Wasp Nest Removal
Wasp Nest Removal is a dangerous undertaking. Wasps will attack in numbers to guarantee the safety of the wasp nest. Here at The Wasp Expert, we have the means the knowledge and the experience to deal with Wasp nests which are in close proximity to humans. Let me introduce myself, my name is Paul and I have 20 years experience dealing with wasp nests in the North West of England. This page is based on my many observations during this period.
If you live in the Northwest of England and need Pest Control please visit Your Pest Control I’m sure we can help
This is not a scientific study, it is based on real-world experiences, my thoughts whilst dealing with wasp nests in a pest control capacity. I have been stung by wasps on many occasions, part of the job, but have developed a sixth sense on their behaviour. The videos you will see will astound and amaze but are unique to this website. Each one filmed by me during the course of my work. If you wish to use any of the videos please ask our permission first.
In The UK we have over nine thousand species of wasps. Most are microscopic some two hundred or so are solitary wasps, as such we don’t normally recognise them as wasps. However, there are two types of wasps that we are all familiar with Vespula vulgaris (Common wasp) and Vespula germanica (German wasp).
On the left of the picture is a Common wasp. Notice how this wasp has thicker black stripes than the German wasp and has slightly longer antennae. The German wasp on the right has black spots on its abdomen and is the main way of identification between the wasps. German wasps also have black spots on the face.
Wasp Expert: Life Cycle
In April hibernating wasp queens begin to stir from their slumbers. They hibernate under tree bark, maybe old mouse holes, your garden shed, your loft or anywhere dry and away from the worst of the winter weather.
Queen wasps awaken from hibernation and set about the task of building their nests made from dead wood and wasp saliva which they mash up to make a type of paper mache. She can choose any location from a hole in the ground to under the ridge tile of a building and anywhere in between. At the start she builds a nest about the size of a golf ball and in here she will build cells and lay about a dozen eggs which she tends and feeds. The eggs take about two weeks to develop into the wasps we are familiar with. When the workers emerge they take over the expansion of the nest and the feeding of the young leaving the Queen to her only task of laying eggs. As more workers hatch the nest can quickly grow doubling in size in a week.
Take a look at this nest, notice the swirls and whorls in it. I am sure you will agree it is a wonderful creation. Normally the nest is greyish in colour but this one has elements of red and green. In fact, the colour is from the paint on the wood they have collected to make the nest. The wood is mashed up and mixed with wasp spit to create a type of paper mache.
If you have an old shed or garden fencing you may notice clean strips of wood about an inch long and a quarter inch wide. These are made by wasps collecting wood, they work downwards chipping away at the wood with their mandibles.
Inside the nest is the “wasp cake” very much like honeycomb but made of paper mache. The wasp cake is layered, with stilts in between them to keep them apart.
What Do Wasps Eat? A worker wasp has a proboscis to drink liquid with and they get the liquid from wasp larvae. The worker will go out and catch all manner of insects which they take back to the nest to feed the larvae. In return, the larvae exude a sweet sugary liquid called chitin which the wasps now drink. This gives them a sugar hit encouraging them to go and get more insects.
As the weeks go by the nest gets bigger and bigger.They become more noticeable in July as more and more workers hatch. If you have a wasp nest you will be able to see a constant stream of wasps going to and from the nest. If you find a wasp nest on your property Do Not approach the nest. Dealing with a wasp nest can be very dangerous! Wasp’s will attack in numbers if they feel the nest is threatened.
How aggressive is a wasp nest? This factor is determined by the queen? If the Queen is aggressive the nest is aggressive, there are different levels of aggressiveness. If the nest is very aggressive as you approach the nest returning wasps will fly towards you instead of going in the nest. A wasp sting is very painful and could lead to Anaphylactic Shock and in rare cases death.
The nest continues to grow through July and August and at its height can contain 10,000+ wasps. In mid-September, about 2000 new Queens are produced from the nest. These new Queens now leave the nest never to return and prepare for hibernation. The wasp colony structure begins to break down about this time and wasps start to crave their sugar hit. This is because the queen has stopped laying eggs and there are no young to feed to get their sugar hit from, which is why you see them feeding on fermenting fruit (getting drunk?) on the ground and generally becoming a nuisance, they want your sweet sugary drink etc.
Here we have a brief rundown of the wasp life cycle, but what is happening inside the nest, what does a wasp grub look like, what does the nest look like inside. This is what I have endeavoured to find out. Keep reading to see never seen before videos of a wasp nest.
Wasp Expert: Predation
Over the years I have only known one animal to actively prey on a wasp nest. You can probably guess that the animal is a badger and that the wasp nest has to be in the ground. They will dig one out and eat the cake and wasp grubs, protected by their thick fur from wasp stings.
In 2017 I was lucky enough to find a Great Pied Hoverfly actively seeking out a wasp nest.These hoverflies seek out a wasp nest and stay around the entrance to the nest. This way they begin to pick up the scent of the wasp nest. Then they enter the nest and lay their eggs. When the eggs hatch the grubs of the fly feed on wasp grubs and dead adults in the nest. Below is a video I took, unique footage of a Great Pied Hoverfly. The wasps could easily attack and kill the fly. I am sure you will agree unique footage
Wasp Expert: Bumblebees
Called out to a wasp nest in the ground in Aspull Wigan. Upon closer inspection wasps were attacking a bumblebee nest in the ground. Feel free to view the videos below that I took of this unique event.
Wasp Expert: Wasps Feeding
Over the years I often get called to a wasp nest which turns out to be wasps just feeding on a plant or bush. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about this, I cannot spray the plant with insecticide because that will kill insects which are not my target species. The only cure for this problem is to remove the plant on which the wasp are feeding. To help the untrained eye to differentiate between a wasp nest and wasps just feeding I have made a video showing the difference.
Wasp Expert: Wasps Hatching
Please have a look at the video. You can see a wasp struggling to hatch. The Wasp that appears on the right has just hatched from an adjacent cell. One thing to notice is that the faces of the wasps are green, not the usual bright yellow.Further observations revealed that the wasp that had just hatched, after cleaning itself then went back into the cell face first. Moreover, the reason for this behaviour is unknown. On the left is a wasp grub probably waiting to be fed. Wasp eggs are clearly visible at the bottom of the cells, always laid in a corner of a cell.
Wasp Expert: Wasps Extras
Below you will find various videos which are self-explanatory.
Observations on Wasps. You may see wasps just flying about around part of your property. They don’t seem to be going anywhere or doing anything. The wasps don’t know where the nest is and have got lost. Wasps frequently get the right part of the building but the wrong building. They can also get right building but the wrong part of the building. Have a look at a neighbours property around the same area and see if you can see where the nest actually is.
I have also seen wasps taking larvae out of their own nest (thrice in seventeen years). They just abandon them on the ground. The reason for this I believe is that at some point from the middle of September onwards new Queens and Drones are produced. Worker wasps start laying their own unfertilized eggs which will become drones. The Queen then kills the grubs from these eggs. This causes the workers to rebel against the Queen and eventually kill her. With the Queen dead, it is now possible for the wasps to create drones and the remaining eggs the Queen has laid become Queens.
Wasp bodies have three segments: the head, thorax and lower abdomen.
Specifically, “Spheksophobia” is the fear of wasps. The origins are from the Greek word ‘spheco’ meaning wasps and Phobos the ‘Greek God of fear’
Another fact about wasps is that they don’t swarm. Therefore if you see swarming insects they are most likely Honey Bees or possibly Ants.