Wasp nests, the summer pest

Wasp nest in a tree

Mid-season, this is the typical size and appearance of a wasp nest. This one was fairly easy to spot – but we have been called out where they’ve been in the ground or hidden away in hedging and a home owner has accidentally disturbed the nest with power tools or garden forks.

When a wasp nest is disturbed by vibration or gets damaged somehow, it’s surprising – and alarming – how fast the occupants can get airborne! They carry an imprint of their surroundings and anything that shouldn’t be in ‘their space’ will immediately come under attack; a football struck into or against the tree will get them out and searching for a target – the poor soul who goes to rescue the ball will almost certainly become the focus of their attention!

Wasp nest, mid season
A mid-season wasp nest in a loftspace

This nest is about the same size – 30cm across – and was found in the loft of a countryside home. To get this picture required suitable protective clothing and an understanding of how wasps behave – and even then, we didn’t spend too long setting up the shot!

Both these nests are the same species of wasp. A European Hornet nest generally looks very similar in design but the entrance hole is, understandably, larger. Asian Hornets – the bee killing variant that attracts so much attention from the press – is thankfully a very rare thing in the UK but their nests look a little different, although they’re constructed from the same kind of wood pulp these wasps have used.

Both nests were treated using the appropriate agents based on their locations; the rules about what products can be used and where changed fairly recently and pest controllers need to keep up to date to ensure they’re operating safely and legally.