Wasps

Identification of wasps:

10 to 20 mm, narrow waist, distinctive banding in bright yellow and black, 2 pairs of membranous wings. Both wasps are very similar to look at.

Origins and distribution:

Common throughout UK, favours bakeries, fruit processors, jam factories, drinks factories and confectioners. Skips and waste containers plus returns trays and empty raw materials containers draw them to premises.

Domestic premises are a common nesting site for wasps.

Habitat:

Throughout Europe and widespread across UK.

Behaviour:

A social insect with classes and order, the sterile females are the workers, others take on many different responsibilities in the colony.

Breeding:

Queen emerges from hibernation in mid-April, constructs 10 to 20 chambers and lays eggs in each one, sterile female workers hatch and by late summer the colony reaches 3,000 to 30,000 individuals. Males and new Queens are produced in late summer, males mate with the new Queens and then die. The Queen wasps in turn fly off to find an over winter hibernation site usually inside buildings or hollow trees.

Food:

Any sweet or sticky high-sugar food, jam, fruit juices, meat and  carrion including dustbin waste material.

Control:

Control can be achieved using the following methods:

• Proofing doors, windows and openings, e.g. with sheet or curtains

• Cleaning spillage, e.g. syrup from an open window

• Locating nests in area and carrying out treatment

• Use ultra-violet fly killers in corridors and entrances to stop insects and wasps breaching the barriers.

• Domestic wasp nests are usually treated with an insecticidal spray or dust