The wasp is one insect that almost everyone can identify but it’s not so commonly-known that they’re rather useful in the garden, eating a variety of small bugs. The harmless hover-fly can be confused with a wasp but they’re much quieter in flight and, as their name suggests, they’re able to ‘pause’ in mid-air almost as if they’re carefully evaluating what to do next: something a wasp will never do.
The harm they do
A wasp can sting more than once and their venom also gives off pheromones that alert other wasps, a powerful defence mechanism. The sting can be painful and can, for some people, cause anaphylactic shock – potentially life-threatening. It follows that a nest located near or in houses should be treated quickly.
Wasp nest removal? Call us
It’s not an understatement to say that a wasp’s nest is a dangerous thing; opening an attic hatch or turning on the loft lights can alarm the nest – and being in a confined space with an awful lot of angry wasps is unpleasant at best.
The nest grows as the population within it expands and, at it’s peak, will contain thousands of wasps (so the earlier in the year wasp activity is spotted, the better) but we would always suggest leaving it to suitably-equipped professionals to deal with a nest indoors because of the extreme danger.
If the nest is outdoors – in a nearby tree or perhaps attached the eves of the house – we’d suggest keeping windows on that side of the house closed until the problem is dealt with.
Following the treatment – a careful application of an insecticide powder – the wasps will die off very quickly. Note that treatment does not include removing the nest after this time (wasps won’t re-use an existing nest) but we can arrange to come back and remove it if you want us to.
In addition, almost anyone who’s been outside in late summer will be familiar with the problem of wasps buzzing around a picnic or BBQ. The best solution to this occasional pest is to use wasp traps, placed strategically around the area to protect.
Bees or swarms of bees
In May, June and July, Honey Bees can occasionally swarm, collecting in their thousands around properties while seeking out a new home. Despite this looking frightening, swarms are usually very docile and move on in a day or so when a new nesting location has been located and accepted by the queen. A bee keeper is usually the best solution; they can re-home the swarm in a suitable hive and, on occasion, we have been asked to assist a ‘keeper or act on their behalf.
Honey bees that have taken up inside a building – usually within the cavity – are usually impossible to remove without undertaking major structural work.
Frequently, Bumble Bees – the large, hairy bee with a white bottom – will build a nest in the eves of a house, a birdbox or other voids they can find. However; like Honey Bees, Bumble Bees bring huge environmental value by pollinating flowers and trees and they usually present a low risk to you. As such, we always start by explaining the nature of the risk. Moving the bees is possible if they’re in a portable structure like a bird box; moving bees that have taken up residence in somewhere like a chimney is possible – but complicated at best.
Where possible, we encourage people to keep their bees but there are times when the risk is simply too great and there’s no way to move them. In these sad situations, the only resort is to destroy the colony. If they’re Honey bees, access to the nesting site has to be blocked to prevent bees from a managed hive from entering and transferring the insecticide to a live colony.