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Deterring wasps

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LesW 

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Hi Guys
Hopefully you are OK with me using this forum for my question but it is all for the greater good of bees.

whilst my wife and I don’t keep bees we love having them in our garden and take every opportunity to create an environment that encourages and sustains them.

Unfortunately we also get our share of wasps and hornets and as well as being a nuisance they chase away the bees.

To add to this I recently went into the loft over my garage and found an large abandoned wasp/hornets nest which I assume was the source of most of the critters from the summer.

Question(s)
1. Do Wasps / Hornets return and reuse old nests, in which case I will remove it.
2. As the loft has numerous places small insects can get into it. Have any members had experience of devices that deter wasps from entering (Ultra sonic / Chemical etc ). As a rider to this question, I looked on the web for wasp deterrents and found one option that was hanging up dummy nests around the garden. That being the case and assuming they don’t use old nests, should I leave the old nest in place to deter a new brood?

Sorry for the convoluted post but I thought you guys (and girls) would be able to give me some thoughts
Regards

LesW
 

Gilberdyke John 

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Coincidentally I looked in my loft last week and noticed a dead wasps nest. When it's a bit warmer I'll have to get up there and take it out.
Wasps, bees, and other insects seem to share forage for me so your comment about chasing away seems odd. The jury is out on waspinators. They might work in the same way as notices at the gate saying elephants not permitted in my garden? If you're really annoyed by wasps you can buy all singing and dancing high efficiency wasp traps from Wasp Bane or you can go the home made route with jam jars and a hole in the lid or a fantastic array of devices in between. If you watch carefully during foraging you might detect a flight path back to the wasps nest which would enable you to destroy the colony. There are a number of products to do this ranging from proprietory wasp killers, ant powder in puffer packs, professional grade treatments from t'interweb such as ficam D (use ppe) most involve wasp traffic at the entrance walking the stuff into the next on their feet. Alternatively spray the paper nest with diesel oil and allow the fumes to penetrate.
It might help to consider the good things wasps do in the spring.
 

hemo 

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Old nests aren't reused afaik, the presence of once also doesn't deter others from being built, I have in the past when in the building game carried out renovations on old properties and one we extended in to a closed off roof space. We removed several large nests of wasps and hornets.
Stopping nesting is near impossible unless said roof is buttoned up tight, my house roof has little or no membrane under the tile battens very occasionally we do get a wasp nest in the loft. I simply wait till winter and remove.

Vespa's are useful for pollinating and pest control though they may take other insects, in the bigger picture of things as you don't keep bees I wouldn't worry about them and let all co exist.

Personally speaking chemicals have little or no place in the garden or for use of a deterrent against insects that co exist.

Being vigilant and looking out for signs of the Asian hornet is a good starting point if concerns for predation are in your mind.
 
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LesW 

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Thanks to all who responded to my post. Initially I will remove the old nest in case it creates materials for a new one. The only deterrent I would consider in the loft would be an electric plug in device that emits an ultrasonic signal. Not sure if they work though. Incidentally I have a cousin who lives near Seattle and they have just had cases of Giant Asian Hornets so maybe life in rural Norfolk isn’t that bad.
 

ericbeaumont 

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Vespa's are useful for pollinating and pest control though they may take other insects, in the bigger picture of things as you don't keep bees I wouldn't worry about them and let all co exist.
This is the best solution, Les.

If you're struggling to take that route, tell me this: have wasps bothered you? Usually people don't like wasps because they fly close while foraging during late summer, but if you compare the fear of what they might do with what they actually do, the fear will disappear.

Unless you sit on one, or drink it from an open can or disturb the nest, wasps are pretty benign and will eat from your hand. No chance of sealing every 8mm hole in a building, either, so I wouldn't bother.
 

Beegarden 

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Thanks to all who responded to my post. Initially I will remove the old nest in case it creates materials for a new one. The only deterrent I would consider in the loft would be an electric plug in device that emits an ultrasonic signal. Not sure if they work though. Incidentally I have a cousin who lives near Seattle and they have just had cases of Giant Asian Hornets so maybe life in rural Norfolk isn’t that bad.
I have a plug in bug deterrent in our bedroom and am pleased to say that I haven't been bitten in the night for two years now. Whether they work for wasps, I'm not sure, but worth investigating.
 

Amari 

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This is the best solution, Les.

If you're struggling to take that route, tell me this: have wasps bothered you? Usually people don't like wasps because they fly close while foraging during late summer, but if you compare the fear of what they might do with what they actually do, the fear will disappear.

Unless you sit on one, or drink it from an open can or disturb the nest, wasps are pretty benign and will eat from your hand. No chance of sealing every 8mm hole in a building, either, so I wouldn't bother.
The trouble with wasps is that, unlike honey bees, they invade our personal space e.g. buzz your face, your drink, your food. Ten years ago one August we hosted a street party in our cul-de-sac. It was a bad wasp year (like this last year) and eating lunch/holding drinks etc was really unpleasant for our guests.

2020 was my worst wasp year ever in my apiary. Three colonies lost. I caught hundreds, probably thousands of wasps in one Apishield and two Waspbanes, but my guess is that the local queen wasps (never located) were laying at a faster rate than their daughters were being captured.

BTW: I found waspinators (faux wasps nests) useless.
 
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The Poot 

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Thanks to all who responded to my post. Initially I will remove the old nest in case it creates materials for a new one. The only deterrent I would consider in the loft would be an electric plug in device that emits an ultrasonic signal. Not sure if they work though. Incidentally I have a cousin who lives near Seattle and they have just had cases of Giant Asian Hornets so maybe life in rural Norfolk isn’t that bad.
Cut the nest out, keeping it in one piece if you can and let your local junior school have it for a hands on lesson. I’ve done this a couple of times and have been told the kids really get something out of it.
I can assure you life in rural Norfolk is pretty good, though it’s some time since I moved from the area. Recently dealt with a garden machinery company in Acle and it was great to hear the broad Norfolk lingo again. Excellent service too👍
 

ericbeaumont 

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they invade our personal space e.g. buzz your face, your drink, your food. Ten years ago one August we hosted a street party in our cul-de-sac. It was a bad wasp year (like this last year) and eating lunch/holding drinks etc was really unpleasant for our guests.
How many stings?
 

Antipodes 

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This year (in the Southern Hemisphere), I have hardly seen a wasp (European or English), and we are well into summer. Perhaps just 3 all up. Incredible. It's almost like they have disappeared. Perhaps this will happen next season in the Northern Hemisphere?
 

Happygran 

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I have a bees' nest in the wall under my bedroom window with entry under the cill outside. Last year wasps moved in to the other end of the wall next to the bees and gradually increased to epidemic proportions. While the bees occasionally come into the room at night to investigate the lamp, the wasps took over the room day and night, even with windows shut. I lived with a can of fly spray by the bed and regularly cleared over a hundred dead wasps. When the weather turned cold the wasps disappeared although the bees are still around and thriving. Please reassure me that this won't happen again this year. I can't block the gaps as the bees share the entrance and I quite like waking in the night to hear them chatting.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Wasps won’t re use the nest but it depends how big the void is whether there is room for another
 

ericbeaumont 

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in the wall under my bedroom window with entry under the cill outside.
If the entrance for both insects is external and the windows were shut, how do they enter the room? Sealing that point of access won't prevent you hearing the murmur.
I can't block the gaps as the bees share the entrance
I don't follow: isn't the entrance outside? Are the gaps inside the room or outside?
 

ericbeaumont 

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They were a mega-nuisance.
Some say the same about honey bees.

Point is that fear of close contact with nature is a widespread waste of energy and bad for humans. If we don't challenge the desire to rid ourselves of awkward or inconvenient pieces of the natural jigsaw, just because we reckon they don't fit, where would we be? Hang on, we're there already...
 

Amari 

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Some say the same about honey bees.

Point is that fear of close contact with nature is a widespread waste of energy and bad for humans. If we don't challenge the desire to rid ourselves of awkward or inconvenient pieces of the natural jigsaw, just because we reckon they don't fit, where would we be? Hang on, we're there already...
I think there is a difference between wasp and honeybee behaviour re personal space. Of course we must respect wasps as beneficial insects and do our best by education to make them acceptable, but in a social context eg our street party (above) the wasps upset some guests and one or two were frightened. Rubbishing folks' fears does not help. I see no easy solution.
 

Karol 

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The trouble with wasps is that, unlike honey bees, they invade our personal space e.g. buzz your face, your drink, your food. Ten years ago one August we hosted a street party in our cul-de-sac. It was a bad wasp year (like this last year) and eating lunch/holding drinks etc was really unpleasant for our guests.

2020 was my worst wasp year ever in my apiary. Three colonies lost. I caught hundreds, probably thousands of wasps in one Apishield and two Waspbanes, but my guess is that the local queen wasps (never located) were laying at a faster rate than their daughters were being captured.

BTW: I found waspinators (faux wasps nests) useless.
I'm sorry to hear that you lost colonies to wasps. I suspect that the Apishield contributed to your problems not least because during times of wasp pressure it is fatal to avoidably increase the number of wasps in the immediate vicinity of hives. The primary reason being that wasps under stress will emit distress pheromones that act as a chemical beacon to draw in more wasps. Wasps alive within the Apishield trap especially if hornets are present will give off these pheromones as they fight amongst each other and if the numbers in the trap are large then so much more powerful will be the attraction and so much more overwhelming will be the draw.
 

Amari 

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I'm sorry to hear that you lost colonies to wasps. I suspect that the Apishield contributed to your problems not least because during times of wasp pressure it is fatal to avoidably increase the number of wasps in the immediate vicinity of hives. The primary reason being that wasps under stress will emit distress pheromones that act as a chemical beacon to draw in more wasps. Wasps alive within the Apishield trap especially if hornets are present will give off these pheromones as they fight amongst each other and if the numbers in the trap are large then so much more powerful will be the attraction and so much more overwhelming will be the draw.
Thanks for that. Something I was unaware of. Would be good, but difficult, to do a controlled trial.
 

Karol 

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Wasps are intelligent insects which in some ways is fortunate because it means they are largely predictable. Knowing how to exploit their predictable behaviour is the cornerstone of successful integrated wasp management.
 

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