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Wasps are known for being a nuisance, particularly in the autumn. The combination of the cooler weather and a diet of fermenting fruit juices makes them irritable, and therefore more likely to sting.

Please note it is pointless destroying a nest until a colony is established and this usually occurs sometime in June.

The queen may decide to abandon the nest or be killed by a drop in temperature which will result in the nest being destroyed anyway.


There are several species of social wasp found in this country, but all are similar in appearance. They are all bright yellow and black, about 10 - 20 mm in length, except for the hornet which is somewhat larger and brown and yellow in colour.

Life Cycle

The fertilised queen wasp emerges from hibernation around mid-April and will search for a suitable site to begin her colony. She will lay between 10-20 eggs and this first set of worker bees will start enlarging the nest and providing food for the subsequent eggs.

By late summer the normal wasp nests will contain from 3,000 to 5,000 individuals and be up to 30cm across.

What to do if you are stung?

The sting can develop in to a spot or rash that is itchy, inflamed and swollen.

They are rarely dangerous and will only need some antihistamine or local anaesthetic cream available from your pharmacist. The redness and swelling are usually due to the allergy rather than an infection, a cold compress will help with this.

Call your doctor if the symptoms will not go away or if you are stung in the mouth, around the throat or receive multiple stings.

Some people are strongly allergic to stings and can become very ill.

If there is any shortness of breath, dial 999.

Control Methods

There are several methods for the control and eradication of wasp nests, these include specialist chemicals, and methods available to the public i.e. wasp nest destroyers in the form of aerosol sprays. If used these should be applied late evening and in compliance with written directions on the product.

Health and Safety

If you intend to treat the nest yourself:

  • Read the instructions and label on use of the insecticide.
  • Follow the instructions.
  • Wear gloves, long sleeves, goggles, plus any other protective equipment recommended.
  • If the nest is at a high level, use a safe set of steps. Do not use a stool or chair.
  • Only treat when activity at the nest is at a minimum, i.e. cool of evening.

If the nest is inaccessible, you are allergic to wasp stings, or need further assistance, please contact us for help and guidance.

Do I need to call Pest Control?

There is no need to kill every wasp you see. In the summer they are useful for eating hundreds of other insects that can be a problem in the home and garden.

If a wasp is tolerable, leave them alone, or if you are being pestered by dozens of wasps daily then there is probably a colony nearby that you may wish to destroy.

Fee Information

View wasp nest treatment fees: