wasp
wasp nest

Months of Activity: July - October

Wasps are probably the most familiar and least liked of all British insects and are regarded by many as a pest that stings indiscriminately. In fact they do not normally sting unless they are attacked or frightened.

Appearance

  • Adult workers of the common wasp measure about 12-17mm (0.5-0.7 in) from head to abdomen and are decorated with black and yellow stripes.
  • Queen wasps have similar colouring but are larger in size measuring about 20mm (0.8 in) in length.

Lifecycle

In Spring the queen (who has hibernated over Winter) looks for a new nesting site. When a suitable site is found she sets about making the nest whilst laying her eggs and feeding the grubs.

By about the beginning of July there are sufficient worker wasps to take over some of these duties and the queen then spends all of her time laying eggs. This continues throughout the summer with the nest getting progressively bigger to accommodate the increasing number of wasps.

By late summer the nest will contain several thousand workers and will be about the size of a football.

During late summer male wasps and young queens are produced. When fertilised the young queens leave the nest and search for suitable sites to hibernate over winter. The remaining males stay at the nest but as no eggs are being laid no further building takes place.

Wasps page content courtesy of Pest Control UK

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