Spring is nearly at an end and Summer is wiping his feet on the mat before entering and this is the time when everyone’s favourite flying pest starts to roam.
It is around now that the Queen emerges from her winter hibernation and starts to gather materials for this years nest.
If you have had a Wasps nest in your area then chances are you will get another, Wasps will build in areas of good food supply and ready materials. Do you have wooden garden furniture or a wooden fence around your garden, inspect them closely, if you see what look like discoloured tracks in the surface of the wood, then you most likely have a Queen Wasp in your immediate vicinity.
The nest is made of chewed wood pulp and will start out pretty small at first about the size of a golf ball but can be very hard to find in the early stages because it could be almost anywhere that is protected from the elements, however as the nest populates it will rapidly grow and can hold around 30,000 wasps at its peak.
Prevention is better than cure so identifying where wasps could build their nests is a good place to start. Wasps will nest where they can find shelter from rain and dampness, favouring dry, dark and secluded places away from disruption. You could consider doing the following:
Check your loft for small holes and gaps as this is the most common way wasps gain entry to loft spaces. Seal these holes and use insect mesh to cover air bricks and soffits.
Adding light to small places where you may have had nests previously is an effective way to discourage future nest building as wasps do not like light. A low wattage light will do.
You can treat timber with a wasp repellent mix of eucalyptus oil, menthol and citronella oil, using teak oil such as Liberon Teak Oil as a carrier. You don’t need to saturate the timber. You can also use shop bought wood treatments such as ‘cuprinol’.
Inspect areas frequently. If you see nests being formed and they are smaller than a tennis ball in size, then you can vacuum them away but if you are unsure, then you can call in the services of an expert pest controller. You can also use a shop bought chemical treatment but follow the instructions carefully and use the product with care. Using either Rentokil’s Wasp Nest Destroyer Foam or Rentokil’s Wasp Nest Killer Powder if you can’t access the nest area directly.
If you don’t or can’t get to the nest while it is still fledgling then the other option is to use traps or powders on the Wasps as they emerge. One of the best traps available on the market is Pest Stop Wasp Trap Bag
this simple device is environmentally friendly and uses an odourless attractant, simply hang or place in the area where the wasps are frequenting and leave to do it’s work, unlike powders, this is not at the mercy of the wind or dangerous to pets or children.
Wasps can be a nuisance and are aggressive especially if threatened and unlike a Bee, will sting multiple times, so getting rid of them early in the season is the best option and if you do happen across a large nest on your property and it is occupied, call a professional exterminator who can remove it safely.
Hopefully I have given you a few tips to enjoying the summer without flying pests.
Oh one more thing, before you swat with a rolled up paper or something, just make sure it is a WASP and not a Bee, Bee’s are our friends and are protected and look different from a wasp.