Wasps in Winter
Wasps in Winter:
There are no worker wasps around from January. It is not unusual for us at PEST UK to get called out to active wasp nests in December but this happens only when the weather is mild, with normal temperature Winters all the workers are dead by December. What are left are the fertilised hibernating Queens.
These Queens have mated with Drones (who are now dead) and are hibernating and will emerge in the Spring to start new nests.
We often get calls from people complaining about hornets or large wasps getting into bedrooms. These are usually Queens that have been disturbed during hibernation by artificial heat and or light. Treatment for this type of problem is difficult but can be done. The difference between treating a wasp nest and treating Queens is that the Queens will be hibernating over a large area (they may be spread throughout the loft and may include cavity walls) so getting insecticide to hibernating Queens is more complicated than treating a wasp nest where all the wasps are concentrated in one place. The other problem is that the insects metabolism is very slow when the temperature is low so they take longer to absorb the insecticide and die. Treatment for this type of problem may be a mist or fog insecticide treatment to the loft and a residual insecticide applied to walls and ceilings of the affected rooms. Instead of a mist or fog an insecticide smoke generator may be used in a loft space. We often get asked to remove old wasp nests. Occasionally hibernating Queens may be found in old nests but this is probably by accident as old wasp nests are never used again although new nests may be built on the side of old nests especially if the spot is favoured by wasps, which is often the case.