Summer pests: Tips and advice about bees and wasps

Paul Hayes, from Diglea, has been involved in wildlife management and pest control for the best part of thirty years.


Here, he offers some tips and advice on bees and wasps this summer season.

If you have any questions on pest control, please email Paul on:

Every summer without fail I get asked the same question: Are these things buzzing around my garden wasps or are they those foreign killer bees that they’ve been talking about on the TV?

After I’ve assured the person on the end of the phone they most likely are not the killer variety I ask them some questions that usually point me in the right direction.

Are they round and furry with a yellow/white or orange band on its tail? Are they going into a compost heap or under a decking? If so then they are probably bumble bees and rarely sting.

The next question is are they golden brown and slightly furry and are they massing in a large clump with lots of them swarming around a tree or bush? These are usually honey bees and the best course of action is to contact your local beekeepers association.

The last question is are they bright yellow and smooth with no fur and move quickly? Are they entering one place in the roof area of your house/shed or going into a structure that looks like a big paper ball in a tree/bush? These are wasps and the ones we get so many calls about from frightened householders and businesses.

Wasps can ruin people’s summers by constantly buzzing round their heads at barbecues or in pub gardens or just when you’re trying to relax in the garden. The stings are very painful and in some cases can cause a bad reaction or even anaphylactic shocks.

Over the years I’ve heard of and witnessed some really interesting ways of dealing with wasps nests.

People have been dangling high up from ladders spraying fly spray into the nests and I’ve had one lady in tears on the phone as her husband is outside with the car exhaust attached to the air bricks in the house revving the engine to try and gas them out.

And once I heard of a lady and her children stood in the garden because her boyfriend had squirted petrol into the crack under the back door and lit it to kill the nest (yes, it’s usually the men!)

The best course of action is to get a professional pest control operator to deal with the nest. The modern insecticides are effective and quick and most reputable operators will guarantee their work.


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