In the UK there approx 9,000 speices of wasp.
The 2 main “pest wasps” found causing problems are:
Common wasp (Vespula Vulgaris)
& German wasp (Vespula Germanica)
They are almost identical, the main defining feature being that the Common wasp has 3 distinctive dots on the front of the head, and the German wasp has none.
Wasps nesting near homes, or in areas of high human traffic can be a real problem, and when 3 - 5 % of people have potentially dangerous reactions, a swift treatment is essential, they can also damage timber on buildings and fences by chewing on them to create material used to build their nest, they also cause die-back of young shoots and branches on trees by stripping the bark.
LIFE CYCLE: Around 6 weeks, wasp colonies will die off over the winter due to starvation and not the cold temperatures, only fertilized queens survive winter hibernating in undisturbed sheltered areas, to then awake in late April to find a suitable location to start building her nest, by the end of November a single nest can contain as many as 20,000+ wasps.
LENGTH: 10mm – 20mm (adult)
APPEARANCE: Distinct yellow and black colouration.
HABITAT & HABITS: Wasps are social insects, they construct intricate nests to house their colony. Often found nesting in trees/ bushes, roof spaces and within wall cavities. wasps will forage on varied foods including nectar, other flying insects and sweet food.