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Do we need wasps, or are they just pests?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Most people don't mind bees buzzing around. After all, they play a very important role in the environment through pollination - and they will not attack a human unless they feel very threatened. Wasps, on the other hand, are seen as greater aggressors.

Wasps have a more ear-penetrating buzz than bees and the females readily and repeatedly sting people with their stinger. The stinger contains venom and it cannot become detached like a bee's stinger, so wasps do not die after an attack. Some ethologists believe that this is the reason why wasps are more aggressive than bees; because they know they won't die.

Common types of wasp in the UK

In the UK, there are two commonly found wasp species. These are the Vespula Vulgaris and Vespula germanica, or the Common and German wasp. They have a yellow and black body and they vary in size from 12 to 17mm. Their lifecycle is different to bees, in that the males and workers (sterile females) die in the winter, leaving only a young Queen who'll lay eggs over spring. Workers emerge over the summer and take over nest building duty.

Hornets are also a type of wasp. They are larger than the Common and German wasp and can grow to more than an inch in length. Thankfully, they are not as aggressive towards humans as their smaller brethren, and they only really become aggressive when trapped, such as indoors. However, hornets do attack bees, and as a result it is in our best interests to keep hornet numbers down so that bee numbers can grow.

Do we need wasps?

Taking into account their aggressive nature, wasps can be problematic for humans.

However, they are not pointless creatures.

Wasps, like bees, pollinate plants during the summer. They are far less effective because they have no fur, but they still pollinate their fair share of plants all the same. More importantly, wasps are predatory insects. They feed on a wide range of invertebrates including spiders, ants, green flies and midges. As a result they keep the population of these right down, and that's a good thing. However, wasps also attack bees and hornets will infiltrate and decimate a bee hive given the opportunity, and that's a problem.

As such, if you find a wasp's nest or hornets' nest in or near your home, it is advisable that you contact a pest control company such as ourselves. We offer effective wasp nest control in Berkshire, in the form of termination. Call us on 01635 250 852 for a free quote.

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