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 Ireland, 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 (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 attracts 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 its content. It is also preferable to keep your bins away from doors and windows.

If you notice 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 

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or fill out the Online Form

First wasp nests of 2020 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

 

wasp nest in a birds house the wasp specialist

Wasp nest in a bird house!

Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:02

Facts About Wasps

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

Tuesday, 09 April 2019 12:54

How to Locate a Wasp Nest?

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

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

or fill out the Online Form

Friday, 03 April 2020 10:24

How to remove a wasp nest?

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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