How To Dispose Of A Hibernating Queen Wasp
Understanding the life cycle of the wasp population is essential to knowing how to deal with this common pest throughout the year.
More than a million wasps can inhabit each square mile in the UK during the summer, which makes a real nuisance of leisurely activities such as going for a picnic, inviting friends over for a BBQ, or strolling along with an ice-cream in hand. Wasps are of course useful to the eco-system, as they’re pollinators as well as assisting in keeping other pest insect populations under control. But one thing’s for sure – most homeowners go into a tailspin at the idea of a wasps’ nest in their own garden or house. Luckily, if you are co-habiting with these common pests, then winter is a great time to eradicate them from your home.
In order to understand how and why the time is ripe to remove your problem wasp infestation, you’ll need to take a look at the life of a wasps’ nest and its inhabitants throughout the year.
In springtime, you’ll likely see only a few wasps, but those you do see will be the larger queen wasps who have come out of hibernation and are looking for a place to build their new nests. Queen wasps never return to their old nest, which would be full of dead worker wasps from the previous season. Instead, they’ll build a new home in wall cavities or attics for instance, starting with a single cell at the end of a petiole. Six more cells are subsequently added to produce the distinctive hexagonal nest shape.
Small Nests In Summer
Although we may see plenty of wasps in June and July, they are less likely to sting at this time of year as they’re too busy bringing up their larval wasps which take around three weeks to grow into adults. There is only one queen wasp in the nest, and the rest of the population are made up of workers, which are infertile female wasps and drone wasps who are fertile males with no sting. The nests are usually around the size of a football during the summer.
Early Autumn Spells Danger
At this time of year, wasps are busy feasting on overripe fruit and tend to become ‘drunk’ and aggressive as a result. This is when humans are most likely to become stung. By September, the size of the wasps nest can be horrifyingly large, accommodating up to 15,000 wasps and resembling the size of a small armchair.
However, as the temperature starts to drop, the worker and drone wasps slowly return to the nest to die and the queen goes into hibernation.
Safe Removal During Winter
It is at this point that you can remove the nest and ensure that the queen wasp doesn’t return next season to set up camp elsewhere in your home or its surroundings. It is advisable to contact a pest controller who will likely locate the nest and carefully dispose of it by taking it far from any residential or commercial premises and destroying.
The best way to ensure wasps don’t return to your home next year is to carry out some simple preventative maintenance. Ensure that any holes or crevices in your walls are filled and that your bins or other containers have secure lids. If you do suspect that you have an infestation, then seek advice sooner rather than later as smaller nests are much easier to tackle than larger populations.