You should take great care when dealing with wasps as they have a potent sting and can attack in large numbers if disturbed or threatened.
A lone wasp trapped indoors can be dealt with using a wasp & fly killer spray. If you are experiencing high numbers of wasps in your home or garden it is likely a wasp nest is nearby. When queen wasps come out of hibernation, normally in April, they search for sheltered places to build their nests, often making use of attics, wall cavities, roof spaces or under the eaves of domestic buildings, garden sheds, garages, thick hedges or trees. A single wasp nest may contain thousands of wasps which can attack if disturbed or provoked.
Wasp nests are made from chewed wood pulp and saliva, giving them their papery walls. A queen wasp will start to build a nest in the spring, beginning with a wasp nest about the size of a walnut but, as the first batch of workers hatch to form a colony, the size of the nest increases rapidly. By summer a mature wasp nest can contain between 4,000 – 6,000 individual wasps and typically can be 30 cm in width. The colony lasts one season, as the workers and male wasps cannot survive the winter. Old nests are not reused and they will not attract another colony of wasps so there is no need to remove them.
The risk from wasps is particularly high towards the end of summer – it is preferable to treat a wasp nest earlier in the year before wasps become more aggressive.
Getting rid of a Wasp Nest
To locate the wasp nest, watch the flight path of the returning wasps. If the nest is near your home, keep adjacent doors and windows closed. If you suspect the nest is in the loft, take great care when entering the roof space as the wasps may see this as an aggressive threat to their nest.
Do not attempt DIY wasp nest treatment if you suspect you are sensitive to wasp stings, if the wasp nest is indoors or difficult to access. Wasps can be dangerous when agitated – if in any doubt, seek professional, expert help.