The Wasp (Hymenoptera)
The hornet belongs to the wasp family Vespidae, and is the largest social wasp in Britain. Measuring between 30 and 40mm long these formidable looking creatures have quite a scary reputation, but are actually thought to be quite docile creatures that only attack when defending their nest. Their large stingers are considered no more painful than those of smaller wasps, and they are mainly used to attack insect prey, which they chew up and feed to their larvae.
These often misunderstood creatures are also great to have in your garden, as they feed mainly on the insects and pests that ruin vegetables, flowers and plants. Adults have also been known to eat spiders, and queens eat treesap and nectar while egg laying or preparing for hibernation.
Hornets appear similar to common wasps but are much larger, and chestnut brown and yellow in colour. Like the smaller common wasp their colouring and pattern serves as a warning to predators that they are venomous. Hornets are social insects that live together in 'papery' nests – these are often built in tree hollows, although some have been found in wall cavities and guttering. They are constructed mainly from rotten wood and wood shavings, which the hornets chew up with saliva into a pliable pulp that can be easily moulded.
The lifecycle of a hornet is similar to that of a wasp, and is quite fascinating. In winter female hornets hibernate – the majority don't survive the winter period but the ones that do emerge in spring and become new queens. They begin nest building and lay eggs that hatch into female workers, who then take over the nest building. As the building continues the queen lays both male and female eggs, which hatch and mate in summer. After summer the workers and males die, and the females go into hibernation again.
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Appearance: Similar to a wasp although much larger and darker brown and yellow in colour, rather than black and yellow.
Size: Queens can reach sizes of 40mm, while workers are smaller measuring 18 - 25mm and males (drones) measure 21 – 28mm.
Lifespan: Queens live for around one year, while workers survive for 3 – 4 weeks.
Diet: Mainly insects and spiders. The queen will also eat nectar, treesap and windfall fruit to supplement her diet. Yellow Jackets/Wasp mainly eat spiders and insects. They will also feed on human food, especially meats and sweets, unlike Bees, Wasps do not make honey or store food.
Habitat: Yellow Jackets/Wasp like to be where humans live. They usually build their nests underground, around garbage and in cool, dark spaces. They also build nests in trees, shrubs and in holes in walls. Most Yellow Jacket/Wasp colonies only remain active for one year. Then the queen flies off to start a new colony. The remaining bees die in the fall and the nest is abandoned. Look for Yellow Jacket/Wasp nests during the day, because you can see them flying in and out, but destroy nests at night, when they are dormant and all there.
Impact: Wasps help farmers by eating pests that can destroy crops. They are dangerous because they can sting multiple times, injecting venom into the host. For most people a Yellow Jacket/Wasp sting just causes a welt and temporary pain, but their sting can cause allergic reactions to people sensitive to this venom.
Identifying Hornets & Wasps:
The bright yellow and black striping of wasps and hornets is a warning pattern that has been mimicked by many insects to take advantage of the deterrent effect of appearing wasp like. These harmless mimics include hover-flies, day moths (such as the Ash Borer) and beetles that visit flowers to feed on pollen and nectar.
The wasps most often encountered in the UK are the Common or Social Wasp and the German Wasp. As well as distinctive black and yellow stripes, wasps have two pairs of wings (the hind wings being smaller than the fore wings) and tend to be less hairy than bees. Their eyes are kidney shaped and their bodies are more pointed than bees, with a noticeable waist. Only female wasps have the long distinctive stinger, which they can use repeatedly unlike bees.
Yellow Jackets/Wasp in Liverpool and Merseyside eat spiders and insects. They will also feed on human food, especially meats and sweets. Unlike Bees, Wasps do not make honey or store food.
Prevention: Wasp and Hornet swarms are dangerous - if in any doubt, seek professional, expert help.Liverpool Wasp Control - Pest Control offers a same day call-out service to safely destroy Hornets and Wasps Nests within your home or garden. The service is fast, effective and affordable at a fixed price of £35.00 for the first nest and £10.00 for any additional nest.
Wasp Control: It is very important that you call in Pest Control experts to handle the infestation in a safe and effective way. Wasp Control Manchester can help get your wasp infestation under control, and help you to maintain an environment that is wasp-free. Whatever problem you are facing, Wasp Control Manchester have the necessary equipment to deal with it in a professional way.
Wasp Control Experts: Our team are highly trained pest controllers, and are able to deal with many types of wasp infestations or problems. We treat wasps nets at a fixed price of £35.00, with a same day service. Each additional nest will be treated at a cost of £10.00 per nest. We have perfected our highly effective methods for eradicating Wasp.
Contact Wasp Control Manchester provide a safe and reliable wasps control service to help you deal with wasp problems.