Most of us are all too familiar with the Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris) and the almost identical German Wasp (Vespula Germanica) with their yellow and black banded  abdomens. Adult workers of  both the common wasp species measure about 12–17 mm (0.5–0.7 in) from head to abdomen, whereas the queen is about 20 mm (0.8 in) long. Both are highly temperamental and will sting humans with little provocation, the German Wasp being slightly more aggressive. Research indicates the wasps use odour to identify and attack rival wasps from other colonies, and nest odour frequently changes. Wasp are Britain's' most venomous animal with around 15 people each year dying from Anaphylaxis. The sting from a wasp is neither acid or alkali: rather it is hemolytic, haemorrhagic & neurotoxic. 


The nest is made from chewed wood fibres mixed with saliva. It has open cells and a cylindrical column known as a "petiole" attaching the nest to the substrate. The wasps produce a chemical which repels ants and secrete it around the base of the petiole to avoid ant predation. A solitary female queen starts the nest, building 20–30 cells before initial egg-laying. This phase begins in spring, depending on climatic conditions. She fashions a petiole and produces a single cell at the end of it. Six further cells are then added around this to produce the characteristic hexagonal shape of the nest cells. One egg is laid in each cell, and as it hatches, each larva holds itself in the vertical cell by pressing its body against the sides. The queen now divides her time between feeding the larvae on the juices of masticated insects and nest building. Once the larva reaches full size, it spins a cover over the cell, pupates and metamorphoses into an adult. When enough adult workers have emerged, they take up most of the colony’s foraging, brood care and nest maintenance throughout their 10 week life cycle. The queen, who is now fed by the workers, concentrates all her energy on reproduction. The spherical nest is built from the top downwards with successive combs of cells separated by petioles. The queen larvae, known as "gynes", are reared in larger cells in the lower combs. The finished nest may contain 5,000–10,000 individuals.

Each wasp colony includes one queen and a number of sterile workers. Colonies usually last only one year, with all but the queen dying at the onset of winter. New queens and males (drones) are produced towards the end of the summer, and after mating, the young queen overwinters in a hole or other sheltered location, sometimes in buildings. Wasp nests are not reused from one year to the next.


The most effective control of wasps is achieved through the application of an insecticidal dust into the nest and around the nest entrance.
Dead Cert Pest Control are able to offer a guaranteed treatment of all wasp nests.

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