This image of a wasp entering a recently constructed nest was captured locally by photographer Ann Hennessy
Bzzzzzzzz! Wasps are a real nuisance at this time of the year, and unfortunately, they’ll be buzzing around annoying us for another month before they disappear for the winter.
Rentokil says it has been experiencing an increase in call-outs relating to wasps this year, in comparison to the last two years and predicts that next year will be an even bigger year for wasps.
Wasps are beneficial insects at the beginning of the season (May/June), as they are insectivorous they act as natural pesticides, killing other harmful insects such as greenfly.
However, they become a pest later on in the year (August/September) when they start to crave sugars due to the nest naturally breaking down and the workers becoming redundant. This is when they become more noticeable in our homes and gardens and when the risk of getting stung increases.
Dr Colm Moore of Rentokil advises: “At this time of year wasps have already performed their natural duty and worker wasps find they have increasingly fewer larva to feed rendering their role within the colony redundant.
"If you think that you may have a wasp nest in your home, we recommend a professional and safe riddance programme using insecticide, as many of the myths surrounding control measures are either unsafe or ineffective.
“Wasp populations tend to boom every three to four years. Over the last two years we have experienced fewer call-outs and now this year a substantial increase.
"If winter conditions this year are favourable we predict that next year will be an even bigger year for wasps. If you found wasps to be a nuisance this year then prepare to be inundated next year.”
Urban myths of methods to get rid of wasp nests:
• Bagging the nest and throwing it away – we don’t recommend this as not only would it not be considered humane it brings high risks to individuals getting stung, particularly by those wasps returning to the nest.
• Setting the nest on fire – we strongly advise against this as the fire can quickly get out of control.
• Water jets – this method is not effective or safe. It can make the wasps become aggressive and one ends up introducing a sting hazard to non-targets within the treatment area.
• The only humane way to deal with a wasp nest in the home is by letting nature take its course; however, we don’t recommend this in many cases. It can be dangerous to have a nest nearby, particularly near young children, the elderly and pets. It is even more hazardous where individuals may be allergic to wasp and bee stings and who may go into anaphylactic shock if stung.
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