Time to plan for the approaching wasp season

As summer approaches, common/german wasp queens will be out of hibernation and now building new nest sites. Wasp numbers will slowly build over the coming months. Now is a good time to make some wasp observations and plan for control measures. Ideally control needs to be planned and undertaken prior to wasps reaching plague level proportions.

Here are two simple steps to take:

1. Watch for wasp activity. Be aware of wasps and how common they are becoming around your property. Bees and bumble bees are being active right now so don't mistake them for wasps! Wasp activity will build over the coming months, so its good to get an idea of how common they are and how their numbers are building up. Taking note of where they are flying to and from. This might give clues as to where their nest is building. Finding a nest site really is a bonus- it makes control of localised wasp infestations relatively straight forward.

2. Watch for wasp feeding patterns. As wasp numbers build they will start looking for food sources. What are they feeding on? It's useful to know wasp feeding habits, because this is critical for control operations. Once wasp numbers build to being very common, place some test baits- fish cat food - a teaspoon in a milk bottle lid is fine. Put one or two out on a handy fence post near wasp activity. Wait an hour, go have a cup of tea, go back and see if wasps are actively feeding on this bait. Repeat this at weekly intervals- at some point wasps will switch their feeding preferences to this bait. As soon as wasp feeding preference for test baits are confirmed- this is the time to carry out control operations.

My measure for wasps becoming common is heaps of flying activity. A solitary wasp doesn't count for too much! But for example, when wasps start flying into your house and getting caught on windows trying to escape- that's a good measure of wasps becoming common. Wasps becoming a nuisance in the garden is also a sign their populations are starting to boom.

Found a wasp nest site? Wasps a nuisance? Contact me if you want any advice on control.