Wasps - Elite Pest Control Ltd

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Wasps or Honey Bees? Many people confuse Wasps with Honey Bees. Our pest control technicians know the difference and provide safe wasp nest extermination throughout Canterbury. 

If you see a huge group flying it will be Honey Bees. This is because Wasps do not normally swarm in clusters the same way as Honey Bees do. The only time that they will appear to swarm is when the nest has either been treated or the entrance has been blocked and the foraging wasps are trying to get back into the nest.

Yellow and Black or Black and Yellow?

It can be difficult to distinguish them in flight, but Wasps have distinct yellow and black lines, whereas Honey Bees have more blended yellow and black lines. Unlike Honey, Bees, Wasps often build nests in the ground. Wasps are aggressive and will sting you if their nest is disturbed. 30 stings or more can be deadly and the effect of wasp stings is accumulative, i.e. the more stings you receive the worst your reaction will be.

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A large Wasp nest under a house

Common Mistakes People Make.

  • Pouring petrol or diesel down the hole. 
  • Setting fire to the nest. 
  • Blocking the access hole. Wasps in houses, that have had the entrances blocked will usually chew their way out to the inside of the house. 
  • Digging up the nest. 

These attempts at wasp pest control do not work and may make it more difficult to carry out wasp nest removal by our professional pest technicians.

Why Get Rid of  European Wasps?

European Wasps were accidentally introduced into Hamilton, among aircraft parts, during the 1940s and are now well established throughout NZ. In more recent years the common wasp, a much more aggressive species, appears to be well established and in some cases has taken over. 

Young Queens are raised in the Autumn and after mating with the drones they hibernate in groups or individually. Except for the newly emerged young Queens, all of the community, including the old Queens die in Autumn. Queens are evident in the Spring as they emerge from hibernation and start to build their own nests, lay their eggs and tend their brood. As worker and drone numbers increase the Queen retires from work to become an egg-laying machine, losing her ability to fly.

Wasps are the flying tigers of the insect world. Wood fibre (pulp) is scraped off trees, mixed with saliva and used to construct ever more cells and the nest envelope. Worker wasps make 50-80 visits per hour throughout the day. The normal foraging radius for food is 50-150 metres, very occasionally 1-2 miles. Tending to the brood 24 hours a day, wasps literally work themselves to death. The average lifespan of a worker is 8-16 days. 

Nests can measure from just a few centimetres up to 2 metres or more. Nest can have several hundred to tens of thousands of cells. Nests are continually enlarged and cells are cleaned and reused over and over. Cell size seems to be a determining factor in the production of Queens. Nest temperature is maintained at 28-32o degrees and hives are often used for several seasons before being deserted. 

Once vacated, a hive will never be used again. Wasp migrations in any one year are on average 15km. Up to 30km have been recorded. There are 4-5 stages of larval development before the larval seals itself into the cell upside down. 6-8 days later the pupa turns into an adult wasp.

The average time for each stage is 6-8 days. Full cycle 23-29 days. Up to 8,000 Queens are produced in just one hive in one year, ensuring that the wasp population can sustain mortality rates of 99.9% and still continue to expand. Spring weather seems to be a major factor influencing the survival of Queens and consequently the number of wasps each season. Un-fertilised eggs are always male workers. 

Both proteins and carbohydrates form important parts of the wasp’s very comprehensive diet. Flies, spiders, caterpillars, dead birds and animals are decimated and reduced to fluids before being fed to the brood larvae. Nectar, honeydew, sugars and fruit also provide a prime food and energy supply. Wasps’ wings beat 35-75 times per second.

Wasps can sting, again and again, bees only once leaving the sting behind. Wasps are now having a devastating effect on our NZ environment, destroying and driving out bees, significantly reducing pollination, depriving native birds and lizards of their normal insect diet and thus creating a huge imbalance in the NZ ecosystem. Wasps numbers of up to 50,000 per hectare have been recorded here in NZ.

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Gary treating a Wasp entrance hole

We treat a wasp nest with residual powder and the nest will be dead within a few hours after treatment. As well as wasp pest control, our experienced professional Elite Pest Control technicians provide a comprehensive range of pest eradication services. Talk to us today about borer treatment, fly removal, ant control and rabbit removal as well as the best mice removal and rat control methods.