What are the wasps we get in Ireland?

There are only two species of wasps in Ireland that people mostly notice: the Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) and the German Wasp (Vespula germanica).  They are very similar in appearance, but the German wasp is slightly bigger.

common wasp vs german wasp 2

Queens have similar markings as workers, but they are bigger. It is very easy to differentiate them:

Profile view: The German wasp has a continuous yellow band behind the eye and the Common wasp has a black mark in the middle of it.

View from above: The German wasp abdomen has black bands with separate black dots, but the Common wasp has broader black bands merging with these dots.


The nests of German wasps are more greyish in colour than Common wasp nests, and also they are more likely to be built underground, in an abandoned rat or mouse nest. In Dublin, the nests start to be built as early as the beginning of April. The nests can become very large with up to 10,000 individuals and most of the time only have one entrance.

Both wasps have painful stings, but German wasps are less aggressive than Common wasps. Wasps eat sugary foods and proteins from insects and worms/caterpillars. They are social wasps and the workers spend the first part of their lives feeding the larvae in the nest until they hatch out of the nest and no longer need to be fed by these workers.

What attract wasps in our gardens

Once the worker wasps do not need to feed the young they are “free” and indulge their love for nectar (a sweet substance found in flowers) and this is when they get attracted to our gardens, lured by the wrong signals:

  • In summer adults and children tend to wear bright clothing, but bright colours attract wasps.
  • We also hold glasses of sweet drinks or eat ice cream which they can smell from a long distance.
  • Shampoos that have floral scents may also attract wasps.
  • Refuse bins – if you do not ensure that your outside bins have tightly closed lids, wasps may be attracted to the scent of their content. It is also preferable to keep your bins away from doors and windows.

More information

For more details about wasps and how to prevent them check our article on Basic Facts about Wasps and Ways to Get Rid of Them from Your Home

If you notice a wasp nest somewhere in your garden or your house, make sure you keep pets and children away. It is recommended to deal with the nest ASAP as it will only grow bigger during the summer months and the numerous wasps can become a threat to your family and neighbours, especially if they are allergic to stings.

If you need help to deal with wasps, contact The Wasp Specialist who is here to resolve any issues with Common and German wasps:

Call The Wasp Specialist: (01) 452 3680 

Email Us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

or fill out the Online Form

The first wasp nests of the season have already started in Dublin! 

 queen wasp resting the wasp specialist dublin

Queen wasp coming out of hibernation


small 1 week old wasp built by a queen the wasp specialist

Small wasp nest built by a queen only (approx. 1 week)

queen german wasp building nest

Queen German wasp building its nest



small wasp nest above window the wasp specialist

New wasp nest hanging above a window (Terenure)


wasp nest in a bird house

Wasp nest started in a birdhouse!

Starting in April, queen wasps wake up from their winter hibernation and start building their nests. Thousands of them are built around Dublin every year.

After a few weeks, the small wasp nests become visible in virtually all areas around houses such as garden sheds, attics, eaves, trees, wall cavities and even under ground.

wasps building a nest the wasp specialistIs it safe to remove a wasp nest?

First of all, you should not go near a wasp nest unless you are completely sure that you are not allergic to wasp stings. An anaphylactic reaction is life threatening even with medical help.

If the wasp nest is small enough and easy to reach, you may be able to treat it with a spray, after making sure you wear some protection for your face, hands and ankles.

Wasps are very protective of their nest and approaching a wasp nest can be incredibly dangerous if the wasps suspect they are being attacked.

You should also treat the wasp nest as early as possible in the season before it gets too big, with thousands of wasps inside.

Once the nest has been treated, you can remove it after a few days, being careful as some wasps may be still inside it and not completely dead.

If the wasp nest is in a difficult to reach location or in a confined space, e.g. inside an attic or wall or underground level, you should not take a chance and get professional help. If wasps get alerted of your approach, they will fight in swarms, and each of them can sting multiple times.

Get Rid of Wasps with Professional Help

If you feel threatened by the proximity of wasps near your home or property, call in the most knowledgeable wasp treatment services in Dublin. Since 1998 The Wasp Specialist has removed thousands of wasp nests of all sizes, shapes and locations in Dublin North and Dublin South, and has earned the trust of businesses and the local community.

We are known for our punctuality, family and pet friendly methods, so you can be assured of your safety while we carry out the job. All our wasp treatments are fully guaranteed.

Call The Wasp Specialist: (01) 452 3680 

Email Us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

or fill out the Online Form


Wasps can be useful around the garden when eating caterpillars and flies. But they can be a nuisance too when their nest grows near your home. They can sting and their persistence can be irritating; they also represent a threat to those who are allergic to stings. If you get stung on the neck or in the mouth, or if you develop symptoms of nausea, giddiness, pronounced swelling, strong pain after a sting, you should seek medical help immediately.

If you notice a lot of wasp activity around your property and you are not confident dealing with the risks on your own, Contact your local Wasp Specialist in Dublin for safe wasp prevention and removal.

Here is some interesting facts about wasps

1. Try not to kill a wasp near its nest as the venom contains a pheromone that attracts the other wasps and make them become more aggressive.

2. Wasps may sting over and over again.

3. Wasp stings usually wear off within a day, but for some people the venom causes anaphylactic shock (which can be fatal).

4. Wasp nests are made of papier mache coming from chewed up strips of bark.

5. A male wasp is called a "Drone". They die shortly after having mated with the Queen.

6. A wasp nest starts with only one queen each spring. She first raises a few worker wasps to bring food and make the nest larger.

7. In Ireland a nest can grow to 50,000 wasps during the summer. Check the huge wasp nest we removed from an attic in Dublin on the picture.

8. In the winter some new queens survive by hibernating in attics, tree bark, old rodent burrows or other sheltered space.

9. Wasps live all over the world except Antarctica.

10. A queen starts a new colony each spring.

The Wasp Specialist remove wasps around your home in Dublin North and South. Getting rid of a wasp nest without experience and protections can be risky for home or property owners. DIY wasp removal can expose you, your neighbours and family to the risk of wasp stings as they try to protect their nest from attack.

If you try DIY wasp nest treatment but don't get the entire nest, wasps that where not present can return and hang around your property for weeks, causing more risks. The Wasp Specialist has certified staff who can determine why the wasps are attracted to your property and where they come from. We can also provide solutions to remove nests and prevent their return.

Contact your local Wasp Specialist Dublin today:

Call: (01) 452 3680 

Email Us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

or fill out the Online Form