Almost everyone will have at some point had an encounter with a wasp in your garden, they normally pop up in the summer months when it is ‘wasp season’!
Stinging insects can be the source of huge annoyance during those long summer days while enjoying barbecues’, ice cream or late night summer drinks in the backyard!
Wasp stings can be particularly painful and troublesome especially if you have an allergy so look out for some of the key signs if you suspect you have a wasp infestation.
Why do wasps sting?
Wasps sting as a defense mechanism. Their stinger is used to warn off predators and other insects that may cause a threat to them of the hive.
However, unlike bees, wasps are aggressive creatures. It takes little to no aggravation to cause them to sting, and due to their stinger not being barbed they can sting multiple times.
Why do wasps come into our gardens?
You’ve probably spent the better part of the spring months giving your garden a makeover ready for the wonderfully warm days of the summer season. But, unfortunately not only have you made your garden nice and inviting for you and your friends and family but also to wasps too!
One of the main reasons why wasps like to sneak into our gardens is in search for food.
During the spring and summer, wasps like food packed with protein…. So that delicious barbecue you’ve been itching to start cooking is also very appetizing to wasps!
Did you know that wasps have a bit of a sweet tooth (well they don’t really have teeth, so a sweet mandible).
In the latter part of the summer months, wasps are attracted to sweet and sugary foods to satisfy their cravings, these can include:
Sweet alcoholic drinks such as cocktails
Ice cream and ice lollies
Although not as regular as bees, wasps also play a small part in pollination, visiting flowers to feed on nectar.
Did you know that wasps play a vital role in the life cycle of a fig?
To add to this, the bright colors of certain species of plant and flowers are very captivating to wasps. Colors such as yellow and white have been known to be particularly attractive to wasps.
We all know that these summer months can get very warm. Paddling pools, water guns, and water balloons are all designed to help keep us cool during the warmer temperatures. But did you know wasps also have their own method to stay refreshed during the summer?
Wasps will enter your garden to collect water from hose pipes, buckets, watering cans and other water accessories and bring it back to their nest to help keep themselves cool and at the right temperature.
Last, but not least, wasps can often be found inhabiting your garden in order to build their nests. You’ve probably already guessed it, but your garden is the ideal environment for wasps to inhabit.
Wasps will tend to use the following places to build their nests:
Holes in the ground
In tree stumps and bark
Inside sheds and garages
Inside air bricks
What to do if you have a wasp infestation
If you suspect you might have a wasp infestation in your home or garden then there are 5 steps you can take to help prevent stings and reduce the appeal of your home.
Identify the location of the nest. Inspect your home carefully to find where the wasps are living checking the areas listed above.
If a wasp flies near you don’t scream or flap your arms as this could aggravate them. Similarly, don’t try and swat them as this could attract more wasps.
Keep children and pets away from the wasp nest, as well as areas which you have spotted them such as flower beds and near barbecues.
Ensure that windows and doors are shut to help prevent wasps from entering your home
Seal or remove food sources, including bins, by ensuring everything has a tight fitting lid on at all times.
It is highly advised that you do not try and remove a wasp nest yourself. DIY wasp nest removal can often result in further damages to your property, as well as landing yourself a body littered with wasp stings.