Chris

Common wasps are insects that don’t like interacting with people but they can sting you if provoked. Wasp stings tend to be quite painful for everyone and worse, life-threatening to people with allergies. If you have confirmed or you suspect that there is a wasp problem in your Dublin home, there are several basic things you need to know about these nasty flying insects, together with tips on how to naturally get rid of wasps, how to check for wasp infestations, and more.

Appearance of Wasps

To clear things up, common wasps (vespula vulgaris) are not bees with bodies that are usually longer and more slender. They often feed on other insects like spiders, caterpillars, flies, and nectar. Wasps have two wings, six legs, an exoskeleton, two antennae on the head, and a body divided to three primary parts namely the head, abdomen, and thorax.
Unlike bees, female wasps can sting repeatedly because their stinger has tiny barbs that don’t stick into the skin. The stinger of a female wasp can be found at the lower body’s tip that also acts as a reproductive organ where the eggs are laid. On the other hand, male wasps cannot sting.

How Do Wasps Find Their Way in Your Yard or Home?

There are three primary elements that can make wasps attracted to build their nest in your yard or home and these include the following:

  • Plantlife and nectar-filled and sweet flowers
  • Ideal spots for nesting like soffits, gutters, and eaves that provide protection
  • Sources of food like pet food bowls, garbage bags, outdoor eating spots with sticky spills or crumbs, or an abundance of spiders or insects

Aside from the fact that their sting can be painful, wasps can also be a fatal risk to someone allergic to the injected venom. Usually, symptoms of a wasp sting can include localized pain, itching, swelling, and mild site at the location of the sting.

Checking for Wasps in Your House

If you see a significant number of wasps that fly around your yard or home, there is a big possibility that there is a wasp nest somewhere in your property. If you want to locate a wasp nest, try observing a wasp from a distance to see the direction it flies. Another method you can do is leave out some food like canned tuna or pet food that will lure the insects before you cautiously follow them back to their nest.

Pay extra attention to holes where they might be crawling from. You might be able to spot a visible nest attached to trees, plants, bushes, under eaves or windowsills, or under siding and other overhangs along your house and even your dog’s kennel.

Once you noticed wasps inside your house, you might want to observe them closely to know their points of entry and exit in your home and the possible location of their nest. Check your home for torn screens, cracks around door and window frames, and unsealed vents for any sign that these insects might already be getting in and out of your home without you knowing it.

How Long Does a Wasp Infestation Last?

Wasps tend to establish a brand new colony every spring. With the mild weather in Dublin, this can start as early as the beginning of April. It is also very rare for them to use their old nest again. This means that on average, it is safe to expect that wasp infestations can last for not more than one year. It is also common for wasp colonies to build a new nest beside an existing nest. This is the reason why you need to eliminate these insects together with their nests right after your see and confirmed an infestation.

Steps to Follow to Getting Rid of Wasps

If a wasp colony has decided to take up residence in your backyard or home, you might be wondering how you can immediately get rid of these stinging insects. The steps listed below will teach you how you can kill wasps with the use of homemade wasp killer and how you can create a DIY wasp trap to get rid of them once and for all.

  1. Wear the right safety materials and appropriate clothing.
    Before you even attempt to approach a wasp nest, make sure you cover yourself up in a long-sleeved top, long pants, gloves, closed-toe shoes, and goggles or glasses for eye protection.
  2. Use a powerful vacuum on your carpets, floors, mattress, and furniture if wasps found their way from their nest to the inside your home.
    You can use the vacuum’s crevice tool attachment for going over any cracks or tight spaces because these are the areas where wasps often hide. A vacuum with disposable bags can be used so you can simply discard the bag in the outdoor garbage can right after you use it. You will also need to temporarily plug the access hole(s) wasps are using to get in.

Eliminate the wasp infestation.

You can try to use any or all of the methods below for treating a wasp infestation.

  • Nest drenching
    Use an insecticide specifically made for wasps to completely and heavily saturate the nest with it. Depending on the accessibility of the nest, you can use a spray with a long nozzle or a handheld spray. Be careful of wasps as they fly out of their nest and spray each when they emerge. If you are that you already killed off, destroy the nest right away.
  • Nest dusting
    It is a method that makes use of dust or powder version of wasp insecticide for covering the nest and eventually killing off the wasp colony. This method doesn’t have the same level of effectiveness as nest drenching although this option is safer because you just need to drop the powder over the wasp nest and simply walk away. However, take note that this will require reapplication and it may take weeks before you can kill off the entire colony.
  • DIY wasp tray
    If you are not keen on the idea of using insecticides, you can create a homemade wasp trap on your own. Get a 2-litre soda bottle and cut around the bottle’s neck right under the tape. Put the bait at the bottle’s bottom that can include something sweet like honey or jam or a protein like a luncheon meat. Add a small amount of vinegar to your bait to ensure that bees don’t get attracted to your trap. Lastly, unscrew and remove the bottle cap before you flip the upper portion of the bottle upside down so you can tuck this into the bottle’s bottom part.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Wasps

There are a lot of home remedies you can try to eliminate wasps with the use of all-natural ingredients. There are many chemical-free methods to keep wasps away and prevent them from going back such as putting herbs with strong smells, e.g. eucalyptus, citronella, thyme, or spearmint near your windows, on the patio, and around the backyard.

You can even formulate a wasp-repelling spray with the use of essential oils with one teaspoon each of clove oil, geranium essential oil, and lemongrass oil and six cups of water. Mix the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and thoroughly spray this on the nest at night, which is a time when wasps tend to be less active. You can repeat the procedure until the wasps leave their nest for good.

If you want a natural way of killing wasps instead of merely sending them off, prepare a spray mixing a cup of water and 3 tablespoons of lemon extract. Saturate the wasp nest with this solution at night or you can also directly spray this on the wasp while wearing your protective clothing.

When to Contact Pest Control Experts for Wasp Treatment

There are times when a wasp nest might be located in hard to reach areas like a tall tree, on the roof, or inside the cavity of your floorboards or wall. If it is impossible for you to access the nest or you already tried the do it yourself options mentioned above, your best move is to contact The Wasp Specialist in Dublin and let them deal with the wasp infestation.
In case you or a member of your family has an allergy to wasps, it is also important to call a professional who can deal with your problem at the soonest time possible. Never attempt getting close to the wasps if you have an allergy to their sting.

 wasp sting allergy

Ways to Keep Wasps Out of Your Dublin Home

After the successful removal of wasp infestation, you can do the following to keep these insects out of your home for good:

  1. Reduce potential sources of food by covering trash with a lid, regularly cleaning up crumbs or spills, and avoiding food and pet food left unattended for a long time.
  2. Seal off exposed points of entry, specifically in your attic, basement, and roofing and around door and window frames.
  3. Avoid the use of perfumes and heavily scented candles and sprays inside the house since these can attract these nectar-loving pests.
  4. If there are smaller roofed items in your backyard like birdhouses and dog kennels, use aluminium for covering below the roof’s exposed part.

Call The Wasp Specialist in Dublin: (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

 

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.

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 coming out of hibernation from tree the wasp specialist 

Queen wasp coming out of hibernation from tree aperture

 

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

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

 

small wasp nest above window the wasp specialist

New wasp nest hanging above a window (Terenure)

 

wasp nest in a birds house the wasp specialist

Wasp nest started in a birdhouse!

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

hoverfly pictureDo you see a lot of wasps flying around but cannot identify the nest location?

If you see a lot of wasps around your garden, especially around ivy or on tree leaves, the first thing you should make sure of is that they are not "Hoverflies", a very common insect in all Dublin areas (see picture). 

Hover flies look a lot like wasps, but they have a distinctive flattened abdomen. They are smaller than wasps and can fly perfectly "on the spot" without moving forward or backwards (unlike wasps). They do not sting or bite so you should pay no attention to them.

If you see wasps congregating around an area of your house (usually the roof or an air vent), it does not necessarily mean there is a wasp nest inside. There are two case scenarios which can give you the answer:

Scenario One: 

Wasps are flying in and out constantly through an aperture(s). This means there is a wasp nest hidden in the wall or eaves of your house. Such activity is illustrated in the video below.

Scenario Two:

You leave in a house that is identical to your neighbours, in an estate for instance. Wasps gather around an aperture(s), but they move more randomly around the area, often without focus, occasionally going in and out, but mostly flying around the area. This is a very common situation in Dublin, where many identical housing estates have been built in the last 50 years.

What happens in this situation is that some worker wasps get confused while returning to their nest and pick the wrong house! (see picture below)

housing estates similar houses examples

If you suspect this situation, you should walk up and down your street (4 or 5 houses each way) until you find the "scenario 1" above. You should then advise your neighbour to have the nest treated as there is nothing you can do to your house that will solve the wasp nest problem.

Professional Help

DIY Wasp nest removal can represent a health and safety risk for you, your family, and your neighbours. The Wasp Specialist technicians are experts in wasp nest removal in all Dublin areas. Regardless of the location and the size of the wasp nest, we can remove it safely. Our wasp nest treatments are also fully guaranteed!

Call The Wasp Specialist: (01) 452 3680

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or fill out the Online Form

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 

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or fill out the Online Form

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How do wasps build their nests?

Wasps nests are made of a paper paste built with a mixture of wood fragments and saliva. The wood is collected by the wasps from neighboring garden sheds, logs, fences, etc., and the fibre is extracted from the wasp powerful mandibles. The resulting soft wood pulp is then shaped and added to the nest.

wasp nest in golf bag

 

Do wasps die out in the winter time?

In Ireland all worker wasps die off in winter, generally from the beginning of December. Nevertheless towards the end of the season the nest produces several queen wasps that survive the winter by hibernating. The hibernation takes place inside the old nest or nearby in a sheltered location. The following April/May surviving queen wasps wake up from hibernation and start building up new nests.

Do wasps come back to their nest each year?

No. New queen wasps never reuse an existing nest. They build a brand new nest in spring, but it is common to have this new nest adjacent to an old one (in Dublin we regularly find up to 6 wasp nests in a single attic). If an old nest fills a gap in the eaves or a cavity wall, it may be a good strategy to leave it so there is no room for a new nest the following years.

For how long do wasps live for? 

Worker wasps, which are sterile females, live for 12 to 22 days. Fertile males (or drones) live for a few more days. Finally, queen wasps have a lifespan of approx. 12 months. 

Do wasps have a queen?

Every wasp nest has a queen which lay eggs. Worker wasps (females) may also lay eggs but they are not fertile and only produce male wasps. After the first group of adults has emerged, they assume the building of the nest and also care for the larvae and fetch food for the colony.

What do wasps eat?

Wasps feed from a wide assortment of insects, both adults and larvae. The social wasps found in Ireland are omnivorous, sustaining on dead insects but also on fallen fruits and nectar.

How many wasps are in a nest?

Wasp nests in Ireland contain between 3000 and 6000 wasps for the largest nests. What limits the expansion of the nest is not the cold weather killing the wasps but the scarcity of food as winter begins.

What plants repel wasps and hornets?

Some plants such as eucalyptus, citronella, mint and wormwood are natural repellent to wasps. Try to introduce these beautiful plants in your garden and they will deter the wasps away.

             Eucalyptus

             Pink Eucaliptus

Do wasps and hornets sting?

Contrary to honey bees, hornets and wasps can sting several times and do not die after stinging. So if you get stung make sure you leave the area rapidly. Humans are more sensitive to hornet stings than wasps stings because their venom contains more acetylcholine. Despite their bad publicity, wasps provide very important ecological services, which include predation and parasitism of other insects and larvae.

Do wasps help with pollination?

Wasps look like honey bees but are not covered with fluffy hairs. Thus, pollen does not adhere as well to their bodies when moving from flower to flower and they are far less efficient at pollinating.

How big is the queen wasp?

Some species of queen wasps can achieve lengths of more than 1.5 inches, but in Ireland common wasps are much smaller. Adult workers measure 12 to 17mm and the queen is slightly bigger (around 20mm).

queen wasp resting the wasp specialist dublin

Queen German wasp resting

Honeybee / Bumblebee / Wasp / Hoverfly illustrations

 

honeybee vs bumblebee wasp hoverfly carpenter bee paper wasp

 

Professional Help

For professional help and advice on getting rid of Wasp & Hornet Nests please contact us today: 

Call The Wasp Specialist: (01) 452 3680

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or fill out the Online Form

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