Wasps Wasps (Vespula vulgaris) How do you know if you have them ? A wasps nest is very easy to spot. Wasps will normally make nests in air vents, in lofts, on roofs, under guttering in the eaves and under flat roofs to name but a few places. If the wasps are going in and out of particular hole on a regular basis, it is likely you have a wasps nest. Wasps also visit dustbins, waste depots and dead animal bodies which can lead to the spread of disease and contamination of foodstuffs. As a general rule, you should not attempt to treat wasp’s nests by yourself. It is likely to be difficult and potentially dangerous. On no account should you remove a nest from the roof space. This should be carried out by a professional pest controller. The main hazard is the risk of ‘anaphylactic shock’ which can arise from even a single wasp sting, which may lead to death. The wasps can cause alarm when present in large numbers and if the nest is in a place where the individuals from it interfere with humans they can inflict painful and sometimes dangerous stings. Habits The wasps are colonial insects living in social groups. Each colony is established in the spring by an over wintering queen which makes a smaller starter nest from paper made by itself by mixing wood and saliva. The colony grows throughout the summer and the nest with it. Many thousand individuals are often to be found associated with each nest, with the workers feeding on nectar, sweet materials and at certain times insect larvae and other animal pieces. The colony develops males towards the end of the summer to mate with the presumptive queens which when mated over winter start a new colony the following year. How do we control wasps ? Wasp’s nests can be controlled by applying an insecticidal dust into the entrance of the nest at high pressure. Once this has been carried out the wasps will distribute the dust naturally around the nest, thus killing the queen and the rest of the wasps. This will normally take about twenty four hours.