There are many myths about how to eradicate wasp and hornet nests, most of which are wrong.
The nests should be approached with extreme caution. Multiple stings can be very dangerous.
Wasps have a very powerful sting and readily use it to defend the nest or themselves. Unlike bees, which are quite passive, wasps can be very aggressive.
Our treatment will involve a single visit and the problem is usually eradicated within 24 hours. If there is still a problem after 36 hrs then I will return and re treat the problem.
Wasps do not sting unless they have reason, so avoid swatting or squashing as a chemical is released which signals other wasps to attack. In areas where there is likely to be wasp activity, i.e. picnics in late summer, avoid wearing bright colours, perfumes and other strong scents, do not walk around bare-footed, and take care handling wet material as wasps are known to drink moisture from towels and clothes etc.
Wasps do not normally sting unless frightened or in defense of their nests. This habit increases as the insects become more irritable with the onset of cooler weather and the ingestion of fermenting, overripe fruit juices.
The sting is caused by the injection of venom into the victim. Wasp stings can be treated with a cold compress and antihistamine creams applied within 20 minutes of stinging.
A suitable antiseptic cream should also be rubbed into the skin to prevent infection. Multiple stings can have a dangerous cumulative effect, hence the need for caution. Seek medical advice promptly.
Insect stings in the mouth or throat may cause swelling leading to asphyxia. To reduce swelling, suck ice and seek immediate medical advice.
In general, wasps are regarded as nuisance pests or a threat to health. Many thousand individuals are often to be found associated with each nest and can cause alarm when present in significant numbers. As the larval rearing is reduced, the workers search for sweet substances (causing damage to ripening fruit) and can become a significant nuisance in the home. They cause a nuisance when they enter kitchens, bakeries and other premises handling sweet aromatic materials. Foodstuffs can be contaminated and staff will be disturbed or even stung. Where wasp densities are high and a real threat is perceived, production in workplaces can be halted.
They are social insects, forming colonies inside nests specially constructed in soil banks, roof spaces and in cavities in trees and walls. They are, therefore, frequently associated with domestic housing.
The need to collect wood to construct nests means that wasps may damage the wooden fabric of buildings, fences and even perhaps garden furniture. Wasps are a particular nuisance at the end of the summer when the workers are freed of the need to collect food for their young and can indulge their passion for sweet materials.