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What s the best way to get rid of a wasp nest

00:00 Mon 10th Sep 2001 |

derekrob has obviously got an annoying, potentially dangerous pest on his hands and is looking for advice. Here, The AnswerBank provides some pointers, but don't forget, your local council's environmental department can also be contacted for help and advice.

Let's look at the problem as a whole, dealing with the insects themselves first. If the nest is near to your house, and being stung is a real threat, then you should think about destroying the wasps themselves.

Q. What's the best way to destroy wasps

A. A wasp nest starts off with very modest numbers, but by late summer there can be as many as 5,000 of them in the nest. Given their increased numbers - plus the fact that they become very busy and agitated as summer draws to a close - this is the time when they're most likely to sting.

One effective way to destroy wasps is to spray them with insecticide. On returning to the nest the wasps spread it around until it slowly kills off all the wasps.

Q. Is there a good time of day to destroy a colony of wasps

A. If you can locate the wasps' nest then you have a good chance of destroying the colony in one go.

Having found the nest during the day, when all the workers are out and about, (decreasing your chances of being stung), the best time to eliminate the colony is at night. The workers are resting at night and you should catch them unawares.

Take a torch and insecticide spray with you. Once at the hive, turn the torch on and shine the beam into the entrance. When the wasps begin swarming out make sure you spray them from a different position. The wasps will head towards the light rather than where the spray is coming from, further lessening your chances of being stung.

Q. What equipment do I need

A. Other than your torch and insecticide, make sure you're wearing thick clothing that reaches down to your wrists and ankles, as well as gloves and something to protect your eyes.

Q. What should I do with the nest after the wasps have been destroyed

A. It's very unusual for wasps to re-colonise a nest so there's really no need to do anything with it. Since it is made from organic material it will naturally decompose in time anyway.

To read more about how a wasp nest develops, click here.

Q. Can I do anything to stop wasps building a nest in future

A. Fertilised Queens start looking for nesting sites in the spring.

Start checking your garden and house around this time for obvious holes where a queen could start building a nest. If you find a nest already under construction, you need to destroy the wasps rather than the nest - as they will try to defend the nest.

Do you want to know about dealing with a natural pest Click here to ask.

by Lisa Cardy

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