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Property Surveying Blog

August 3, 2017

Wasps, A Stinging Feeling

Written by Richard Palmer

Whether it be undertaking a Party Wall inspection, an RICS HomeBuyer Report or a Full Building Survey, our surveyors tend to find themselves in and out of a lot of lofts.

Amongst other things, one thing that they are always on the lookout for are wasp nests, which can be a danger to both the occupier of the house and the surveyor!

To reduce the risk of getting stung, its best to know a little bit more about their habits and how they can become a pest within the home.

Wasps in Air Vent VoidsWhere are wasp nests located?

Commonly wasps will build their nests inside roof or loft space. However, they will pretty much build a nest in any location that suits including; garden sheds, air bricks or even in a hole in the ground!

The characteristics that all of these areas have in common is that they are sheltered from the elements, generally undisturbed and have an exit within flying distance!


What is the nest made from?

Over the years, our surveyors have seen wasp nests ranging from the size of a golf ball to the size of a basket ball.

Wasps build their nests in layers, with each layer filled with tiny chambers where the wasps nest and rest.

Wasps build their nest by chewing timber such as fences or sheds and mix it with their saliva to make a material that is similar to papier mache. Once this material dries the nest is light, waterproof and long lasting.

When will you tend to see a wasps nest inside your house?

In order to understand when a nest will be formed within your house, it is important to recognise that there are stages to wasp nest lifecycle.

November to March

The queen wasp, who oversees the nest will hibernate over winter.

April

The queen will begin to construct the nest that will house her eggs. These eggs will eventually become wasps approximately 3 to 4 weeks after being laid.

May

The newly born worker wasps help to construct the nest at a rapid rate.

June to July

The nest will have reached its peak size and activity, this is usually when the nest begins to be noticed as anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 are buzzing in and out of the loft at any time.

September to November

Around this time of the year, most of the wasps begin to die off due to lack of food. Once the new queen is born, it moves on to hibernate in another location and another homeowner’s loft!

Wasps in Lofts! Check before summer to prevent an infestation (Don't get stung!) #pests #waspsWhat to do when a nest is found

When approached the nest, the wasps within will feel threatened and often become aggressive to the perceived threat. This could cause them to sting you, sometimes multiple times as they try to defend their nest.

To get rid of wasps you don’t need to remove the nest, however, you do need to treat it with pesticide.

Wasp nests are a very common form of pest and aren’t overly expensive to deal with or remove. If you do find a wasp nest within your loft, we would recommend that you get in contact with a professional pest control company, that are members of the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), in order to carry out these treatments.