Wasp Pest Control & wasp nest removal
Summer is the season we spend more time outdoors soaking up the sunshine, enjoying long walks, inviting friends round for barbecues, and dining al fresco, either in our own back gardens or at a local public house or restaurant. Although it’s the most popular season in Britain, the endless sunshine and glorious heat has its downside too. Mid-summer also spells the start of the wasp season. So, whether you are enjoying an ice cream at the beach, or tucking into a dessert at a café near you, you may find yourself swatting the wasps away at a rapid rate.
July and August are Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions’ peak time for wasp pest control in Ipswich and Colchester’s pubs, restaurants, homes, parks, gardens, shops and factories. We provide a prompt wasp nest removal service and can also provide wasp prevention services to homes and local businesses. Meanwhile, if you want some facts and information about these striped pests, here are ten answers to common questions about wasps.
If you are suffering from a wasp problem or have a wasp nest that needs removing, Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions can help. We offer a full range of wasp pest control and wasp nest removal services to both domestic and commercial clients, working in the counties of Essex and Suffolk. Our fast and effective wasp pest control services will eradicate wasps from your home or business with the minimum of disruption. Emergency wasp nest removal appointments are available on request. Our work is carried out with strict adherence to current health and safety legislation and all our wasp pest control operatives are CRB checked and qualified to at least BPCA RSPH Level 2 (pest management). We provide discreet, confidential pest control services at all times and arrive in unmarked vehicles if required.
There are over 100,000 species of wasp falling into one of two categories, social or solitary. The solitary wasp does not construct a wasp nest and is rarely an insect we are called out to deal with. The social wasp will construct a nest and a colony of social wasps can sometimes number several thousand. Many social wasps create nests on trees, in attics or in other sheltered areas with outdoor access and it is quite common for them to use old tree stumps or even just holes in the ground. The wasp nests of some social wasps are initially constructed by the queen. When the nest reaches a certain size, the building is taken over by sterile female workers leaving the queen to concentrate on the job of increasing the population of the colony. Wasps are a major cause for concern which is why our wasp nest removal and wasp pest control services are so popular. A wasp’s sting can be very painful indeed and the fear of this alone is enough to cause serious anxiety to many. In some cases their sting can cause the onset of anaphylactic shock; a severe state of shock caused by poisoning or an allergic reaction, that can cause constriction of the airways and lead to cardiac arrest. The mere presence of a wasps’ nest can lead to a loss of trade for businesses; after all, nobody will want to sit in a restaurant or pub garden with a wasps’ nest nearby. If you have a wasp nest in your office or workshop, you, as an employer, have a duty of care to have it removed and the environment made safe.
Whether you have a wasp nest in your home or garden, or at your business premises, it is never advisable to get rid of these pests yourself as this can be extremely dangerous. A nest may contain vast numbers of wasps, so if someone without expert knowledge tries to remove it there is a risk of them suffering multiple stings, which makes an allergic reaction more likely. There are various safety issues to comply with so no one is put at risk, which is why it is important to call in the professionals. Fortunately, at Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions, we are highly experienced in wasp extermination across Suffolk and Essex areas and we not only offer effective wasp pest control, but we also guarantee our work.
Species of wasps
Did you know that the most commonly encountered species of wasps in the UK fall into three distinct groups?
- The Vespula family – those wasps that make their nests in cavity voids, airbricks, holes in the ground, lofts, garden sheds etc
- The Dolichovespula family – these species of wasp make their nests in aerial sites, in nearly all cases suspended from the branches of trees and shrubs, from ground level to a height of several metres. The surrounding foliage usually hides a nest and protects it from rain and direct sunlight.
- Vespa crabro (The hornet) – the hornet is by far the largest in size. Nests are usually in aerial situations, particularly inside hollow trees, but also in attics and outhouses.
Facts about Wasps
Insects often plague visitors to seaside resorts over the spring and summer months, and we can solve your wasp problem in Clacton, Frinton, Harwich and Felixstowe. We offer wasp pest control services not just on the coast, but in other towns and villages across Essex and Suffolk too.
Here are a few facts you may not know about wasps, including some of the more unusual places where their nests have been discovered.
- Social or Solitary? Wasp species fall into one of these two categories. The solitary type does not build a nest but the social one will, and sometimes nests can be inhabited by 5,000-10,000 insects at a time. Dealing with such enormous numbers shows how important it is to call in wasp control experts rather than trying to deal with a nest yourself.
- Wasp Health Dangers: Wasps are a serious pest – their sting can not only be painful for humans but also, in a very few cases, lead to the onset of anaphylactic shock. This extreme reaction can ultimately lead to cardiac arrest.
- The Queen Wasp: The queen wasp has a crucial role in the life cycle of the whole species. She relies on her own body fat to live through the winter months. By contrast, the male wasp does not hibernate and therefore does not survive. The queen is also responsible for laying all the eggs, and for starting a new nest. Unlike male wasps, the female can sting, and is therefore given the responsibility of guarding the nest.
- Wasp Nest Building: These insects’ nests are originally built from wood, which is stripped by the insects from places such as fence panels and garden sheds. This is then converted into a paste by the larvae of young wasps which the adult workers then use to keep expanding the nest.
- Wasp Nesting Places: Nests are generally built in places like attics and garden sheds, as they are places where wasps can often breed, feed and remain relatively undisturbed. Loft spaces are often chosen, as they usually find them easy to get into. However, nests have also been discovered on ladders, in watering cans, on pairs of hedge cutters, inside a car engine, inside the bedroom of a doll’s house and even in a bedroom, on top of a quilt. This last one went undiscovered for a period of time because it was in a guest room which was not used very often.
- Wasp Pheromone: When a wasp dies, it lets out a pheromone in the air which acts as a warning to other wasps. So be wary if you kill one, as you may find yourself attacked by others who have come to the aid of their fallen comrade.
- Wasp Wine Producers: Wasps can actually help produce your favourite tipple. This is because some female wasps can store wild yeasts in their gut over the winter months. After hibernation, they feed on grapes the following year, and the yeast helps to begin the fermentation process.
- What Wasps Eat: These insects do not just feed on nectar and apples that have fallen from your tree. As omnivores, they will also eat carrion and other insects, such as large caterpillars. Wasps help pollinate plants and will eat caterpillars.
- When to Watch Out for Wasps: Wasps are not nocturnal creatures. This means they carry out all their activities during the day and always return to the nest at night. During the year, wasps are most likely to bother you during the summer months, when their food habits change. It is during this period that they are more likely to attack humans.
How to get rid of wasps
Through their stinging and generally annoying behaviour, wasps manage to earn themselves a pretty bad press, but it is important to remember that they are a vital part of your garden’s natural balance. They feed on small insects that might otherwise wreak havoc amongst your plants. That said, having a garden full of wasps is no fun for anyone so, to encourage your wasps to go elsewhere follow these simple tips:
- Ensure that dustbins have tight-fitting lids, and keep them closed!
- Keep food and drinks covered
- Pack away unfinished foods, clear up food debris and wipe down spillages
- Clear fallen fruit from your garden
- A professional pest controller can advise on the effective use of outdoor wasp traps
- If you think you have a wasp nest in your home or garden arrange to have it removed professionally before it becomes a nuisance
And what not to do!
Wasp venom contains an alarm pheromone. This means that when a wasp has stung something or been killed, other wasps will become more aggressive. So remember, there may be a ‘sting in the tail’ for you upon pelting that pesky wasp with your rolled-up newspaper!
the wasp life cycle
The queen emerges from hibernation in early April and searches for a suitable site for her colony. Once one is located, she will lay her first batch of eggs and she will continue to lay eggs through until late summer. The eggs laid during late summer are the ones that produce fertile males and queens. These will mate and the fertilised queens will fly away to select a suitable site to hibernate. The eggs laid prior to this will have produced the sterile male and female worker wasps or Drones that go to make up the rest of the colony. As the weather cools, the workers become slow and aggressive. Combine this with them getting “drunk” on over-ripe fruit and this is when they are at their most dangerous. Colder weather and frost will kill off the workers and fertile males, leaving the new queens in hibernation, waiting to start their own colonies.
As a long-running pest control business operating across Essex and Suffolk, we know all too well that wasp season is imminent. This time of year sees thousands of wasps emerge from their nests. Here at Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions, we deal with hundreds of wasp nests a year offering a guaranteed clearance treatment. Already this year we have successfully treated over 20 wasp nests and the season hasn’t kicked off yet.
We travel across Colchester, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Newmarket and all of the surrounding towns and villages across Essex and Suffolk to eradicate wasp nests big and small.
Although small, wasps can cause a real problem and when the weather is warm, we know you want to be out enjoying your barbecue without being hounded by wasps. Whether you have a nest in the garden or inside the house, we can always treat it and the wasps will be gone.
If you see wasps going in and out of your property in the same location such as in soffits, air bricks or under tiles around the guttering it is likely you have a nest. If you are getting bothered by wasps it is worth having a look around your property and outbuildings to look for any signs.
wasp treatment & Pest Control
Wasp problems are best treated using our wasp nest removal service. This is done by insecticidal sprays or dust. It is a relatively quick and easy process but must be carried out by a trained wasp pest control professional. Once the nest has been treated, a return visit is rarely required. We are not generally asked to remove the nest itself since a new queen will never re-use an old nest. However, if required we can remove it on a return visit for an additional charge. Here are some of the methods we at Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions use for wasp nest removal, spotlighting the health and safety considerations that must be complied with in each case.
- Insecticidal Dust – An insecticidal dust can be applied to the entrance of a wasp nest. This will be picked up by wasps in the nest, or on their return, usually exterminating all the wasps within 24 hours. Wasps are often found in the roof space or eaves of a building, but health and safety regulations state any work should be carried out at ground height if possible, to prevent any accidents and injury from falls from ladders. So, in order to treat wasps in the roof space or eaves, we use a dust stick or extension lance. This makes it possible to treat the wasp nest from ground height, with air being blown up the stick to propel insecticide into the nest, without putting anyone at risk of injury or of breathing in the insecticidal dust. Another alternative is the use of a DR5, a small plastic tank which can be pressurised by a hand pump up to a max pressure of 3 bar. The pressure is released by a fogger, which blows the dust into cavities.
- Spray Treatments – This method is used when immediate wasp nest removal is necessary: in an area where the waps pose a risk to people. Examples are wasp nests next to a footpath or playing field, in school grounds or in parkland. While carrying out a wasp nest removal by this method, Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions staff wear bee suits and veils together with full face masks, to protect them from the danger of stings and also prevent them from breathing in the pesticide or from the spray coming into contact with their eyes.
- Effective Wasp Traps – Effective wasp traps are another way of getting rid of wasps, especially in pub gardens and other outdoor eating areas. It is important that, when wasps are trapped, they cannot escape, as this could create a small swarm around the trap. Ideally, traps should be sited between the wasp nest and the site they are protecting. This is normally down-wind from the site, as wasps will tend to be drawn by the smell being blown to them.
For maximum effect, and to site the wasp traps in the right area, it is important to take advice from the wasp pest control experts. Essex & Suffolk Pest Solutions will start by taking a full pest survey and trying to find the wasp nest if possible to treat it. If not, we will advise on where the wasps are coming from and the number of traps required and site traps accordingly. We will also advise on hygiene – such as cleaning of tables, regular emptying of rubbish bins, which can act as a magnet for wasps, and removing waste. Tablecloths which can easily be removed may prevent food from becoming engrained in tables.
Health and Safety Considerations for Effective Wasp Extermination
There are various other considerations that wasp pest control professionals must take into account when dealing with wasp extermination in Essex and Suffolk.
- Full risk assessments are made before any wasp extermination is carried out. These take into account the following factors:
- Ensuring that all pets and people have been excluded from the wasp pest control area.
- The risk to fish – avoiding insecticide contamination of water.
- Covering or removal of any foodstuffs.
- Disconnecting water butts.
- Checking the wind direction, as insecticide can drift. Shut windows and doors.
- Extra caution in confined spaces.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which is required.
- Use of ladders – we observe the Working at Heights regulations.
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments of pesticide products used.
- As we are a local pest control company, we always know where the nearest hospital is when we visit clients, just in case of a staff emergency.
- We have a policy that comes into effect when a pest controller is working alone.
- We always wear the right clothing to protect staff from the dangers of waps stings or breathing in pesticides.
- All our wasp pest control team are fully qualified Pest Control Technicians with ongoing updating of technical knowledge through regular training courses etc.
- We use up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment, such as the DR5, which is useful as it forcefully blows insecticide into nests. This is especially helpful when nests are long and flat with multiple entrances, for instance, under roof tiles.
Contact us now for friendly and effective assistance and for more information about our wasp pest control and wasp nest removal services. We work across Essex & Suffolk, including but not limited to the following locations: Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury, Colchester, Manningtree, Harwich, Clacton, Maldon, Chelmsford, Witham and Braintree. Work further afield may also be considered.
What do Wasps Eat?
Wasps don’t have a mouth, instead, they have tubes that they use to suck liquids, such as nectar and sugary drinks. They also prey upon a host of insects, including spiders, ants, flies and caterpillars to bring back to the nest for their young to consume. In return, the larvae will regurgitate this food in a sugary form for the adult wasps to ingest.
How Many Species of Wasps Are There?
According to National Geographic, there are around 30,000 species of wasps worldwide. Only the female varieties sting, although most wasp species are fairly passive and don’t sting. It tends to be the brighter, striped varieties (such yellow jackets and European hornets) that sting.
Where are Wasps’ Most Popular Nesting Places?
The Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions team has found wasps’ nests in all sorts of locations in the Ipswich and Colchester areas. We have found nests in roof spaces, sheds, porches, garages, chimneys and summer houses. Wasps can also nest in trees, on bushes, hedges, in holes in the ground, or on compost heaps.
Why are Wasps Striped?
The non-stinging varieties don’t tend to be striped and, as they are preyed on by other insects, their colours generally blend in with their background to avoid capture. The bright, striped ones are so coloured in order to serve as a warning to possible predators that they are venomous.
How Harmful Are Wasps to Humans?
Apart from the obvious anxiety that wasps cause when they are buzzing around your picnic table, for a minority of people wasp venom can cause allergic reactions. In the worst case, this can develop into anaphylactic shock – a severe state of shock which can prove fatal. For most people, a wasp sting is simply just painful…but, unlike bees, unfortunately, a wasp can sting more than once.
Are there any insects/species that prey on wasps?
Yes, there are various insects that prey on wasps and these can include spiders, dragonflies and beetles. Other species that eat wasps include birds, such as magpies and starlings, and reptiles, including frogs, toads and lizards.
Can Wasps Build Nests in Homes?
Yes, wasps can and do build nests in homes, such as attics and even bedrooms and wardrobes. In recent years a wasps’ nest discovered on top of a bed in a spare room captured the attention of the nation’s media.
Can Wasps Damage Buildings?
Yes, wasps strip material such as wooden beams and plasterboard to make the pulp that is used to build their nests. They take the strips of wood back to their young who turn it into a paste, which the adults use to build their nest. As a result, wasps can damage the fabric of a building.
What Can I do to Prevent Wasps?
One way to prevent wasps is to make sure that all rubbish and sticky food is placed in bins with secure lids to stop wasps flying in and out. Wasp traps are another preventative measure. We sell these at Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions and can advise you where to place them.
How Can I Get Rid of their Nests?
It’s dangerous to tackle a wasp nest yourself. Instead, the safest and most effective way is to contact Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions who have experience in wasp nest removal. We follow tough health and safety guidelines and use all the necessary safety equipment for pest control. One way we remove wasps is through the use of insecticide sprays or dust, and we also have fibre-glass extension lances to eliminate wasp nests at height.
What Role do Wasps Play in the Ecosystem?
Although feared by many people, wasps do play a vital role in the ecosystem and are a food source for some common garden creatures such as hedgehogs, and birds, including house wrens and bluebirds. Wasps also seek out grubs and insects such as caterpillars, mosquitoes, houseflies, and greenflies, and they can steal from spider’s webs to feed their young.
Do Wasps sting?
Only the female wasp's sting, which they do use a tube which is connected to a sac which pumps venom into the victim. Unlike bees, one wasp can sting their victim several times. Wasps can also secrete distress chemicals when attacked to attract help from other wasps.
When is the Wasp Season?
Up to the time of mid-summer, the adult worker wasps prey on other insects to feed their young. At this time, it’s quite rare for humans to get stung by a wasp, as wasp stings are mainly down to either disturbing nests or by accidentally standing barefoot on wasps that are hunting in the grass.
However, the habits of wasps change from mid to late July, when they seek out sweeter food sources. This is when they really become a nuisance as these sources are mainly found where humans are likely to be – such as by outside eating areas, in orchards or in and around waste bins or other disposal units.
Where Do Wasps Build Their Nests?
Wasps nests are found in a variety of places: in banks, hedges, shrubs, in the ground and in and around buildings such as lofts, soffits and under tiles. In particular, they will be anywhere where that is sheltered and warm.
Will Wasps Go Back to the Same Nests?
If you do find yourself with a wasp nest near your home or business, wasps won’t return to the same nests. Although the worker wasps die, the queens will hibernate in safe, sheltered areas, such as buildings, and emerge to build a new nest, the following spring.
The average number of wasps in a nest can be vast. In the UK a mature colony could have up to 20,000 wasps. However, at Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions, we normally find an average of 2,000 – 5,000 wasps per nest.
Which Species of Wasps are the Biggest Pests in the UK?
The biggest pests are the common wasps (Vespula Vulgaris) and the European wasp (Vespula Germanica). Populations change from year to year. Last year (2012), however, saw a relatively low number of wasps, which was mainly down to the variable wet weather in the spring.
Can I Get Rid of a Wasp Infestation Myself?
Various products are available from garden centres, or DIY stores that claim to offer some form of wasp control. However, this is risky; there are various dos and don’ts that are essential.
For instance, DO wear protective clothing, DO apply pest control solutions at the right time of day, and DON’T apply pest control in confined spaces or where other people are around and maybe stung.