Information and advice about wasps, wasp nests, bees and hornets

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about wasps: page 6

How to identify a Bumble Bee?

Bumblebees appearance is entirely different to wasps or honey bees. They look fluffy and dark. There will never be a large amount of them as you would expect with honey bees. Bumblebees do nest underground, in bird boxes and other places similar to wasps. The behaviour of bumblebees around the nest is a big giveaway; when arriving back at the nest, they often seem to be confused as to whether this is their actual nest. Wasps, on the other hand, are very precise and accurate. If you have a handful of black fluffy things bobbing around and reluctant to enter the nest straight away, it is most probably bumblebees.

Can I destroy a wasp nest in a chimney?

It is possible to have a wasp nest in a chimney destroyed, but you will need to contact your local pest controller. You can enter your postcode at the top left of our pages to see who is closest to you. Pest controllers have various means of destroying wasps in chimneys including smoke generating devices which release an insecticide smoke, or powder type insecticides which can be applied.

Can I leave a wasp nest untreated?

It is up to you if you want to leave a wasp nest untreated on your property. Often people don't even realise that they have a nest and don't have any problems. Having said this, you should note that although you may not have issues from a nest on your property, your neighbours may be inundated with nuisance wasps in late summer. This is because wasps tend to hunt/feed away from their nest location. Leaving the nest untreated also means that the nest will release next year's queens into the immediate area and it is likely these will nest the following year locally.

Lots of wasps appeared from nowhere?

If you have lots of wasps indoors and they have appeared from nowhere all of a sudden, then you have a nest somewhere within the house, and they have broken through to the interior of your home. Often wasps will build their nests very close to plasterboard and will chew the back of the plasterboard away leaving just the paint and a thin layer of paper. Once this paper is broken and the nest is exposed, the wasps will enter the interior of the property en-mass. You will need to call a pest controller to have the nest dealt with. Occasionally wasps will be attracted to lights early in the morning and will come through open windows.

Can honey bees sting?

Honey bees do sting and can be more ferocious than wasps; it is a numbers game. A typical bee nest/hive in midsummer can contain 40,000 individuals, and if they have an aggressive or overly protective nature, they can be a formidable force. Mason and mining bees do have a stinger, but it is so weak it cannot penetrate human skin. In essence, they cannot sting you. Bumblebees can sting but are usually very calm.

Are wasps interested in guttering or roof?

If wasps are focusing on a particular point of your roof or guttering or they are interested in a hole in a wall, the chances are that you have a nest. The entry point will be near to the guttering or where ever the wasps seem to be concentrating on. We have some videos of wasps entering nests which you can look at to compare.

Are Hornets protected?

No, Hornets are not protected and can be legally treated. Hornets have a powerful sting, although generally seem to be more placid than common or European wasps.

Bush or tree covered in wasps but no nest?

Some bushes and trees produce a large quantity of sweet sugary nectar; this is highly attractive to wasps and bees. Lyme trees, in particular, are a big attractant to wasps and bees. Often people make a mistake and think because of the numbers of feeding wasps, there must be a nest present, but this is not the case. There is no way to discourage wasps and bees from being attracted to these types of plants and aside from cutting the plant down it is just a part of nature.

Do fake wasp nests work?

Fake wasp nests such as the "Waspinator" are supposed to deter queens from nesting close to the position of the fake one. If this principle worked, then we would only ever see single nests. However, this is not the case; we regularly treat multiple live nests which are sometimes located only inches apart. Fake wasp nests are a gimmick and do not work.

Can hibernating queen wasps be killed?

If you have queens waking up and getting indoors during periods of mild weather in winter traditional dust treatments will not work. This is due to how queens spread out to hibernate and are in essence individual wasps rather than a nest that can be treated in the usual way. Usually, queen wasps will hibernate in your loft space, it will be dark, and the temperature will remain stable throughout the winter. To treat individual queen wasps in a loft situation, the entire loft will need to be treated using a fogging machine. A fogging machine applies a liquid insecticide as a very fine mist. This application is known as a ULV application (Ultra Low Volume). The droplet size of the mist applied is tiny, so will remain airborne for a long time allowing a thorough treatment.

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