Gransnet forums

Chat

Wasps

(31 Posts)
Rosycheeks Mon 06-Sep-21 16:40:46

Have any of you noticed there is a lot if wasps about.
I cleaned my windows today and found about 6 on the window sill they were dead and two on my bed dead also. I went into the garden to see if there was a wasp nest anywhere but there isnt.
When I get up inthe morning it is still dark and there were wasps trying to get in above my kitchen door and one trying to get in the cat flap. One got in last week and got tangled in my hair and stung me. I hate wasps.🐝

loopyloo Mon 06-Sep-21 16:45:08

Yup. And we have a nest in the compost bin that I am trying to kill with the hose.

JackyB Mon 06-Sep-21 17:18:31

We were surprised that there were so few here this year. You are welcome to them in the UK. We have a plague of gnats. Usually the helicopters are out spraying the oxbow lakes and wetlands along the Rhine but there was so much rain in July that they couldn't keep up this year. It is not as bad as it was 30 years ago when we first moved here but it has meant that on warm evenings we gave had to stay indoors with the windows shut.

Normally wasps bother us a lot especially when eating outside. But not this year. Very few wasps, no eating al fresco.

Blossoming Mon 06-Sep-21 17:24:16

I think we’ve had fewer than usual. I’m allergic to wasp venom so Mr. B. zaps any that get in the house.

Georgesgran Mon 06-Sep-21 17:43:52

My neighbour had a chap out to destroy a wasps nest yesterday. Funnily enough, I’ve hardly seen a wasp this year at all.

Yammy Mon 06-Sep-21 17:56:19

We didn't see them untill about 3 weeks ago then kept finding sleepy ones on the landing and upstairs window sill. DH went into the loft and soon came out, there was a huge nest. When we went outside they were all over the wall near to where they were going into the loft.
Luckily our insurance covered it and the chap came out and sprayed from the outside with an extending tube, they no longer extract he said "Health and Safety".
We have to watch for anymore and report again,saw a lot in the garden yesterday so now on wasp watch.

silverlining48 Mon 06-Sep-21 18:01:20

I sad just saying this afternoon that we not had any wasps at all this year.

silverlining48 Mon 06-Sep-21 18:01:37

I was... typos!

beth20 Mon 06-Sep-21 18:04:10

Making chutney the other day meant I had a lot of wasps interested in coming in to the kitchen, but haven't seen many outside this year.

Nonogran Mon 06-Sep-21 18:05:45

Every creature has its place. I never kill any insect if I can avoid it.
Wasps may not be for everyone but I truly value their place in insect society.

Hellogirl1 Mon 06-Sep-21 18:06:24

I saw my first one of the year yesterday. I`m terrified of them, so from the beginning of July to the end of October, my windows stay closed, and doors only opened when necessary.

SueDonim Mon 06-Sep-21 21:15:34

We’ve had some whoppers this year and then a veritable blizzard of them in and around the garage. Turned out we had a nest in the eaves. A chap came out and treated it and, fingers crossed, we haven’t seen any more.

MayBee70 Mon 06-Sep-21 21:18:48

I’ve hardly seen any this year. I hate it when they get to the lazy stage as my last dog was stung by one and was very poorly.

Shinamae Mon 06-Sep-21 21:26:23

I have seen one so far this year and I am in North Devon

MiniMoon Mon 06-Sep-21 21:28:01

Please don't kill the wasps. If you have a nest near your property, and the wasps aren't troubling you leave them alone. It is nearly the end of Summer, and they will leave soon. Wasps only use their nest once and never return to it. They make a new one each year.
They are useful predators, eating greenfly etc.

Shandy57 Mon 06-Sep-21 21:37:13

Wasps have an important role in the ecosystem and predate on a lot of pests including caterpillars.

lemongrove Mon 06-Sep-21 22:14:01

Usually we see quite a lot of the blighters ( having apple trees doesn’t help!) however this year have only seen about four or five ( not all at once) or it may have been the same wasp we have seen, who knows 🐝 on several occasions.

NfkDumpling Mon 06-Sep-21 22:18:06

Not many at all in my bit of Norfolk - but I did get stung last week. A dozy wasp in the shed got tangled in my sleeve. Only the second time in my long life and the swelling has only just gone down.

Mancjules Mon 06-Sep-21 22:22:23

You're having a few drinks in the garden with your friends, or a family BBQ, when a load of pesky wasps arrive to spoil the party. You haven't seen them all summer and then suddenly they're all over the place, annoying everybody, causing panic and helicopter hands. Sound familiar?

August is the time of year when people start to ask 'what's the point of wasps?' The answer may surprise you.

Did you know that there are approximately 9,000 species of wasps? These include the parasitic wasps, some of which are so diminutive they are like pin heads. Of the 250 larger wasps which have a stinger, the majority are solitary and cause no upset to humans.

However, when we talk about wasps, we're almost certainly referring to the our nation's nemesis, the Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris). To understand why these wasps become really annoying this time of year, you first need to understand their life cycle.

Common wasps live socially like bees but, unlike honey bees, they haven't evolved a way of storing food to allow the colony to survive the winter. In fact the only survivors are the young, fertilised queens who hibernate over winter. They emerge in the spring to build little walnut sized nests where they they lay around 20 eggs.

The queen feeds the resulting larvae until around May, when they mature and become workers. Then she focuses on more egg-laying and the workers get on with feeding them, enlarging the nest as they go along. By this time of year the nest has grown to around 40cm in diameter, often larger, and that nest can contain up to 10,000 wasps!

Then, in late August and September, a dramatic change takes place. The queen quits her egg laying (save a few that will go on to be future queens and males to fertilise them) and she no longer releases the pheromone that causes the workers to work.

Basically, these workers are made redundant, and are left jobless and disorientated. And the problem for us is that, although adult wasps are insect predators, that meat is to feed the larvae not themselves. In their adult state wasps are not able to digest solid food and need sugary liquid to survive. Now, with no larvae to feed, they become uncontrollably and insatiably hungry.

Wasps love easy food such as over ripe fruit and your fizzy drinks. Towards the end of their brief lives, their hunger drives them to search for easy sugar at exactly the time when we are more likely to be using our gardens and outdoor spaces for eating sweet things. The timing couldn't be better for them or worse for us.

So why are those who panic and try to swat them away more likely to be stung than those who remain calm?

Well the problem is that these redundant workers have their own pheromone, which helps protect the nest from attack earlier in the year, and that's essentially a chemical rallying cry to other workers that the nest is under attack.

So when you swat that annoying wasp and it feels under attack, that rallying cry will go out. Suddenly it all kicks off, and loads more wasps will start arriving in aggressive 'red-mist' mode, fired up and ready to defend their nest. This is why the best advice is to stay calm.

Think of it this way, from May that wasp has been working its socks off helping to keep things nice on planet earth. Now it’s going to die. So why not give it a break, save your swats, put a bowl of sugary drink somewhere out of your way, and let it go out on a nice sugar rush. At the very least don't kill it.

What's the point of wasps? Without them it’s likely that human life would not survive because, in the absence of their role as predators, our planet would be overrun by even more damaging insects such as aphids, ants and caterpillars.

Shinamae Mon 06-Sep-21 22:28:49

Mancjules

You're having a few drinks in the garden with your friends, or a family BBQ, when a load of pesky wasps arrive to spoil the party. You haven't seen them all summer and then suddenly they're all over the place, annoying everybody, causing panic and helicopter hands. Sound familiar?

August is the time of year when people start to ask 'what's the point of wasps?' The answer may surprise you.

Did you know that there are approximately 9,000 species of wasps? These include the parasitic wasps, some of which are so diminutive they are like pin heads. Of the 250 larger wasps which have a stinger, the majority are solitary and cause no upset to humans.

However, when we talk about wasps, we're almost certainly referring to the our nation's nemesis, the Common wasp (Vespula vulgaris). To understand why these wasps become really annoying this time of year, you first need to understand their life cycle.

Common wasps live socially like bees but, unlike honey bees, they haven't evolved a way of storing food to allow the colony to survive the winter. In fact the only survivors are the young, fertilised queens who hibernate over winter. They emerge in the spring to build little walnut sized nests where they they lay around 20 eggs.

The queen feeds the resulting larvae until around May, when they mature and become workers. Then she focuses on more egg-laying and the workers get on with feeding them, enlarging the nest as they go along. By this time of year the nest has grown to around 40cm in diameter, often larger, and that nest can contain up to 10,000 wasps!

Then, in late August and September, a dramatic change takes place. The queen quits her egg laying (save a few that will go on to be future queens and males to fertilise them) and she no longer releases the pheromone that causes the workers to work.

Basically, these workers are made redundant, and are left jobless and disorientated. And the problem for us is that, although adult wasps are insect predators, that meat is to feed the larvae not themselves. In their adult state wasps are not able to digest solid food and need sugary liquid to survive. Now, with no larvae to feed, they become uncontrollably and insatiably hungry.

Wasps love easy food such as over ripe fruit and your fizzy drinks. Towards the end of their brief lives, their hunger drives them to search for easy sugar at exactly the time when we are more likely to be using our gardens and outdoor spaces for eating sweet things. The timing couldn't be better for them or worse for us.

So why are those who panic and try to swat them away more likely to be stung than those who remain calm?

Well the problem is that these redundant workers have their own pheromone, which helps protect the nest from attack earlier in the year, and that's essentially a chemical rallying cry to other workers that the nest is under attack.

So when you swat that annoying wasp and it feels under attack, that rallying cry will go out. Suddenly it all kicks off, and loads more wasps will start arriving in aggressive 'red-mist' mode, fired up and ready to defend their nest. This is why the best advice is to stay calm.

Think of it this way, from May that wasp has been working its socks off helping to keep things nice on planet earth. Now it’s going to die. So why not give it a break, save your swats, put a bowl of sugary drink somewhere out of your way, and let it go out on a nice sugar rush. At the very least don't kill it.

What's the point of wasps? Without them it’s likely that human life would not survive because, in the absence of their role as predators, our planet would be overrun by even more damaging insects such as aphids, ants and caterpillars.

Utterly fascinating, thank you so much. I must admit I am pretty good if,it’s a Bee or a wasp I do use tend to sit very very still ….🐝🐝🐝🐝… but if it’s a spider……..😬

Grammaretto Mon 06-Sep-21 22:46:41

It is that time of year. I have seen a steady stream of wasps coming and going into a hole in the masonry right beside my bedroom window. I daren't open the window and I don't know if I will do anything about them.

Thank you mancjules for your marvellous explanation.
I will try to have more sympathy with them

I had to remove an enormous bumble bee from the spare bedroom today. What was it doing there?

Teacheranne Mon 06-Sep-21 23:11:17

I got stung by a wasp last week! It must have got caught up in my t shirt as when I sat back in my car seat, I felt a sharp prick and thought it was a pin or prickly label. As I scratched around, the wasp flew out and headed off. Within a coup,e of minutes my back was on fire, swollen and lumpy, goodness knows how many times it got me!

The soreness lasted over a week but was soothed by hydrocortisone cream. The little bugger!

Cold Tue 07-Sep-21 00:06:12

I have been plagued by wasp/hornet moths this year I don't know why as they are meant to be rare and not in our area- they look like a giant wasp. They give me nightmares as I am allergic to wasps and carry and epipen.

They are huge - around 2 inches/4-5cm

Rosycheeks Tue 07-Sep-21 06:40:15

Well there was about 10 this morning flying around my ceiling fan light. Im sorry but I sprayed them because my cat sleeps in my bedroom and I dont want him to get stung and be ill.
My DH is going to investigate the loft then If there is a nest im going to call out the man to get rid of them.

Shandy57 Tue 07-Sep-21 10:27:45

Save your money Rosycheeks, the nest is dying now as described in the article, and they don't return to nest in the same place.