How to identify wasps:
- Are they bright yellow with black stripes?
- Very smooth mainly yellow with black stripes?
- Are they in the roof of your house?
- Are they coming from a round nest in a tree?
- Is there a nest in the shed?
- Do they have a high pitched buzz?
- Are they interested in sweet sugary foods?
What should you do?
Beekeepers cannot help you with wasps. Please click on the link to contact your local council’s pest control services:
As predators, wasps are at the top of the food chain and without them food webs would break down. They help to keep other invertebrate populations, such as spiders, woodlice, and insects, in check. They’re also generalists: wasps will feed on whatever’s around. They eat the most abundant pests that we try to control with toxic chemicals – there’d be many more aphids in my garden without wasps. We don’t have good data on how much wasps eat, but a single colony is thought to remove somewhere between 0.16-23kg of prey per season. Using a modest estimate, that amounts to about 250,000 aphids from each colony.
Like a number of other insects such as butterflies, moths and flies, wasps are also pollinators of flowers and crops. Adult wasps don’t need much protein (1000the bugs they prey on are for the developing brood in the nest) but they do need sugar, which they get in the form of nectar from flowers. In the process of finding it, the wasps pick up and transfer pollen from flower to flower. Unlike many bees, wasps don’t mind what flowers they visit – as generalist pollinators they’re more abundant than bees in degraded or fragmented habitats and so are important ‘back-up’ pollinators in these areas.