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postheadericon Wasps

Wasp, with a sting in its tailWasps can cause seriously traumatic damage to humans in only one sting, for some people with wasp allergies only one sting of this pest could cause a fatal anaphylactic shock.
 

Common Wasps and German Wasps

 

Recognition:  Adult workers of the common wasp are between 12 mm to 17 mm from head to abdomen. The queen is about 20 mm long. Wasps have alternating colours of black and yellow on their abdomen.

 

Signs of infestation:  The odd one or two wasps are usually just stray curious ones going about thier daily business , however regular, higher numbers of wasps in your property would incicate that a nest maybe close by. Nests in attics, wall cavities, air bricks, roof spaces, garden sheds, under the eaves, or trees in your garden. Each nest may contain thousands of wasps, and if provoked or disturbed may be liable to swarm and attack. Wasp venom contains a pheromone which alerts other wasps in close proximity, drawing them to join the attack and sting the victim again. This is worth noting, as the chemical is released if you splat or squash a wasp, so you may encourage more to appear.                                                                                                                  

Facts: Wasps become more active in the Summer months from July to October. Wasps are also beneficial insects during the spring and early summer as workers collect insect larvae, helping to control garden insect pests. The down side is that in late summer they become a nuisance when worker wasps start to indulge in their passion for sweet materials, attracted to rubbish and any food source outdoors (such as your picnic!).

Life Cycle : During the winter months, the queen hibernates, starting her nest in the early spring. She will feed on previously captured prey and nectar, then lay the first eggs in the nest. The eggs are layed in cells, made from chewed wood and plant matter. These eggs grow to larvae, which are fed by the queen. After these workers hatch it will be their job in future to feed the future larvae by gatering food and building new cells in the nest. The queen will continue to lay eggs and grow the colony. New queens and reproductive males will hatch towards the end of the nests lifespan and will leave the nest to mate. The queens will look for a suitable sheltered site to hiberbate for the winter. The workers no longer need to provide for the nest, and become scavengers for sweet sources to replace the excreted sweet liquid that the larvae used to produce.
When the temperature becomes colder the workers die and the nest is left to decay. A new nest is built each time, never reusing the old one. The hibernating queens survive to form a new nest next year.