Chat show stars Richard and Judy pondered in their latest Daily Express column ‘Whither the Wandering Wasp’ about what happens to the wasps who were away from a nest located on their patio when the Rentokil man paid a visit.
To answer their question, Rentokil use a powder insecticide which will kill any wasps returning to the nest, thus allowing Richard and Judy to sip Pimm’s in peace.
Tweeters have been venting their frustration about wasps on UKWaspWatch this week. Reports have been flooding in from people having their sandwiches attacked or being chased down the street by a persistent wasp.
From spring to early summer wasps are predators, catching insects and spiders to the grubs which develop in the nest. During late summer queens stop laying eggs. The worker wasps are freed from their daily chores of nest building and infant nursing, but suddenly must fend for themselves; the larval wasps also feed the workers. The tiny, narrow waist of an adult wasp prohibits it from eating solid food, as it can’t pass through the constricted abdomen. The larvae produce a highly concentrated, nutritious liquid that the workers lick from the mouths of the larvae.
With the larvae all grown up, the worker wasps turn their attention to sweet food stuffs. They do not have the sucking mouthparts of a bee and must ingest their food by licking, which why your ice lolly or fizzy drink is so appealing. In late summer wasps can also get drunk off fermented fruit, and it is then when they are most likely to sting.
Some wasps can become persistent and aggressive scavengers around human food. If large numbers of wasps are bothering you, watch to see where the wasps are coming from and you may have a nest close-by like Richard and Judy.