If you don’t like wasps here are 3 simple things you can do this spring
Wish for bad weather
Wasps are willing the warmer weather to arrive too so keep your fingers crossed for a cold, wet and windy April and here’s why.
This next month is a critical time for wasps. You might be willing the warmer weather to arrive and stay, but if instead we get four weeks of weather like Easter – very cold and windy – then many Queen wasps will die as soon as they emerge from hibernation.
April is when young Queen wasps want to build new nests, made from chewed up wood fibres mixed with saliva. Each Queen then populates her nest with workers hatched from eggs that she will fertilize using sperm that she collected last autumn. Her eggs will hatch into infertile female worker wasps, which then build the nest up and create cells for the Queen to lay more eggs.
It all needs a lot of energy.
But even if the weather is poor this month, rather than downright awful – April heavy showers, in typical Scottish fashion – it could still devastate the population of grubs, the name given to baby wasps.
The mortality rate for wasp nests in April will affect the wasp population for the rest of the year and the good news is that typically it’s high. There’s still an even chance you’ll see a golf ball sized wasp nest – embryonic, but dead – under eaves, in the loft or beside the garden shed; rather than an intimidating swarm of adults.
So right now, the Queen and her brood have a lot of challenges to face before summer arrives and the grubs get the chance to potentially turn into pests. But beyond the end of this month the nests will be established, the Queen will be safe, and the new workers will take over the duties of nest building and collecting food for the Queen and her new grubs.
Mind the Gaps
If you see a wasp emerge from any tiny gap you need to act to reduce the likelihood of bigger problems later in the year. Pay close attention around suspended ceilings which are common in offices and schools.
Immediate treatment can be effective, but if access is not possible, especially to recesses, then you cannot completely eliminate the risk of a nest resurrecting itself.
Wasps are attracted to protein and can ‘imprint’ good sources of food, returning to areas they have found food in before. So take care not to leave pet food, picnic scraps, open garbage or compost lying exposed.
Remember, if you think you have a wasp nest in or around your property, check the frequency of activity around the site carefully. If you see a wasp frequently then you probably have a wasps’ nest inside a cavity. That’s when to give us a call for a check and some free advice on next steps.
In the meantime, if the weather isn’t great, it could be good news… if we’re all holidaying close to home again. Happy summer when it comes!