Just so you know some basics about wasps first, put in a common language
Wasps in Scotland are usually active from about mid-April until the onset of cooler weather in the late autumn. A new wasp colony is started by one fertile wasp queen awaken from hibernation by the weather warming up in the spring. The wasp queen lays first eggs in a small single cell nest. These develop into infertile wasp female workers that emerge about 6 weeks later. While the queen continues laying eggs the wasp workers engage themselves in securing food for the young. The wasp nest grows fast. In mid-summer one wasp nest can count several thousands of wasps and be a size bigger than a football and it continues to grow throughout the wasp season. The rate at which it grows mainly depends on food availability in and around the location. The biggest wasp nest I have personally seen and treated for one of my customers was about the same size as me and I reckoned it had contained well over 10 000 wasps. Towards the end of summer and at the beginning of autumn the wasp queen starts producing different types of eggs that turn into male wasps that are called drones and new wasp queens. Their numbers vary from a few dozens to a few hundreds. The drones start dying off together with wasp workers when outside temperature steadily drops down. At around 5 C the wasp nest definitely declines. Wasp queens are the only ones that hibernate to overwinter. They seek crevices where they can be sheltered from adverse winter weather conditions. In spring wasp queens do not return to the old nests but they start new ones that are likely not to be far from the old ones.
Wasp Damage to Property
Throughout their lifespan wasps are nuisance and health hazard to people. Wasp damage to property by weakening its wooden structure is minor. It happens when wasps are collecting bits of wood that they use as a building material for their nest, mashed and mixed with wasp saliva.
Wasp Risk and Health Hazard to People
Wasps are aggressive by nature and they have the ability to inflict painful stings on people and on animals. A greater risk of being stung is for those who come in the vicinity of the nest. Wasps automatically assume that people and any large animals pose a risk to their nests and wasps do not hesitate to defend it. Unlike bees wasps can sting their victims multiple times without themselves dying. Wasps are known for possible disease transition as they often feed on rotting substances such as carcasses and waste. The wasp venom transferred to the wound generally causes swelling, irritation and pain.
To those that have so far been lucky and never been stung I can tell from my own experience there is nothing pleasant in a wasp sting
I had by then safely treated hundreds of wasp nests when I suddenly came down on my luck and got stung three times in a row. I remember it was in about weekly intervals and I was at that time working on a contract for North Lanarkshire Council. Despite on all the occasions I had personal protective equipment such as beekeepers jacket, hat, veil safety boots and gloves. The first incident was on entry to a garden shed. A small wasp nest was right above the door and I got stung in my head before I even got the chance to see it. My fault was I had taken my hat off for a second as it was obstructing my view in the cluttered garden shed. Apart from headache that took several hours to go away I was OK.
On the second instance I got stung through a textile top of my thick working glove when taking my insecticide application equipment apart having completed a wasp nest removal treatment. This time my hand swell so badly that it was double the normal size and it lasted so until the next day. Also it was quite painful.
The third time wasp sting happened while I was treating a wasp nest located in the ground. After things with wasps had gone wrong twice before I was making sure not to take the beekeepers hat and veil off my head for a single second when approaching and treating the nest. I also had two pairs of gloves on, thick builders gloves over thin latex ones and felt safe enough. What happened may seem anecdotical but you can believe me that it was no fun for me then at all. Totally unexpected a wasp flew into my trouser through its bottom. I wouldn’t say that it happened because my trousers were a loose fit. It simply was a triple bad luck. The only thing I could have done to prevent it would be placing elastic rubber bands round my ankles to make the trousers more wasp proof. But that could have happened with the jacket too. When I was later talking about this with other pest control technicians who knew my work was otherwise safe and reliable they all said that it was just a bad luck. Importantly, the consequences this time were worse. My leg started to swell immediately. I remember that happened somewhere about Airdrie or Plains and I went straight to a nearby pharmacy in Caldercruix to buy something for wasp sting. They did not have antihistamine but the pharmacist offered me other medication called Zirtec that was to help. Although only minutes had passed from the wasp sting my leg swell very badly and I could hardly bend it in the knee. Zirtec helped a bit so I was able to call it a day and drive my work van back home to Renfrewshire. It appeared that the more times I got stung the worse it was each time.
It would probably be foolish to expect human organism can build up some kind of immunity to the wasp venom after being stung more than once. And beware different people can have different reactions to a wasp sting ranging from a light swelling and irritation to an anaphylactic shock with the worst scenario being fatality.
Czechmate Pest Control has exclusive offers for wasp nest removal treatment featuring discount and bonus for our customers in south west and central Scotland. Same day wasp nest removal service by Czechmate Pest Control is now available across North Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Inverclyde, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.
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