Sep 25, 2014

A Short Guide to UK Wasp Species

The summer is a great time of year isn’t it;the gorgeous sun beating down on us while we enjoy a spot of relaxation in the garden.There’s only one thing that could ruin our summer. Yep you guessed it; the low and sinister ‘bzzzz’ and the familiar black and yellow stripes. We all know the fear when a wasp comes even within a metre of us and just doesn’t seem to go away, so imagine finding a whole colony of the things in your shed or tree.

Whether you’re in London or Peterborough, you’re bound to come across at least one wasp this summer and if you do happen to find a nest, it’s time to call the ghost busters of the insect world; pest control. Before we get into what pest control can do for you, let’s identify a few of the UK wasp species you’re likely to see this year.

Ruby-tailed Wasp
This rather pretty wasp is found across the UK and is most commonly seen during April right through to September. Usually, this long, thin wasp can reach up to 12mm in length.

Typically speaking, the head and thorax are a blue-ish green while the abdomen is scarlet. This type of wasp chooses to lay its eggs in the nests of fellow wasp or bee species and when the eggs finally hatch, the larvae will consume the other wasp or bee larvae. Sometimes they are nicknamed cuckoo wasps for their odd breeding habits. Although this species has a sting, it is not venomous.

Wood Wasp
Another wasp that is quite common in the UK is the wood wasp, also known as a horntail. The long thin tube located at the back of the female’s body is frequently mistaken for a stinging organ when in fact it is an ovipositor, a tube used to help the female lay her eggs in tree trunks, usually coniferous trees. Despite their rather frightening appearance, these insects are actually fairly harmless.

Common Wasp
The common wasp is easily identifiable with a black and yellow body and is usually around 2cm in length. Normally sighted in April through to late October, the common wasp can be found nesting in homes and is attracted to sweet and sugary foods. This species typically has a hierarchy which consists of:
The Queen – This is the wasp that lays all of the eggs
Larvae – The baby wasps that hatch from the queen’s eggs
Workers –These wasps bring back food for the larvae (this can include flies, caterpillars and other insects)
Drones – The main purpose of these wasps is to mate with the queen wasp

Usually established underground or in attics, the common wasp nest is made from a paper like material, much like the hornets. At the end of the summer, the queen wasp stops laying eggs and will usually die and the newly developed queens will mate and fly away to find a suitable spot for hibernation during the winter. Each survivor will begin a new colony. Also, by the end of the summer, the remaining wasps will have no food so they must hunt for new alternatives (this usually includes nectar and fruit).

Reaching sizes of up to 35mm, hornets are the biggest wasps found in the UK, are usually seen between May and Novemberand can often be found buzzing around gardens and woodland areas.

You can tell hornets apart from common wasps, from not only their size, but also their colour; where wasps are yellow and black, hornets tend to have yellow and brown stripes. Their behaviour is also different from the common wasp as they can be found buzzing around lit windows and security lights.

During the spring time,hornets will establish a papery nest in order to keep the queen and the developing larvae safe. The nest is often created inside buildings, roof spaces like attics and even hollow trees. They create the nest by scraping materials from the building or tree and blending it with their own saliva in order to create a pulp. This pulp is then shaped by the hornet’s jaws in order to establish the nest’s walls.

These are just a few of the types of wasps you’re likely to see this summer.
If you suspect you have a nest hiding away in your attic, home or garden it is highly recommended you contact a pest control specialist in order to deal with the problem. Not only can these services help to eliminate the nest, they will also provide adequate advice on how to prevent this problem recurring in the future. During the elimination process, most pest control companies will stick to using safe and tested methods to get rid of the nest, to ensure that yours and your family’s health isn’t compromised during this process. These companies are both affordable and worthwhile for sustaining a healthy home, making them a must if you suspect you have a pest problem. 

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I don't even know how I wound up here, yet I thought this post was extraordinary. I don't know who you are yet doubtlessly you're heading off to a well known blogger on the off chance that you aren't now Cheers! Despite the fear they sometimes evoke, wasps are extremely beneficial to humans. Nearly every pest insect on Earth is preyed upon by a wasp species read more :

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