Wasps – the common wasp – vespula vulgaris

There are quite a few different wasps in Britain but the main ones that we come into contact with is the common wasp – vespula vulgaris.

Features & Habits

Everyone is familiar with the appearance of a wasp, it is a very starkly coloured abdomen with black and yellow on it. It is usually seen in and around gardens, in fact anywhere where there is a food source.

Most often it is a great nuisance at food venues annoying diners and barbecuers alike. In August and late summer wasps can be especially troublesome as the nests disband and break up and the workers come out seeking the food source that they had become accustomed to while in the nest which is of a sweet sugary variety.


On occasions it is difficult to find nests in certain areas especially in rural pub beer gardens as wasps maybe homing in on the area if they have identified it as a food source, their nests could be many hundreds of metres away and therefore untraceable.

Their nests are easy to spot when hanging in trees and bushes or they can often be in mouse holes in the bankings and lawns or indeed in air vents or under the slates on houses. A good way to try and detect wasps nests is to watch their flight path after feeding and see which direction they go in, trying to keep track of them as they fly towards their nest.

How do we control them?

When a customer phones Assured Environmental Services we take their details and try to evaluate the extent of the problem through our conversation. At this point we shall also try to give an example of the possible cost involved. We arrange an appointment to visit the site and we can then fully assess and advise the problem. After this, with the customers’ agreement we can proceed with the work if they wish which we do so in a safe and effective manner.

We try to help by advising on conditions or actions that can be taken to promote a successful outcome of our treatment and help prevent the problem arising again.


Firstly, early in the season, many catering venues, schools, etc, we carry out work for, request us to put up a network of wasp traps. These can quickly catch and collect wasps when the nests are small in the early part of summer and therefore these worker wasps never return to the nests to inform the rest of the workers where a good food source has been found. They work very well in the early part of the season as wasp numbers are not too large at this point.

More often than not in most situations we are called out to houses and businesses to attend to a wasps nest that has been found in a tree, in the ground or often upon a property itself. We can always find a way of getting to the nest and treating it. We have many different pieces of equipment for this as well as ladders, cat ladders, etc.

We have never, to date, been beaten by a wasps nest. We have always treated it and provide a very fast response for customers who require it.

Before & after treatment advice

Prior to treatment avoid the area that the wasps nest is in, especially keep children out of the wasy as we all know how painful and dangerous wasp stings can be.

If they are on the house, shut windows to avoid accidental entry after the treatment has been carried out and remove washing from the area so that no insecticide can drift onto it.

After treatment keep people and pets out of the area for a couple of hours as wasps can often come buzzing down onto the floor and especially in summer when children may be running round barefoot, this could result in a sting which is what we have tried to avoid. Also, once the nest has been treated, killed off and activity has stopped, any excess dust can be washed away prior to reusing the area.

Interesting facts about wasps

Each wasps colony is started every year by a queen that has over-wintered from the previous autumn. A large wasps nest can contain up to 5-6,000 wasps.

Wasps are very closely related to ants.