Negative Characteristics: They can inflict a nasty sting if provoked.
Redeeming Characteristics: Top predator in the garden devouring many insect pests.
- Be safe, wasps will gang up on you to protect their nest.
- Wear a hat/veil and thick clothing. Don't climb ladders to access the nest.
- Choose the right product for the nest - sprays if you can see the nest, - powders if you can't
- Watch the nest for several minutes before you approach in order to work out their flight path.
- Move slowly and avoid the wasps main flight path to and from the nest.
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Wasps: Description & Life Cycle
Wasps are social insects. They construct new nests each year and never re-use an old nest.
- up to 30mm long
- two pairs of membrous wings
- mouthparts adapted for chewing
- bright yellow and black striped body
- ability to sting repeatedly
- Queen overwinters in crevices and holes in buildings and trees
- emerge in the spring
- queen starts to build a nest constructed of wasp paper which is made by chewing wood fibre
- queen lays first eggs in the base of the nest
- 4-6 weeks later the first workers emerge
- these are small female wasps, the males emerge later in the season
- the workers take responsibility for maintaining and enlarging the nest
- the queen devotes her time to laying eggs for the workers to look after
- by the end of the season she may have laid 20,000 eggs
- in autumn new queens and males are produced
- the males fertilise the queens who then depart to find a safe place to overwinter
- as the weather cools, all the workers and males die leaving just the fertile queens to start the cycle again next spring