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      01737 300393​
      Wasps! Do they have a purpose?
      Wasps are considered by many people to be the most pointless creature of all. What use are they? They sting for fun, ruin any outdoor gathering you care to mention; terrify kids, women and builders alike and all in all they are just plain annoying.

      Wasps, like all creatures, do serve a purpose, albeit at the expense of those terrified of them. In the early part of the season, June and July, wasps don’t tend to be so much of a problem. Once the queen has started her nest she will lay thirty or so eggs which, within a few weeks will become the first batch of worker wasps. This then leaves the Queen wasp to continually lay eggs for the rest of her life. She is able to produce about a hundred or so every single day. The worker wasps will carry on with the building of the wasp nest and the feeding duties for the newly hatched grubs. This is where the benefit of the wasp comes into play.

      Wasps prey on small insects to feed the grubs, greenfly, blackfly, caterpillars and such like are consumed at a vast rate, this helps farmers and gardeners with their crops and keeps the use of insecticides down. Wasps cannot digest meat, so the insects preyed upon are for the sole purpose to feed the wasp grubs, in return the grubs secrete a sweet substance, and this is what the adult wasps feed upon.

      Wasps, like all creatures in the world’s complex infrastructure, do have a purpose in life, however this is where the wasp appears to come unstuck. Wasps are known to attack our bees, searching for the sweetness of the honey and can wipe out an entire beehive in a frenzied attack. They also kill our spiders, which are very beneficial to help keep the flies down to a minimum. So do they undo all the good work they had actually achieved?

      Later on in the season, late July onwards, the Queen wasp will come to a point in her life when she will only lay eggs that will produce Drones (males) and future Queens. A single Queen can produce over 2,000 future Queens for the next season. The Queens and Drones will leave the nest and find a mate, once mated the Drones will die and the Queens will find somewhere to hibernate for the winter months to come. The original Queen wasp will now die.

      This is when wasps become a real menace to mankind, because the Queen wasp is no longer producing any grubs, there is no food source for the remaining worker wasps. An average wasp nest will contain between 2,000 and 10,000 wasps, but nests with 50,000 or more wasps are certainly not unusual. This means that come August there are millions of very hungry wasps looking for anything sweet to feed upon.

      Wasps, in their search for sweet food, is where our paths cross, barbecues, picnics, ice creams, sweet drinks and pub lunches attract wasps from miles around. We have all been forced inside because of wasps and the quantity of them. They are also very partial to fallen fruit, which is another problem, when fruit starts to rot it ferments and therefore becomes alcohol. So now we have millions of not only hungry wasps, but hungry and drunk wasps.

      In their quest for food, the drunken wasps can become very aggressive and sting for no apparent reason; they can be attracted to scents we wear, perfume, aftershave and deodorants, which is why wasps will sometimes appear to stick to us until they sting, this is because they relate the sweet smelling scent to food.

      So, do wasps have a purpose, of course, but at what cost? There is no question that wasps do need to be culled. Without wasp control treatments we would be overrun with wasps in just a couple of years. When a wasp nest reaches its full capacity it is not advisable for an untrained person to tackle it themselves. Wasps are highly aggressive and will defend their nests in vast numbers, so a wasp nest of 2,000 or more will without doubt cause havoc if disturbed.

      If you have a wasp nest then the advice is simple, either leave well alone or call out a BPCA trained technician. If you require any more information regarding wasp nest removal or hornet nest removal then please visit our website:
      01737 300393​
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