Common Wasp and German Wasp (Vespula vulgaris, Vespula germanica)
Both Common and German Wasp are temperate species forming nests in soil banks, roof spaces, wall cavities and trees. Nests are formed of paper which wasps create by chewing wood. The nests may became very large. Wasp colonies only survive one season in UK. New ones are started each spring by overwintered queens. Wasps forage on wide range of foods including insects, spiders and sweet substances e.g. ripe fruit and nectar. May become aggressive if threatened.
Egg - larva - pupa - adult
Eggs - many thousands laid by wasp queen in hexagonal cells throughout spring and summer.
Larvae - legless grubs within cells fed by workers on chewed insects, spiders etc. develop in four weeks.
Pupae - develop in about 2 weeks within cell.
Adults - wasp workers are winged 10 - 20 milimetres long, in colour distinctive yeloow and black, queens are winged, similar colouration but larger.
Nuisance, potentially more serious if nest in close proximity or within buildings. Wasps are widely feared for their ability to sting which is painful and, very rarely, lethal. Potential disease transmission from feeding on rotting food materials. Also beneficial in killing many other garden insect pests.