Wasp and Bee Nest Treatment Information
Wasp Nest Treatment Information
Wasp nest treatments are carried out by injecting either an insecticide powder or liquid directly into the nest or the entrance holes the insects are using if the nest is nor visible. (powder only)
Full extermination of all wasps inside the nest can be immediate or take up to a day or so depending on the nest location which dictates the type of product used. Any wasps out foraging during the treatment will still be seen flying around, though all flying activity will usually cease within 12/24 hours. The active ingredient in the insecticide works on the adults first, with grubs, larva and eggs being killed later as they hatch or emerge. Hence it is not wise to try to remove the actual wasp nest until at least a few hours have passed. I find a well treated nest can often be removed the same day, if it was treated earlier enough in the day. There will still be some crawling about in the nest, but it's safe to remove if wearing protective clothing.
And this is why I refrain from using the commonly used phrase “wasp nest removal”. I treat a nest with insecticide to kill the wasps and will only remove the nest later if required for an additional charge.
The powder application is great for nests you cannot see, like behind a soffit, under roof tiles, below ground etc, and the powder does not normally aggravate the wasps, though me being around the nest certainly will.
The liquid application is good for nests you can see were you need instant knock down of the wasps, but the active ingredient in the sprays really winds the wasps up, though it stops them dead in their tracks or should that be flight! The liquid insecticide does not have as good a residual working ability as the powder, so it's important that most of the wasps are in the nest when treated, or the nest is still in early stages of development. To attempt a liquid treatment on a large nest in the middle of the day is a recipe for a failed nest treatment.
Using the liquid application will allow the nest to be removed sooner, provided the inside of the nest as been well treated initially. In many locations provided the nest is visible and accessible I can remove the nest right away, if using a liquid spray insecticide. That's provided that most of the wasps were in the nest at the time. An early cold, wet, windy morning (in summer?) is the best time to hit a nest with liquid insecticide.
The actual nest will never be used again, so there is no need to remove it unless its location causes you a problem. A new nest may be built along side an old nest in subsequent years by a new queen, but wasps never reuse an existing nest.
You will be provided with a fact sheet outlining the precautions required by yourselves to take regarding children and pets both during the application of insecticides and the immediate hours afterwards.
Some areas may require a more specialised approach, wasp nests next to ponds and aquatics need special consideration and a wasp nest close to a permanent or temporary bat roost cannot be treated whilst the bats are still resident.
Late in the wasp season, many of the new queen wasps will be looking for a suitable place to hibernate over the the winter. If a wasp nest in a loft space has gone full term, then there can be many hundreds, if not thousands of large queen wasps making their way out of the nest, looking for somewhere to hibernate, not returning to the nest again. So in these instances treating the wasp nest, if it can be found is pointless. It's a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. In these cases fumigating the loft space will kill most of the queen wasps present at the time of treatment. However, from past experience, large queens can still be found right through the winter months. The real solution is to get the nest treated early in the season so as not to have this problem later in the year.
Bumble Bee and Honey Bee Nest Treatment Information
Lancashire Wasp Control can also offer bee control in certain circumstances.
Ideally all types of bee, Honey, Bumble and Solitary bees should be left undisturbed as they are extremely useful as pollinators. Whilst a large bumble bee may look intimidating flying around you, bees generally are non aggressive and will only sting as a last resort. All Bumble bees are very protective of the space around their nest and will attack if they feel their nest is at risk. Wasps I’m sure, just sting you for the fun of it. Wasps and Bumble bees can sting multiple times, it's only the Honey bee that kills itself by tearing out it's very barbed sting from it's abdomen after stinging you. And only the females of wasps and bees can sting, but how lucky do you feel guessing whether it's a male or female that's coming at you?
Bumble bees, specifically the Tree Bumble Bee, appear to be causing more problems for homeowners recently than Honey bees, even though the number of bees in a bumble bee colony is very small compared to a honey bee colony and the problem bumble bee season only lasts a couple of months
Honey bees are most likely to cause problems when they swarm. Sometimes the swarm is just resting up before moving on to a new location suitable for a new nest. If the swarm does not move on after a few hours you should first contact your local honey bee swarm collector. They will usually, free of charge, remove the queen and workers and relocate them in an empty hive.
Details of your local swarm collector can be found here:
A swarm collector will only collect and remove an accessible swarm of honey bees.
They will not deal with bumble bees or solitary bees or a swarm of honey bees that has moved into the structure of your house and cannot be retrieved.
Once honey bees have decided to form a new nest in a cavity wall, roof space or any other inaccessible place then unfortunately there is nothing that can be done other than live with them or exterminate them as you would with wasps, but with additional considerations.
Lancashire Wasp Control can treat honey bees that have taken up residence in your home and are posing a threat to your health and safety.
Traditional English Bumble bees are unlikely to cause any real problems to a homeowner unless the queen bumble bee decides to make a nest somewhere that causes flying bees and humans the need to occupy the same air space or a nest is discovered in the course of garden maintenance or garden building projects, such as site preparation for a shed or decking. In certain situations I can dig up and relocate the entire nest a few miles away so that garden works can continue and the bumble bees will quickly adjust to their new nest site.
The Tree Bumble bee is an exception as it prefers to nest in your loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, or bird nest boxes. They actively defend their nest if disturbed, though most people are more concerned about the males habit of swarming around the nest entrance in early summer waiting for next years queens to emerge to mate with.
Solitary bees are very unlikely to cause any problems as they are very docile, not known to sting and only evident for a few weeks in early spring. Unfortunately they do look a bit more like a wasp than a bee so can alarm people who have a phobia of wasps.
Honey bee nest treatments incur extra costs due to the additional work legally required to be carried out after the treatment of a problem colony.
All treated entrance holes used by the bees need to be made insect proof. This is to prevent other foraging bees from another colony or hive entering the now unguarded treated area to raid any honey and in doing so picking up traces of the insecticide and taking it back to their own colony. This would wipe out an innocent colony of bees.
Of course if the honeycombs in a honey bee colony can be removed then there is no need to seal entrance holes up, but considerable repair work may be needed afterwards if brickwork has been removed to extract the honeycombs.
Bumble Bee Rehoming Sevices
Where any bumble bee nests need to be treated, the first thing I ask is it really necessary. If the bees have to go then I consider whether it is possible to move the colony to another location.
Tree Bumble bees that have taken over a bird box can easily be moved at night after letting all bees return to the nest, sealing up the entrance hole and removing the bird box to another location. The bees are quite happy like this till the entrance hole is uncovered the following morning and the bees get their bearings in the new surroundings and then continue on as though nothing has happened.
The only problem with re-homing bumble bees is that the work can only be started after the bees have retired to bed for the night, so in the summer months that means only starting the job after 10pm. A cool, wet evening often means I can do the job earlier, though.
The new home needs to be a good few miles away so the bees just don’t fly back to the location they have just been moved from, and the new location needs to be similar to the old one. Similar plants, trees and shrubbery.
My domestic mole control work means I always have a list of gardens that will readily accept a bumble bee colony. People like to see bees gathering nectar in their gardens.
Prices for this re-homing service are similar to a treatment cost, but most importantly no insecticides are used and no bumble bees killed. £45.00 for nests and colonies within 20 miles of Preston.
And please remember, there are limitations as to what is actually possible when it comes to re-homing a colony of bumble bees. It is nothing like collecting a docile swarm of honey bees. All bumble bees are very aggressive when their nest is under threat. I have to be able to get to the nest and to work in as safe conditions as possible, and I only get one chance to remove the nest that evening. If the removal of the nest site goes wrong and bees start to come out and attack me, then a second attempt will have to be made another evening. There is no room for error.
Some Important Do’s and Don’ts for Nest Treatments
Do ensure there is a responsible person around when the treatment is carried out. I need to pass on important information about the insecticide used.
Do ensure payment is made available at the time of the treatment. No Money, No Treatment.
Do make sure you mention anything that may be relevant to being able to treat the nest safely and correctly, e.g. access and height to the nest, any ponds and water features nearby, any knowledge of bats roosting near the nest.
Do keep children and pets well away from a treated nest for a few hours.
Do keep windows and doors shut and remove any washing hanging out near the nest.
Do ensure that you actually do have a nest of wasps or bees. Just because you have wasps or bees in your garden does not mean you have a nest. Nests are very obvious by the large number of insects flying to and from the nest entrance, especially on warm days. Certain trees and shrubs can attract huge numbers of wasps, bees and other insects to feed on aphids or rising sweet sap. This does not mean you have a wasp or bee nest.
Don’t attempt to block an entrance hole to a nest either before you call me or immediately after I’ve left. This is the worse thing you can do. Trapping a few thousand wasps in a nest in your cavity, which then chew through the plaster in your front room is no fun for you. Makes my job more difficult and will be more expensive.
Don’t attempt to do the job yourself using an aerosol wasp spray on an entrance hole to a nest you can’t see. You will only kill the wasps the spray hits and the rest will soon start to use another entrance route to the nest. Makes my job more difficult and will be more expensive.
Don’t expect me to be able to treat a large nest that is close to the ground on the edge of your property in the daytime, when you have a busy public footpath/pavement/road next to it. I can’t close the public rights of way to treat your nest. The passing public will get stung. Nests like this need treating last thing at night.
Don’t expect me to be able to treat a nest where I have to work from a public road, pavement, or footpath. I have to be able to treat the nest from your property.
Don’t put off treating a wasp nest in the summer months just because it’s in your loft and not causing you any problems. You will regret it in late autumn/early winter when you start getting wasps appearing in the warmer rooms below the nest when the loft space becomes colder.