Wasps (Vespulla Spp)
Wasps have 2 pairs of wings, a stinger at the end of the body an a few or no thickened hairs. There are social and solitary wasps. The adult solitary wasps live alone and do not construct nests. Social wasps exist in colonies and build nests which can consist of many thousands of wasps. They are many different species which generally feed on nectar, dead insects and fallen fruits.
The solitary species burrow into the soil or into a plant stem and do not construct nests at all. Once an egg is laid there is no interaction between the larvae and the adult. The social species construct nests usually of plant fibre and mud and attach their nest to the underside of branches, gutters or conversely in cavities in buildings or the ground. Nests can be over 3 feet in diameter and house up to 10,000 wasps with at least one queen. Wasps do not reproduce like the mating flights of bees. The wasp colony dies away normally in the autumn leaving the mated queen who hibernates nearby for the winter. After hibernation the queen wasp finds a suitable nesting site to lay her eggs.
Wasps nests in buildings or near to hibernation can be a significant nuisance. A wasp sting causes burning pain, a raised lump, redness and local inflammation. Repeated stings may trigger an allergy, including life-threatening anaphylaxis. A qualified pest control agency should be used to get rid of wasp nests, which may be causing the increase in wasps in the local area. The nest may or may not be hidden from view.