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Having been stung by a wasp as I tried to reduce the height of a laurel hedge, I discovered a huge wasp nest inide, about two feet off the ground.
As my grandchildren play hide and seek all over the garden I would like to get rid of the nest, but am afraid of being stung badly, and that even if I manage to lose it tghis year, the wasops wilkl return and build again next year.
Best thing is to get an expert in to remove the nest, most councils have a list .
The wasps are annuals, apart from the queen. If you can persuade the children to stay well away from the nest the wasps will be more than happy to stay away from the children. Wasps only want to eat caterpillars. I have a wasps' nest on the inside of my shed door and I have been going in and out all day, every day, opening and closing the door without banging it, and we have been getting on fine together all summer.
If you want to get rid of the nest, wait until the cold weather when the wasps will die. You can then remove it and trow it on the compost heap where it will disintegrate.
Sadly wasps are being a bit of a nuisence at the moment as the wasps forage for sweet things. Wasps do not build in the same place from year to year so I doubt they will be there next year.
They really are the gardeners' friends. Try to tell the children to stay stock still when they are about and certainly not to flap at them.
If the children can do as Welshonion says they're likely to be fine. I know that some people are very allergic to wasp stings, but they are the rare exception not the rule. The majority of us have a few wasp stings during the course of our lives - I certainly remember having a few as a child. It helps to have a can of Wasp eze in the house, and if the children are over 6 they should be able to take Piriton (following the instructions). If they know to come to you if they get stung and you have the magic medicine to fix it then they'll be fine - at least, my children were
When the frosts come the wasps will die and you'll be left with the most wondrous thing -and the children can take it to school for science lessons - it may be this that switches them on to science!
Wasps do not swarm, and they do not return to the same nest the following year. If you want to keep them away from most of the garden, give them some sweet ripe fruit or maybe a dish of jam in a corner near the nest and they'll keep going to that and keep away from the rest of the garden.
Thank you all for lots of helpful advice.
I will do what Dove advises and next winter donate the nest via a grandchild for school investigations. That should enable me to finish reducing the hedge to a sensible height before the birds move in to nest in the spring. Hopefully the wasps will not return next year as the hedge will be rather more sparse by then.
Because one of the children is terrified of getting stung I have hung one of those glass wasp-catching jars near the french windows and that has kept any wasps from coming in the house.
I don't know how a wasp-catching jar works as I have never seen one in action, but it sounds as though it works on the basis of enticing the wasp into it. In other words, it encourages wasps to come close to it.
I may be just losing the plot a bit here, but surely you don't want to encourage them near to the house?
Wasps are good insects and only sting if they are provoked into doing so because they feel threatened. If people ignore them and don't flap in panic when they see one, they won't be stung. I once found that I had one up inside a trouser leg but I stood still and waited and it eventually worked out that it was on a hiding to nothing and walked back down and out again without stinging me.
There is really no need to catch them and, I presume, kill them by inviting them into a trap. They will fly around and not molest anyone or anything if they are just left to get on with their natural routines.
Also, another snippet of information - wasps nesting in hedges are likely to be the European variety - our native ones prefer hollow tree trunks. roof spaces etc.
GGranny- Dove's right- if you can retrieve the nest at a later date the children will be fascinated. They are the most astonishing pieces of architecture - better than any human can create. If you can involve children the fear lessens. I have a work colleague with a 3yr old son who was frightened of spiders. One day at work there was a spider in the workshop and he was quite wary of it. I gathered it up and took him outside as well just saying 'come on and we'll put him somewhere safe where he'd rather be ' and we put the spider in the ivy on the wall. Result - little boy now wants to see where the spider is and no longer scared - just interested. Looked for the spider in the ivy whenever he came in to see if it was there. When mine were little a child along the road from us was frightened of butterflies. I just thought it was so sad.
When you do get it out of the hedge, can you show us a photo please?
I use to believe the stereotype that wasps are more aggressive and more likely to sting than bees, but I think they are just more likely to go after your food - I had one crawl on me for about 5mins while I was eating my lunch in the park, stayed calm and it didn't sting.
Also they are eating a huge amount of catapillers off my brassicas.
In the Spring you may hear them chewing at dry hogweed stalks to get the material to construct their nests. Every wasp except the queen is killed by the frost, and you may see her when she comes out of hibernation in the spring. She is much the biggest wasp you will see.
Great advice Dovefrom above. We had a wasps nest in the airbrick just to the left of our door last year. Husband said he would have to take thefloorboards up to get to it so we just left it, knowing that they wouldn't return this year. They weren't a problem and we just 'worked' round them. This year they are really keen on the new pond, spending a lot of time on the part submerged pebbles and bouncing about on the surface. I put down halves of apples for the birds and they too keep the wasps busy.
They have also been very busy on certain plants eating the ?aphids. Very good pest controllers.