Wasps can easily be identified thanks to their black and yellow abdomen, and they usually range from 15 to 20mm in length.
During the winter, the queen hibernates before beginning a new nest, usually at the beginning of spring. She will lay the first batch of eggs in areas of the nest, which have been constructed out of chewed wood and plant life debris. The queen will then care for the larvae until they have developed into workers. Then, the newly formed workers will take over looking after the larvae by returning to the nest with food and materials for it to expand.
The colony will continue to increase in size during the summer months. The last batch of eggs will consist of reproductive males and queens. The latter will search for a new nest location while the males fly the nest to look for a partner to mate with.
It is at this time when wasps tend to cause the most trouble, as they are looking for sweet materials.
A typical nest will host up to 5,000 wasps and behaviour will depend on conditions. For example, if temperatures drop, they are likely to become more aggressive.
If you are stung by a wasp, an itchy red spot will usually manifest on the surface of the skin. Local anaesthetic lotion will normally help here to reduce inflammation. For those who are allergic to stings, though, dialing 999 is always the best and recommended call to receive emergency attention. If symptoms persist, you’ve been stung around areas like the mouth or throat or have received more than one sting, it is advisable to call your doctor. To avoid a wasp sting, we recommend avoiding swatting. Doing so can cause a swarm, as wasps release a chemical that alerts other wasps that they need to attack.
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