Wasps live in nests that are typically found in roof spaces, airbricks, cavity walls, garden sheds, trees and even in rockeries, flowerbeds and shrubs.
The nest is usually constructed from chewed bark and dried timber mixed with saliva and is a light grey/beige colour with a papery appearance. If undisturbed and built in an unrestricted space, the nest can measure up to 90-120cm in circumference towards the end of the summer months. A nest this size would contain between 5,000-10,000 individual wasps.
New nests are formed each year by queen wasps that have overwintered. Depending on the weather, nests can be found in late spring/early summer. The worker wasps die in the autumn and the nest is never reused.
Queen wasps which have overwintered are sometimes seen in later winter during warm weather. There may be several together and they are larger than normal wasps. It is unlikely that they will build a nest at this time of year.
Wasps are aggressive when disturbed and will sting. This is painful and may cause redness and/or swelling but a sting is not normally serious, unless you are stung around the face, mouth, throat or tongue or suffer an allergic reaction to stings (this is known as anaphylactic shock). In these cases you should get immediate medical attention, as severe anaphylactic shock can be fatal.
Wasps can be very aggressive and if a nest is causing a nuisance then it is best treated professionally.
Clear Round Pest Services has effective treatments for wasp nests in all situations. Treated nests are normally dead after a few hours and definitely within 24 hours.