats and insects to feed the larvae still growing in the nest. By late summer you’ll really notice wasps as the nest swells with up to 6,000 wasps. With most of the larvae fully developed into wasps there’s less space inside the nest and the wasps are on the hunt for food. You’ll sometimes notice drunk looking wasps, high on rotting fruit or angry wasps protecting their new Queens in the nest.
At the same time the new Queens and male drones will appear too, getting ready to mate. This will be over by late autumn and the new Queens will find a safe spot to hibernate. The male drones will die off.
So what should you do if you spot growing wasp nests or multiple wasps in your property? Whilst being very safe and keeping your distance see if you can spot the wasps distinctive black and yellow stripes, they use these to warn other wild animals to stay away. Wasps are yellow and black whilst bees will usually be more orangey in colour and bumble bees are much fluffier. If you still think you’re looking at wasps, keep your distance and give us a call on 01908 299518 or send us a message. Our fully trained and security checked pest controllers will visit you for free to confirm that you have a wasp nest which they can treat for you for £60 including VAT.
You can also find out more information by visiting our wasp information page.