What are black and yellow and disliked by all? Answer: Wasps.
They ruin outdoor dining and socialising, they are really annoying and get in your face, and, of course, they sting.
So we all pretty much hate them. Undeservedly to some extent, as they can't help it.
And, as annoying as they are, wasps are very beneficial and interesting insects, with a highly developed social structure. Wasps also do a really good job in your garden - they cross pollinate flowers and kill aphids - wasps work really hard during their short lives and maybe deserve a break from their status as the creature we most like to eliminate.
If we could stop them pestering us, our children, our elderly relatives, our dogs and cats, and keep them well away from us all, we could live in harmony with them, albeit at a distance.
Until now, you could either use horrible chemical wasp traps which eventually kill the wasps, or put up with wasps buzzing all around you as you eat, drink, play, or just sit outdoors. There were no products which would repel wasps and just make them go away, the only products available were designed to kill wasps.
Traditional wasp traps firstly attract wasps (as if you needed that), and then trap and kill some of them using either toxic chemicals or messy bait. Then the wasp trap has to be cleaned out of the dead and dying wasps and the sticky residue of bait or poison. This process is messy, unpleasant, unkind to the environment, unkind to the wasp trap cleaner, and especially unkind to wasps.
The best alternative advice was always to sit still and wait for them to go away, however, if you've ever been stung, this is much, much, easier said than done even for adults, let alone toddlers and children and cats and dogs. It also doesn'st stop them going in your drink or buzzing around your food.
Waspinator is a wasp repellent which creates a wasp free area large enough to eat, drink, socialise, or play, without the use of harmful poisons and without killing or harming any wasps. It is a natural and ecologically friendly product which will get rid of wasps without harming them.
If you use a couple of Waspinators strategically placed you can clear wasps from the areas you wish to use, and reduce the number of painful and unpleasant encounters you have with wasps, and vice-versa, and you won't upset the ecological balance in your garden.
Generally you are unlikely to get a wasp sting until Autumn, unless you accidentally put your hand or foot on one and they are defending themselves, or unless you disturb a wasps nest.
Up until late July and early August they are busy bringing up and feeding larval wasps, chasing insects, and foraging for food and maintenance materials for the wasps nest.
After that their job is mainly done and they gorge themselves on the food they collect, especially on ripe and fermenting fruit; they become more and more dependent on sweet foodstuffs like these and will aggressively seek it out.
Additionally it will be getting hot and very crowded in the nest; the internal temperature of the nest is 5 - 10ºC above the outside temperature, so on a good summer day it can reach 25 's 30ºC inside the nest. On top of this the nest's population is at its highest.
It is at this time when they are most likely to sting humans, partly due to bad tempers caused by the heat and overcrowding in the nest, and partly in a semi-drunken reaction to being obstructed in their quest for sweet food.
There are two main species of wasp found in the UK and Europe, Waspinator is designed to repel wasps from both species.
These are the Common Wasp (Vespula Vulgaris), followed by the German Wasp (Vespula Germanica), both of which build aerial wasp nests, and also nest in cavities in trees, walls and buildings, and also can burrow nests into the ground. All of these wasps' nests tend to be difficult to find as they are built in safe secure places to protect the wasps which live in them.
The Tree Wasp (Dolichovespula Sylvestris) is also quite common and very aggressive. The Norwegian Wasp (Dolichovespula Norwegica) is less common in the southern half of Britain but is a common species in Scotland.
The largest species is the Hornet (Vespa Crabro), and, until recently, was mostly a southern species which nested in hollow trees or in buildings, but with the recent series of mild winters, it is being found much further north, and is increasingly found throughout the England and Wales.
There are reports in the southern UK of an invasion by Dolichovespula Wasps from warmer European climes, dubbed the Eurowasp. This species is rather larger than the Common and German Wasps, and has a more painful sting.
The differences between all these wasp species are fairly small other than size, they are all black and yellow, and they all sting.
And Waspinator works on them all.
Some wasps found in very hot climates are not territorial. Paper Wasps (Polistes) and Olive Wasps, for example, found in Southern Spain, Greece, the Middle East and other very hot climates, are such species - additionally these wasps build very different nests. Some species in these climates do not build nests at all.
Waspinator generally will not work on these species, although we have anecdotal evidence that sometimes it does, such is nature, we think they see it as a hornets nest and hornets are predators to these species.
Waspinator is designed to mimic the wasps nest of the German and the Common Wasp, which are the most common species to be found in the UK, Europe, and the Northern Hemisphere, and Waspinator will be hugely effective in all these areas..
It should be said that we are dealing with nature here, so you might get the odd short sighted, stupid, or kamikaze wasp, but it really nearly always works.
Throughout Winter, the queen wasp hibernates in a cocoon, or golf ball sized hibernation cell, having been fertilised by male wasps before hibernation.
In Spring the fertilised queen wasp emerges from hibernation and looks for a suitable nesting site to build her colony. The old wasps nest and hibernation cells are never used again.
She starts to make a basic nest built from chewed wood pulp and plant debris, mixed with saliva. She begins by constructing a single layer and works outwards until she reaches the edges of the nest. Then she constructs a stalk to which she attaches several cells in which she lays eggs.
These eggs will develop into sterile females or workers.
The queen initially raises the first sets of eggs herself, until enough worker wasps exist to maintain the rest of her offspring and to build the rest of the wasps nest without her assistance. All the queen does from then on is to lay more eggs. During July she will have produced enough worker wasps for them to completely take over the maintenance of the nest and the feeding of the eggs.
During Autumn, the eggs develop into males, and into fertile females, they leave the nest, and mate. The fertilised females, or new queens, then hibernate in cocoons until the next Spring, to start the life cycle again.
Meanwhile, the founder queen, the males, and all the workers die, and the original nest becomes deserted.
It is when all the eggs have been fed and developed that the foraging wasps begin to be a nuisance to us, as their job in life is now done and they retain the food they collect themselves, and often get a little drunk on the fermented fruit they gorge on.
Some would say fair enough reward for all the hard work they do in their short lives, but if you have ever been stung you may reserve judgement on this issue.
How to know if you have a wasp nest
Look around the eaves of your house, in the upper areas of your garage, in your attic or roof space, in crevices.
Up to May, a wasp nest will only be between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball. From June to July it can grow up to the size of a football or rugby ball, after that it can grow right up to size of a medicine ball or even larger. The biggest wasp nest we heard of was the size of an armchair with an estimated population of 30,000 wasps.
It will be either grey or straw in colour depending on the wood pulp used to build it, and it will have dark and light swirls, or striations around it.
If you can't find one externally but believe you have a nest in or around your house, look carefully for wasps going in and out of any small holes in the structure of your property. If you can see activity every few seconds, you probably have a wasp nest inside the cavity.
If you just can't bear it, if you are allergic to wasp stings, if the wasps are getting inside your house, or are being a real nuisance, our reluctant but firm advice remove the wasp nest as a problem by having it professionally treated. We advise you not to try to destroy the wasp nest on your own as this can be very dangerous, there are typically thousands of inhabitants of the average wasp nest.
Most good pest controllers will treat the nest by killing its inhabitants, but will leave the structure of the wasp nest in place, as this will deter other wasps from nesting there (a Waspinator will do exactly the same job if this hasn't happened).
If you want to leave the wasp nest alone but not be bothered by the wasps, place a Waspinator where you want to be wasp free and they will go somewhere else, they are used to travelling quite long distances to forage.
If a wasp nest is very close to the area you wish to use for human activity, the wasps from this nest may regard that area as their own territory and may get close enough to the Waspinator to use their sense of smell to realise that it isn't real. In this instance, if the Waspinator is not working effectively, you may need to resort to dealing with the wasp nest. After this has been done, the Waspinator will protect you from wasps from another colony, and will give you a Wasp Free Zone to enjoy.
If you already have a live wasp nest in your loft or garage you will almost certainly need to get a pest control company to destroy the wasp nest, as the wasps will see this space as their territory and will get close enough to a Waspinator to sense that it isn't real.
After that is done, a Waspinator will help prevent wasps from other colonies from seeing the space as a good place to nest, and is not as unsightly as a real wasp nest.
If you are siting a Waspinator for this purpose during late very Autumn, Winter, or very early Spring, you must make sure that there are no Queens in hibernation in the space. Their cocoons can be quite hard to spot, they are in between golf ball and tennis ball size, will be grey, silver, or straw colour, and can be burrowed down into lagging or tucked away into corners and crevices.
Once the Queen starts building her nest she, and the inhabitants, will see that area as their territory and Waspinator will pose much less of a threat to them.
Grubs need a diet mostly of protein and they are fed on insect prey brought in by foraging workers.
The workers need mainly energy foods such as carbohydrates, and so favour nectar and sweet substances such as fresh and processed fruits.
The queen is fed on a mixture of nectar, fruit, and meat juices.
By Autumn the larval wasps are fully fed and brought up, and the workers retain all the food they collect for themselves. They become increasing keen for sweet foodstuffs such as fruit and man made sweets and drinks, and can become drunk as a result of over consumption of ripe and fermenting fruit.
This is when they are at their most annoying, and when we are most likely to get a wasp sting.
The number of wasps in late Summer and Autumn depends on the number of new queens which survive the Winter, and the weather in Spring when the new queens are trying to start their new colonies.
A large number of new queens surviving the Winter will mean more competition for nest sites in spring, so the surviving queens will be in poorer condition and therefore fewer offspring will be produced in each nest.
A bad Spring means that many new nests will be destroyed, so fewer wasps are produced overall.
The best conditions for large wasp population numbers, and therefore the worst conditions for us in terms of wasp nuisance, are a dry and warm Spring, and fewer surviving new queens due to a cold and late Winter.
The new colonies will then be successful, producing large numbers of wasps. A single wasp nest will have thousands of inhabitants.
Social wasp species are aggressive and will defend the territory around their nests. The size of the territory will depend on the species and the size of the colony. Most species will respond to movement over 20 feet away.
If a member of one wasp colony approaches the nest of another colony, that wasp will be aggressively chased away, or attacked and killed. Consequently wasps instinctively know not to go near a wasp nest that is not their own, for fear of being attacked and killed, and this is how Waspinator repels them.
When they see a Waspinator they think it's an enemy nest and they fly away to somewhere else where they don't feel threatened.
Wasps are very visual insects. They depend on a keen sense of sight to catch moving prey.
They are less good with static objects especially from a distance.
In a similar way to the Waspinator fooling them into thinking it is a real enemy nest, orchids mimic female wasps in appearance and smell to elicit copulating behaviour by the male wasp and thereby pollination of the orchid.
Wasps can recognise each other's faces and bodies, not just through chemical communication (releasing pheromones), their faces are far more different than you'd expect.
In a study by Cornell University, the researcher painted wasps' faces and abdomens, altering their yellow markings. Put back in the nest, these painted wasps were the victims of considerable aggression. "Wasps did not immediately recognize the alleged intruders, and fights among former friends broke out," the researcher said. Normally, real invaders are mauled and killed.
Wasps respond to their environment based on visual stimuli, thus an artificial wasp nest like the Waspinator will be perceived as a competitor and threat, and will be avoided.
Wasps have several ways of communicating, including chemical, mechanical and visual signals, as well as situational cues.
For example a forager wasp who returns with a load of water might have the water unloaded by a worker wasp right away. That tells the forager there is a high demand for water, and she might decide to get more water immediately. If the forager has to wait with her cargo for a minute or two, she might deduce that there is no pressing need for water, and not depart to forage right away, or to go and forage for something else.
Workers/defenders will aggressively defend their nest by stinging anything causing a disturbance. They can sting repeatedly. The venom of a wasp sting contains a pheromone which acts as an alarm causing other wasps to become more aggressive when a wasp has stung something or been killed. So it is a bad idea to swat a wasp near its nest.
Wasps are not normally aggressive to humans, but as a result of overcrowding and temperature in the nest, they can become so.
The internal temperature of a wasp's nest is 5 - 10ºC above the outside temperature. When outside temperatures reach 25 's 30ºC the temperature inside a wasp nest can be very high indeed.
In late Summer/early Autumn when the workers's job is done, they gorge themselves on the food they collect, especially sweet foodstuffs like fruit, and often gets drunk when the fruit is fermenting.
Consequently, on a hot day, when the nest has more than a thousand inhabitants, and a foraging wasp has had a little too much fruit and nectar, he will be bad tempered, hot and bothered, slightly the worse for wear, and may well react badly when being prevented from tasting your cola, beer, or wine, or from sampling your barbecue or picnic.
In the absence of effective wasp Asbos, Waspinator is the only thing which will make them go away, if only to next door's.
Some species carry a version of insect pepper spray in their heads which they use if they are losing a particularly violent fight , so if chasing, biting, stinging, and full on fighting hasn't worked, as a last resort they spray their opponent to incapacitate them.
This is why foraging wasps will actively avoid going near the nest of another colony, life is too short anyway, and they have work to get on with.
It is best to avoid killing wasps as they emit a pheromone when dying which acts as a signal to other wasps that they are under attack and so they will come to the wasp you have just killed to see if they can help him.
Wasps like bright colours and strong scents, and often will drink moisture from wet towels and clothes, so be careful in handling them.
Don't walk barefoot at picnics.
If you can, keep still; flapping human arms look quite interesting to wasps.
If you can't, get a Waspinator.
The sting is the cause of our fear of wasps. Unlike a bee sting, the wasp sting has no barbs and can be used many times.
Pain from a wasp sting is caused by a complex protein injected through the sting as it penetrates the skin.
Individuals react differently: some are hardly affected, others experience pain and swelling, while in other cases, individuals may suffer serious allergic reactions which can even result in death from anaphylactic shock.
There are many proprietary remedies for wasp stings, which are available from chemists and supermarkets.
Ancient remedies are those such as a plaster made from wild mallow leaves, bay oil, vinegar and salt mixed with honey, and goose dung!
What you should always do:
Wasps can damage soft fruit, but ripening apples and pears won't usually be affected unless first damaged by birds or caterpillars.
They can be a nuisance in houses when food is being cooked or eaten, especially where sweet foodstuffs are being prepared.
Wasps can also be a serious pest to bees. In Spring worker wasps will attack and carry off foraging worker bees, and later in the year they will take honey bee grubs, and pupae.
They are an absolute pest for humans when trying to dine or socialise outdoors.
Wasps will gnaw into wooden furniture, wooden beams, and anything they can get building materials from.
If you park your car under a Yew Tree (speaking from experience) the sap will drop onto your car and wasps will think you've laid on a buffet for them.
You may get 30 or 40 wasps grazing on your sappy paintwork and they will cling on until 3rd gear.
A Waspinator does look a bit funny hung from a car aerial.
Many insects preyed upon by wasps are garden pests, and in this respect wasps help to regulate pest populations, and to prevent potential damage to garden plants.
Consequently wasps are beneficial insects. They feed their young on a wide range of invertebrates which cause damage to plants and flowers, such as aphids and caterpillars.
They also visit flowers and therefore help in pollination.
Thus, wherever possible, it is good to leave wasp's nests undisturbed in order to encourage the natural control of pests, and to reduce the need for insecticide treatments.
This will save money and will help to protect wildlife and your garden environment from unnecessary exposure to pesticide contamination.
If you have had wasp nests previously in your house, garage, or garden, the use of a Waspinator from early Spring will deter the queen from choosing that spot to build her new nest as she will think it has already been taken, and will go somewhere else.
To discourage them through Summer and Autumn keep rubbish bins tightly shut and bag any sweet foodstuffs and drinks before putting them in the bin. Keep rubbish areas clean.
Use straws and lids on any drinks taken outside. Or don't eat or drink outside at all.
Or get a Waspinator.
For particularly bad wasp problems use more than one Waspinator.
In the Rocky Mountains of Canada and Northern America, people often hang a Waspinator from all four corners of their house, to create a Wasp Fence around them.
Wasps often take the same route to and from food sources, a sort of wasp motorway. If you have a nest nearby and want protection from it, you can often observe the route they are taking, and by strategically siting a Waspinator or two you can make them change their route to avoid areas where you don't want to be buzzed.
See section above on What to do if you have a wasp nest in your loft or garage.
There was a whole chapter of Alice in Wonderland devoted to A Wasp in a Wig.
It was deleted on the advice of the editor.
No bad thing really, it wasn't very good.
No, not Hillary Clinton, but a 60'ss B-movie about wasp royal jelly being discovered to have even greater rejuvenating powers than bees'. An evil cosmetic scientist captures all the queen wasps and promises the weak willed anti heroine eternal youthful looks if she funds his research. Inevitably she overdoses on the jelly, turns into a giant wasp, and kills everyone. And there's a lesson in that for all of us.back to top
A science fiction novel set in the future based on psychological war between two planets. One planet recruits an insurgent agent to try and break the other planet'ss government's hold over their citizens and create enough civil unrest that they themselves become their own worst enemies.
The theme for the film is set when the insurgent takes the form of a wasp, flies into a car driven by 4 big strong men. They all panic and try to swat him, including the driver who misses him, but crashes into a tree as a result, killing all four passengers.
This is meant to be an analogy about big power and control can be unsettled by small actions, but frankly, a wasp in a car is your worst nightmare anyway. Except for a wasp in your crash helmet, according to Graham.
An eighties metal band led by Blackie Lawless, ex the New York Dolls. WASP was an acronym for We Are Sexual Perverts (sorry). Or it could have been What A Superb Performance. Probably not We Are Sensible People.
A Marvel Comic figure, the daughter of a professor who was killed by an alien. She teamed up with his assistant who turns out to be Ant Man. She can shrink to wasp size, grow wings and antennae, and can communicate with other insects. Not sure what about. Oh and she can fire bio-electric blasts from her hands. Just like real wasps. They were founder members of The Avengers (not the Steed and Mrs Peel version).
By Aristophones and too complicated and a bit off the wall to go into in detail here, but about power, corruption, abuse, and dancing. Imitated by Racine'ss les Plaideurs. So that's OK then.
If you want a loyal hard working and trustworthy companion with whom you could form a long-lasting, uncomplicated, thrifty, and slightly beneficial relationship, what could be better than a wasp?
Don't just go for a pretty face or a nice figure, take a scientific approach, Although nearly all wasps are friendly, enigmatic and playful, the ideal wasp is the social wasp, Vespula, although you will have to choose between a vulgar one and a German one.
Once you've got him or her, you can take them out for a drink or a bite to eat, or an ice lolly if it's hot. They like barbecues, sandwiches, fruit, well pretty much anything except vegetables really. Bit like my children.
They like being waved at, and often take this as an invitation to share your food or drink.
You have to watch out for them when they become teenagers (late September), they get a bit tired and grouchy, often get drunk and go to sleep in places they shouldn't, and definitely don't like being woken up.
Most products that act as a wasp remedy involve either trapping or killing them, using either toxic chemicals or messy bait to attract them.
Chemical Sprays are terrible for the environment and they kill wasps, which play an important role in nature.
If you read the label on chemical sprays, it says to keep away from children, dogs, cats, animals, water sources, and so on.
Wasp traps involve a disgusting cleaning up process. Also, dead and dying wasps produce pheromones, which attract more wasps as a panic signal that they are under attack.
The Waspinator is an environmentally safe deterrent. It'ss a scarecrow for wasps. It doesn't hurt or kill them, they don't bother you, and they carry on doing good things in your garden.
Random Wasp Facts
Most wasps are female, male wasps are only used for one thing (!) and then they die, straight afterwards
Only female wasps can sting and female wasps do all the work
Male wasps (drones) are slow and sluggish and like to take naps - they lie in empty cells with their tails sticking out
Drones occasionally help to feed the larvae, and do a fair job in tidying and cleaning the house/nest
Wasps only sting humans as a defence mechanism
The worst thing to do is to swat at a wasp - 1. See above
The worst thing to do is to swat at a wasp – 2. When a wasp is swatted it emits a panic signal that will attract other wasps to see what is going on
You can’t run faster than a wasp can fly
Wasps are attracted by bright colours although they can’t see red so that is a good colour to wear in the garden
They also like sweet smells so don’t wear perfume
They also need salt, so use antiperspirant, guys
Wasps can recognise kith and kin both visually and by smell
There are 20,000 species of wasp in the World but in the UK we primarily have 2 – the German Wasp and the Common Wasp
Our wasps are social wasps – they build colonies with social order and specific roles (the Queen, workers, drones, defenders)
Wasps are fantastic architects – the nests are complex structures that typically are home to many thousands of inhabitants
Nests can be aerial or burrowed into the ground
Wasps never re-use a nest
In late summer their nests are overcrowded and up to 10 degrees hotter than outside – this is one reason they can be a bit bad tempered in August
Wasps communicate with each other by emitting pheromones – in this way they can tell their compatriots where food is or alert the nest to intruders
Wasps do play a role in our eco system – they cross-pollinate flowers and plants and they kill aphids and caterpillars
Wasps don’t generally bother us humans until late summer – until then they are too busy foraging for building materials and food for the colony
They will fly for up to 1,000 yards to forage for food and building materials
In late summer their work is done, and their taste changes from protein to sweet stuff – overindulgence on ripe fruit can lead to it fermenting inside them with a resultant hangover and bad attitude
Wasp colonies die off almost completely as winter draws on – a handful of fertilised female wasps leave the nest to find somewhere warm and dry and quite to hibernate over winter, these are next year’s Queens
Queens are larger and more beautiful than the other wasps, more brightly coloured and with different marking
The Queens will come out of hibernation early April, they will build the first few cells of the new nest and lay their eggs
When these eggs hatch the new wasps will take over the construction of the nest and will bring food back for the eggs the Queen continues to lay, then those eggs hatch and so the colony grows. And grows. And grows.
The largest nest found in recent years was in a pub attic in Southampton, it was the size of a large armchair and contained up to half a million wasps. The beer garden was a bit risky to have a drink in