UK wasp

UK Wasps – What you need to know!

When looking for a pest control company to help with any wasp nest issues, it is important that you know the difference between UK wasps.

There are two different types of UK wasp – Vespula Vulgaris (also known as the common wasp or a common yellow-jacket) and Vespula Germania although very similar the two can be distinguished by the three dots that can be seen on the faces of the German wasp – whereas our common wasp does not have these distinct dots.

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Types of UK Wasps nest:
  • The Germania wasp nest is soft, grey and paperlike
  • The Vulgaris was nest is brittle, tan coloured and also paperlike

V. Vulgaris are known for their adaptation skills which enable them to live in a wide range of habitats including; very humid areas and artificial environments such as gardens and human structures.

These wasps are most likely to make their nests in sheltered spots like:

    • Under trees
    • In bushes
    • In-wall cavities
    • Under eaves
    • In your shed or garage

The Queen goes out and searches for the perfect place to build her nest – one colony cycle lasts about 6-11 months and usually consists of around 3000-8000 larvae with the queen producing around 200-300 eggs per day for 24 days.

Five stages to the wasp life cycle:
  • Stage 1 – solitary stage: the queen builds the nest, provisions the cells and rears the first brood of workers.
  • Stage 2 – rapid increase: the workers replace the queen as the foraging force. The queen is now a nurse and egg producer. There is a very rapid build-up of the worker population.
  • Stage 3 – slow increase: the rate of population growth is not as rapid as in stage 2.
  • Stage 4 – the climax of the colony: the worker population no longer increases. Cells built are all queen cells. Males emerge, and foraging rate per worker increases.
  • Stage 5 – decline: probably caused by death or sickness of the queen. Colony cohesion breaks down, cannibalism sets in, and the foraging becomes erratic

Each stage lasts for similar periods of around 30-35 days. The colony starts in April and degenerates around October when the temperature drops and the queen dies.

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Wasps – uses:

Although a nuisance during the summer months, wasps are valuable predators that control plant pests – one worker wasp can collect 100 aphids a day, whilst some other wasps will pollinate flowers. Making them a vital part of the ecosystem.

It is only social wasps that become a nuisance in the late summer, this is because there are no larvae left to feed and instead of hunting for prey the workers turn their attention to sugar (like nectar and your picnic).

All wasps will sting to defend themselves and their nests; swatting at them may elicit sting behaviour. Some wasps’ sting also triggers the release of an alarm pheromone that attracts more wasps.

A wasps’ sting can be very dangerous – if you have an allergy there is a chance of Anaphylaxis, where your body goes into shock in response to the venom. Most people who do go into shock do so very quickly, it is important to seek immediate emergency care to treat anaphylaxis.

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Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to wasp sting:
  • severe swelling of the face, lips, or throat
  • hives or itching in areas of the body not affected by the sting
  • breathing difficulties, such as wheezing or gasping
  • dizziness
  • a sudden drop in blood pressure
  • lightheadedness
  • loss of consciousness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach cramps
  • a weak or racing pulse

You may not experience all of these symptoms, but you’re likely to experience at least some of them. However, even without a lodged stinger, wasp venom can cause significant pain and irritation, prompt treatment is important for alleviating symptoms and complications.

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How to safely dispose of a wasps nest:

It is important to get rid of wasp nests safely – it is advised to hire a professional pest control company to deal with a nest. They will normally apply an insecticide which is then brought into the nest. After a couple of days, the wasps will die from the dose of the pesticide.

Even if you think your nest is out of reach, professional pest control companies, like us have the tools to reach and treat the nest in the safest way.

We also will come and remove the nest once all the wasps are dead, however, this does incur an extra charge (depending on location).

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Wasps vs Bees

It can be hard to distinguish between wasps and honeybees. Both yellow jackets and honeybees are somewhat bullet-shaped striped insects with wings. However, a closer look at both their appearances and behaviour reveals some differences. Unlike honeybees, which sport a light coat of downy hair, yellow jackets sport a spartan crew cut.

Here at MIDS Pest Control, we offer both removal and treatment for wasps and bumblebees – however, there is some legislation that we must abide by when it comes to bees.

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